"You must have a place to which you can go in your heart, your mind, or your house, almost everyday, where you do not owe anyone and where no one owes you--a place that simply allows for the blossoming of something new and promising."
- Joseph Campbell
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Italian for Beginners: A Review
Italian for Beginners Author: Kristin Harmel Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: 5 Spot (August 13, 2009)
Cat Connelly is a thirty-four-year-old Manhattan accountant who has always lived a responsible life. She has lived on the safe side, even taking care of her younger sister and father when her mother left the family. But Cat starts to question her life choices while attending her sister's wedding.
When wedding guests ask her about finding the right man and walking down the isle, and when she hears quiet gossip, within earshot, she becomes embarrassed and frustrated. Where is the justice for someone who has, seemingly, done all the right things, but still hasn't found the life she rightfully deserves? She tries to leave the wedding party, but runs into a mysterious man who takes her breath away. Is he single or married, which turns into a major issue.
Cat, feeling confused, and low in spirit, returns to work, where a friend encourages her to take a much needed month's vacation to visit a former boyfriend in Italy. Cat talks to her father, who tells her it is a good idea for her to get away for awhile. She now has to choose between her perceived responsibility at home or a chance at happiness.
Arriving in Italy, Cat finds herself on a virtual "Roman Holiday" as her life becomes very similar to Audrey Hepburn's character in the movie by that name. Although, she finds romance, disappointment, betrayal, and love, she also must face some serious old ghosts that have haunted her in her earlier life. Does she have the courage to live as a stranger in Rome? Will she conquer her demons? Will she find her true self? Will she find the love of her life? These are questions that make the book a pure pleasure to read.