Posts Tagged ‘career’

In 1950, Lucia Sartori is the most beautiful girl in Greenwich Village, New York.  She is a talented dressmaker at an exclusive store, but is expected to give up her job to get married and become a housewife.  However, Lucia has other ideas, and is determined to be as independent as possible.  That is until handsome and charismatic John Talbot comes into the store and sweeps her off her feet.  Lucia falls hard and falls fast, but she and John have several obstacles to overcome, not least her very traditional family.

I always enjoy Adriana Trigiani’s books, and this one was no exception.  The story is bookended by two short chapters set in the modern day, when an older Lucia tells her story to her young neighbour.  Personally I thought the book would have been better without this framing device, as the ending (of the whole book, rather than the ending of the story of events in the 1950s) seemed a bit contrived, but I really enjoyed the main body of the story.

The character of Lucia was developed well, as were those of her family and friends, especially her boss Delmarr, who I particularly liked.  It was interesting to read about Lucia’s life in a large Italian immigrant family, and to understand her conflict between what was expected of her, and what she wanted to do with her life.  There were a number of twists and turns which I did not expect, and Lucia’s story did not end the way that I expected it to, but was better because of it.  However, without wanting to reveal any spoilers, Lucia did make a decision towards the end of the book, which seemed to undermine decisions and plans which she had made earlier, which was something of a shame, although it was probably understandable under the circumstances.

It is a cosy and undemanding tale, and perfect for curling up with on the sofa.  If you are a fan of Adriana Trigiani or such books, you won’t be disappointed.

(Author’s website can be found here.)

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After being dumped six times in a row, 28 year old Sass decides that dating and relationships aren’t worth the trouble and goes on a dating sabbatical, which means that she can’t date (obviously), kiss or flirt with men.  To her surprise she finds it enjoyable, and becomes more assertive and proactive in her life.  The only problem is the rather gorgeous and funny Jake, who Sass keeps running into and against all her own rules, finds very sexy.

Now, chicklit is not really my favourite genre, but I like it sometimes if I fancy a nice easy read.  However, this is the second book I’ve read by Gemma Burgess (although The Dating Detox was the first one to be published), and I have really enjoyed both of them.

Sass’s experience was less about waiting for any half-decent man to come along, and more about growing as a person and deciding what she wants from life.  The story is told in first-person present-tense, and Sass is an engaging and likeable narrator.  I also loved her totally believable friendships with best mates Bloomie and Kate, who are dealing with their own personal and professional problems.  The characters – Sass particularly – are very relatable.  We all know people like Bloomie and Kate.  (And yes, Jake is rather lovely!)

The story moves along nicely, with some genuinely funny moments.  It makes a pleasant change to read a book about dating and relationships, that also focuses on the positive side of being single and learning to stand on your own two feet.  It’s definitely aimed at female readers, and yes it is very ‘chicklitty’ but it’s fresh and pacy, and gave me lots to smile at.

(Author’s website can be found here.)

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