The Villa Girls by Nicky Pellegrino

A few years old now, this book was one I received when I swapped texts with another reader. Set mainly both in London and Italy it concerns four girls with very different personalities who holiday together in a villa each year. As a result of these holidays, the recently orphaned Rosie falls in love with olive grower Enzo.

The writing style is as good as Victoria Hislop or similar authors but I found the pace of The Villa Girls frustratingly slow and it seemed to take two thirds of the book to establish the characters. The plot only really began for me about a third before the end.

However, if you want a book that really evokes Italy and food then this is worth a read. The descriptions of meals and cooking are detailed and precise so that you can really picture what is thee on the plate. Unfortunately, I felt this element was overdone and became irritated by the constant references to the food even though cooking, eating, photographing and writing about food are essential elements of the book.

Would I recommend this novel? Yes if you’re holidaying in Italy and want to capture the feel of the country or you’re on a beach and want something light to read. Would I read it again? No.

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