I can’t believe T.A. Williams has come to the end of his Dreaming of… series with Dreaming of Italy. I’ve so enjoyed reading these books and was delighted when Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources invited me to participate in the blog blitz for Dreaming of Italy. I have my review to share today.
More recently I reviewed Dreaming of Verona here as well as Trevor’s Chasing Shadows here, Dreaming of Venice here and To Provence, With Love here and Dreaming of Christmas here. There’s also an extract from Dreaming of St Tropez that you can read here.
Dreaming of Italy is published by Canelo, today, 4th May 2020, and is available for purchase through the links here.
Dreaming of Italy
Up for a dream promotion, Emma won’t let anything get in her way – not even love.
Working for a major Hollywood film company isn’t all glitz and glam. But when Emma gets sent to tour around Italy to scout the perfect location for a new blockbuster movie, she’s not going to complain. Especially when it could make or break her career…
Historical adviser Mark is a distraction that Emma does not need. As they explore the beauty of Italy, though, Emma starts to fall for the mysterious historian, finding herself torn between her job and her heart.
From the wild, northern mountains of Piedmont, down the vibrant coast of Cinque Terre and through the rolling hills of Tuscany, Emma’s journey becomes one of self-discovery as she questions her priorities in life.
My Review of Dreaming of Italy
Emma has a movie location finding task to complete but it might lead to more than just promotion.
What a perfect lockdown read Dreaming of Italy is. I read it in rainy Lincolnshire and was completely transported to the glorious Italian setting in T. A. Williams’ perfect evocation of place through the use of the senses. His descriptions of food especially gave such an authentic and realistic atmosphere that I found myself picturing the food and tasting it along with the characters. Meticulously researched with a fabulous attention to detail, the novel really is an opportunity to travel without leaving home. History and geography are seamlessly woven into the narrative so that whilst Dreaming of Italy is a lovely gentle romance, it’s a beautiful and powerful travelogue too. When I’d finished reading Dreaming of Italy I truly felt as if I’d had a holiday and an escape from the trials of ordinary life.
I loved the touches I’ve come to expect from T.A Williams in the creation of his stories. As well as a vivid sense of place, there’s a realistic cast of characters who feel vital and real and of course, a black Labrador dog features too. I love the way small aspects of characters’ past lives are dropped into the story so that although they affect behaviour and action, they are are never heavy handed. This has the effect of making me feel I know these people personally and I find it impossible not to be affected by what happens to them. Despite the feelgood nature of Dreaming of Italy, I found I shed a small tear as present events for the characters mirrored the film Emma is researching. More minor characters like Erasmus add colour and humour too so that Dreaming of Italy really is a heartwarming and feel good read.
The plot works so romantically. As Emma, Mark, Rich and Marina search for perfect film locations, their own metaphorical searches for love, their sense of who they are, and their place in the world, are explored with great sensitivity. It’s difficult to define in a review, but it is as if T.A. Williams writes with a kind of tenderness that is very moving.
I so enjoyed Dreaming of Italy. Not only is Dreaming of Italy a gorgeous love story, it’s also a compelling love letter to Italy and I revelled in every moment of my travels there. It’s a glorious book that simply exudes summer and I thoroughly recommend it.
T.A. Williams lives in Devon with his Italian wife. He was born in England of a Scottish mother and Welsh father. After a degree in modern languages at Nottingham University, he lived and worked in Switzerland, France and Italy, before returning to run one of the best-known language schools in the UK. He’s taught Arab princes, Brazilian beauty queens and Italian billionaires. He speaks a number of languages and has travelled extensively. He has eaten snake, still-alive fish, and alligator. A Spanish dog, a Russian bug and a Korean parasite have done their best to eat him in return. His hobby is long-distance cycling, but his passion is writing.
But let’s see what Trevor has to say about himself:
I’m a man. And a pretty old man as well. I did languages at university a long time ago and then lived and worked in France and Switzerland before going to Italy for seven years as a teacher of English. My Italian wife and I then came back to the UK with our little daughter (now long-since grown up) where I ran a big English language school for many years. We now live in a sleepy little village in Devonshire. I’ve been writing almost all my life but it was only seven years ago that I finally managed to find a publisher who liked my work enough to offer me my first contract.
The fact that I am now writing romantic comedy is something I still find hard to explain. My early books were thrillers and historical novels. Maybe it’s because there are so many horrible things happening in the world today that I feel I need to do my best to provide something to cheer my readers up. My books provide escapism to some gorgeous locations and, as a writer, I obviously have to go there in person and check them out first. I love my job…