Although I’m eschewing as many blog tours as I can at the moment in an attempt to read books languishing on my TBR, I simply had to be part of this one for Sue Moorcroft’s latest book, Under the Italian Sun. My grateful thanks to Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources at for inviting me to participate. I’m delighted to share my review today as I love Sue’s women’s fiction.
Indeed, Sue has featured many times here on Linda’s Book Bag and you’ll find the following posts:
Under the Italian Sun was published by Harper Collins imprint Avon yesterday, 13th May 2021, and is available for purchase through the links here.
Under the Italian Sun
The number one bestseller is back with an uplifting, escapist read that will brighten the gloomiest day!
A warm, sun-baked terrace.
The rustle of verdant green vines.
The sun slowly dipping behind the Umbrian mountains.
And the chink of wine glasses as the first cork of the evening is popped…
Welcome to Italy. A place that holds the answer to Zia-Lucia Costa Chalmers’ many questions. Not least, how she ended up with such a mouthful of a name.
When Zia discovers that her mother wasn’t who she thought she was, she realises the time has come to search out the Italian family she’s never known.
However, as she delves into the secrets of her past, she doesn’t bargain on having to think about her future too. But with local vineyard owner, Piero, living next door, Zia knows she has a serious distraction who may prove difficult to ignore…
This summer, join Zia as she sets out to uncover her past. But can she find the future she’s always dreamed of along the way?
My Review of Under the Italian Sun
Zia is looking for answers.
Under the Italian Sun is Sue Moorcroft at her most sublime. I loved every word and found this was one of those books I was desperate to finish because I wanted to know how it would end, whilst simultaneously not wanting to finish it because I was enjoying it so much.
The plot of Under the Italian Sun romps along and has just as many twists and turns as any thriller. It opens in dramatic fashion and doesn’t let up, sweeping the reader along in the narrative. There’s brilliantly (and often sexily) depicted romance, but there’s mystery and drama too so that Under the Italian Sun is an absolute cracker of a read. I think what makes it so successful is that Sue Moorcroft researches her novels so thoroughly – this time with wine growing and property ownership forming the foundation of her writing – so that the reader feels they are in authoritative and safe hands and can relax into being royally entertained. Indeed, I think this might be one of this author’s most well-crafted books. I was never entirely sure how Under the Italian Sun might end, even if I was expecting a happy resolution from the genre, and I found Sue Moorcroft’s story-telling utterly compelling and engaging. I was surprisingly emotionally invested in the story and shed a tear or two along the way because I was so captivated.
The characters are brilliantly crafted. There’s a real sense of Italian-ness about them with such a range of people and personalities that there is a character for any reader to identify with. Although Under the Italian Sun is very much Zia’s story and I loved and admired her from the very first page, I found the more minor character of Brendon totally fascinating. He is a lurking menace throughout so that whilst Under the Italian Sun is a light-hearted summer read, Brendon adds a depth and counterpoint that I thought was brilliant. As you might imagine, with a Sue Moorcroft hero, I was rather in love with Piero because he is so warmly and vividly depicted.
However, brilliant plots and compelling characters aside, what is so utterly wonderful about Under the Italian Sun is the sense of place. All of the senses are provided for so that descriptions place the reader right in Italy without them having to leave their armchair. Most successful is the sense of taste. In fact, reading Under the Italian Sun is a dangerous occupation for anyone trying to lose weight. The food is so evocatively depicted I found myself craving the items Sue Moorcroft describes. Add in smatterings of fully accessible Italian language and reading this story is akin to taking a holiday.
Alongside all of this wonderfully crafted narrative are some weighty themes so that whilst Under the Italian Sun can be read for sheer entertainment, there’s plenty to think about should readers want to. Themes of friendship and loyalty, identity and belonging, family and friendship, trust and betrayal, independence and control, amongst others create layer upon layer of added interested that I thought was fantastic.
Utterly captivating from the first moment, Under the Italian Sun is a must read and Sue Moorcroft writing at her very best. I loved it and it is my favourite of this author’s books to date. I cannot recommend Under the Italian Sun highly enough.
About Sue Moorcroft
Sue Moorcroft is a Sunday Times bestselling author and has reached the number one spot on Kindle UK. She’s won the Goldsboro Books Contemporary Romantic Novel Award, Readers’ Best Romantic Novel award and the Katie Fforde Bursary. Published by HarperCollins in the UK, US and Canada and by other publishers around the world.
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