My rating: 3.25 of 5 stars
This novel about a 30-something Italian-American woman disappointed me. Valentine’s story of familial obligation, professional legacy, passion, and self-discovery got mired down in the minutia. I don’t need to know every step of the characters’ daily routine to know them and I don’t need to know who designed every article of clothing the characters (even the most minor of them!) are wearing. I understand that as an artist in the fashion business, Valentine would have noticed these things but making a laundry list out of the outfits slowed down a story that already lacked a lot of action anyway.
While Valentine, who describes herself as the family’s “funnyone” wasn’t all that funny to me, her tale did contain important messages, though, about finding what makes you happy and not settling for something that hurts you or holds you back. Her trip to Italy, in particular, was beautifully experienced and beautifully described (how could it not be??). I just had trouble getting into the story.
Other books you might enjoy about familial duty and making your own way in a life that seems to be mapped out for you (or in danger of being lost) are Veronica Henry’s How to Find Love in a Bookshop, Sophie Kinsella’s I Owe You One, and one of my recent favorites, The Late Bloomers’ Club by Louise Miller.