Wednesday 3 August 2016

The Italian Girl by Lucinda Riley

Rosanna Menici is just a girl when she meets Roberto Rossini, the man who will change her life.  In the years to come, their destinies are bound together by their extraordinary talents as opera singers and by their enduring but obsessive love for each other - a love that will ultimately affect the lives of all those closest to them. For, as Rosanna slowly discovers, their unison is haunted by irreversible events from the past ....
Rosanna's journey takes her from humble beginnings in the back streets of Naples to the glittering stages of the world's most prestigious opera houses.  Set against a memorable backdrop of Lucinda Riley's trademark evocative locations, The Italian Girl unfolds into a poignant and unforgettable tale of love, betrayal and self-discovery. 

The Italian Girl by Lucinda Riley was first published as Aria under the name Lucinda Edmonds, it has been extensively re-written, and was published in paperback as The Italian Girl by Pan MacMillan on 3 July 2014.

I've been reading Lucinda Riley's books for a long time. I love her writing and her stories, and am so enjoying her Seven Sisters series, I've talked about the first two in the series; The Seven Sisters and The Storm Sisters here on Random Things and am so looking forward to number three; The Shadow Sister, which is due to be published in November.  I've read all of her standalone novels too and was really intrigued to find that her publisher are re-issuing some of her older works that were written under the name Lucinda Edmonds. I wondered if the writing and the story would be as good as her later work.

I devoured The Italian Girl. I read it whilst I was on holiday in Corfu, with lots of time to devote to it. It's huge at almost 600 pages, but they seemed to fly by so quickly. I was completely swept away by the story, the characters and the wonderful locations.

The story opens with the beginning of a letter, written from the Metropolitan Opera House in New York and is addressed to 'My Dearest Nico'.  The author of the letter is telling Nico how the events of the past have influenced the present and is a wonderful way to set up for the enchanting story that follows.

In 1966 Rosanna Menici is an eleven-year-old girl living in Naples. Her family run a cafe and are hard-working people. When Rosanna meets Roberto Rossini, a young opera singer, she falls instantly in love.  The Italian Girl is Rosanna and Roberto's love story, it rarely runs smoothly but it is long-lasting and often very painful. Rosanna and Roberto's singing talent enable them to see things and to travel to parts of the world that they had never dreamt of. It will also expose them to betrayals and lies and incredible heart-break.

Lucinda Riley never fails to disappoint me. She creates the most amazing characters and vividly described locations with apparent ease. The reader is whisked away to the stages of the most wondrous opera houses, in the most beautiful places, accompanied by characters who begin to feel like real friends and who are often flawed, yet so lifelike.

I've never really had an interest in opera, but Lucinda Riley writes with so much passion about the music, the players, the stage that readers cannot help but be pulled in. She makes the opera world accessible, yet glamorous and full of intrigue and passion.

I enjoyed The Italian Girl very much, perfectly paced and expertly written.

Lucinda Riley was born in Ireland and wrote her first novel at twenty-four.
Hothouse Flower was a Richard & Judy Book Club choice and became a number one international best seller.
Since then, her novels have gone on to sell over three million copies worldwide and her books have been translated into twenty-six languages.
She lives in Norfolk and the south of France with her husband and four children.

For more information visit
Find her Author page on Facebook
Follow her on Twitter @lucindariley


1 comment:

  1. Lucinda Riley always makes for a multi faceted and engrossing read, great review, thank you.