Wednesday 3 October 2018

An Italian Summer by Fanny Blake @FannyBlake1 @orionbooks #AnItalianSummer

A compelling novel about friendship, family secrets and second chances, set against the backdrop of southern Italy.
Sandy is in her fifties, and at a crossroads in her life: she's a teacher and respected by her pupils, but she feels she is being sidelined in favour of younger colleagues. So when her mother dies, leaving her a sealed envelope addressed to an unknown woman living in Naples, Sandy decides to head to Italy to resolve the mystery by delivering the letter herself.
She books herself on to a small sightseeing trip from Rome to Naples and the Amalfi Coast, hoping to meet some like-minded people along the way. Who is the mysterious woman she is searching for? And will Sandy find friendship, or even love, along the way...?

An Italian Summer by Fanny Blake was published by Orion on 26 July 2018. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review. A version of this review was published in the Daily Express.

Sandy’s life seems to have come to a stand still. In her fifties and widowed, she’s a successful and well respected teacher. However, she’s beginning to feel threatened by her younger colleagues and is worried that she will be passed over for the position of Deputy Head.

When Sandy’s mother dies, leaving behind a sealed letter addressed to an unknown ‘Anna’ in Naples, Italy, Sandy is mystified. As she reads the accompanying diary, written by her mother in the 1950s and detailing a trip that she made to Italy, she doesn’t recognise the voice of the  carefree young girl at all.

On a whim, Sandy signs up for an escorted tour trip to Rome and Naples, in the hope of tracking down the mysterious Anna.

Fanny Blake’s writing is absorbing and intelligent, and an absolute joy to read. The reader is transported to Italy and it is the descriptions of the sights, sounds and smells that really is the star of this novel. The stifling heat of mid-summer Italy, the noise and bustle of Rome, the lingering smell of garlic and herbs as the group share meals; the sense of place is evocative and tempting.

The group dynamics are excellently portrayed, with each character realistically created; with warmth and humour, along with a couple of bad apples who add a depth to the group, and to the plot.

The mystery of Anna runs throughout the plot, and the reader becomes totally absorbed with finding her. Building to an unexpected and clever twist, this heart-warming and compelling novel is the perfect summer read. 

Fanny Blake was a publisher for many years, editing both fiction and non-fiction before becoming a freelance journalist and writer. 
She has written various non-fiction titles, acted as ghost writer for a number of celebrities, and is also Books Editor of Woman & Home magazine. 
She has written seven novels, including House of Dreams and Our Summer Together

For more information visit
Follow her on Twitter @FannyBlake1
Find her Author page on Facebook

No comments:

Post a Comment