Thursday, September 30, 2010

Italian for Beginners

by Kristin Harmel

This book makes me want to go to Rome even more than I already do. Such beautiful images of the ancient city; I want to see them for myself! Maybe I should become an accountant and lead such a boring life that I don't use any of my vacation days and I have a big enough nest egg to take a whole month of to spend in Rome....It's probably too late for that.

But Cat's life is very boring. And she messes up a perfectly good date by making an assumption about a perfectly decent man. Personally, I thought it was rather obvious that Michael wasn't really being a jerk, but it takes at least 200 pages until Cat finds out the truth. And in that 200 pages she ignores both phone calls and emails from him, in which he could have easily explained the situation.

The other thing that bothered me about this book was that the author seemed to be stuck on "Roman Holiday". I do understand that there was a reason for it (Audrey Hepburn reminded Cat of the mother she thought betrayed her), but I still felt like it was dragged on a bit too long. Especially when Marco kept quoting the movie even after Cat told him that she hadn't seen it.

But despite these things, I did enjoy the story. I loved the character of Karina, a feisty Italian woman. I loved Cat's journey of self-discovery; finding out who she was through her mother's city. And I liked how she didn't immediately turn to a man to define her. Once she started discovering who she was as a person without all of her boring trappings, she realized she needed to spend time with herself before she could think about having a relationship with a man.

And I especially loved reading about Rome. Being the history buff that I am, I really need to get out there for myself soon! In the meantime, I'll live vicariously through characters in books...

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