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You know how some books just stay longer with you than others, this is one of them for me. Recalling this book came super easy and I know it was only the end of last year that I read it but the amount I read sometimes they mingle together, not this one.
The Heavenly Italian Ice Cream Shop. It mixes two of my favourite things. Italy and Italian ice cream. I have to say that the best we’ve probably had when we were away is from a shop in Venice.
Bringing it back, this book travels between the UK and Italy and follows the stories of two sisters. One, Imogen, a traveller, never someone to stay in one place for too long finds herself seemingly stuck. The other sister Anna, wife of an Italian man, starts a journey of moving to Sorrento to open an ice cream parlour.They two stories intertwine beautifully and I never found myself lost or wondering who was friends with each character. I recently put down a book because I couldn’t wrap my head around the characters and just wanted to read to unwind.
Imogen’s story takes her on a life changing path that questions her current job and her relationship. Always the ‘flight risk’ of the two sisters she has a reputation of leaving at a moments notice and not being the reliable one of the pair. Anna’s tale takes her character from the sturdy career running the ice cream parlour in Brighton to starting a new business in Italy. The saving grace here is that her husband Matteo comes from a family of successful ice cream store holders. The catch is that Anna wants to make these venture succeed through their own hardwork and without unwelcome pressure from Matteo’s family. The story takes you through the twists and turns of Anna having an overbearing mother-in-law and a sister-in-law needing a friend to turn to.
As well as the sisters storylines the book takes you through family members’ and friends’ adventures. The uncle that runs a guest house, Imogen’s boyfriend and his expanding surf shop and the romantic tale of Evie and a long lost Italian love.
One thing I did enjoy about this novel is that it doesn’t just speak of relationships in a guy meets girl kind of way but also of small businesses, travelling and finding out what you are passionate about in life. It touches more on the relationships between married couples and bonds between family and friends than it does in other classic ‘chick-lit’ and I appreciated this little breath of fresh air.
I will definitely be reading The Heavenly Italian Ice Cream Shop again in the future but unfortunately for me I don’t actually think I will be in Italy.