Review of ‘One Night in Italy’ by Lucy Diamond

One night in ItalyThanks to NetGalley and Pan Macmillan for the ARC of this book.

This is a very average fluffy romantic chick lit book. There is nothing particularly original or intriguing about it and I feel it has very little to add to this over-crowded genre.

It starts with a pointless red herring prologue which does not pay off well enough to warrant it’s existence.  We then follow three stereotypical female characters as they overcome difficult turning points in their lives to achieve the idealised happy ending.

There is Anna, who is incredibly naive despite supposedly being a great journalist and who is instantly brilliant at everything she turns her hand to but does not realise that her boyfriend is a scumbag and maybe she should not take her demented grandma’s word as read. She is on a hunt to find her father but it takes the whole book for her to follow everyone’s advice and simply ask her mother who he was.

Next is Sophie, a perpetual traveller running away from a really not that difficult relationship with her parents.

Finally poor Catherine dealing with empty nest syndrome with children who don’t appreciate her and a husband leaving her for another woman and all the loss of confidence and sense of self that that entails.

None of these story lines are particularly interesting or well-drawn, they are very recognisable from other similar books in this genre. The problems are far too easily solved.  The characters all meet at an Italian class where everyone is unfeasibly nice and become fast friends within a couple of weeks. There are too many characters and as a result there is no depth to the characters of the men the women end up with, they are all just nice and good looking. It would have been better to focus on one main character/storyline in order to properly develop the characters and their love interests.

From the title, you could be forgiven for expecting more of the novel to be set in Italy. In fact most of it is in wintery Sheffield with only a couple of chapters in Italy.

This book is an easy to read piece of fluff, if that’s what you are looking for, but wouldn’t make me pick up another Lucy Diamond book and I will have forgotten most of the characters/storylines in a few days.

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