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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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4.6 out of 5
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  • Lovely

    Really lovely heartwarming book. Nice rounded strong characters. Lovely details really brings the story to life. Makes me want to go to Italy. Best book I've read all year.

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  • Italian happy story.

    A great holiday read. I enjoy stories that promote happy stories that respect good values. I felt like I had been transported into Italy and was privy to personal relationships.

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  • Amazing

    Ruthie Collins has broken up with her boyfriend Ed, sold their London home, and moved in with her mother. One night after a few glasses of Prosecco, Ruthie buys an old Italian farmhouse on eBay. What she actually gets is a lot more; a house and land bigger than she’d imagined, a warring Italian family for neighbours, and a goat named Daphne. The story is based in the idyllic setting of rural Italy with its rich red earth, beautiful rustic houses, and seas of olive groves. The author either knows Italy or she has done her research extremely well. The scenery, the language, and the people are all so vibrantly described that they come to life. I could picture each tiny detail, smell the earth, and taste the Bellanuovo olive oil. All of your senses are put to use in this wonderfully descriptive story. If you’ve never visited rural Italy then you’ll most definitely want to add it to your bucket list after reading this. The house Ruthie buys belonged to her neighbours’ grandfather and he hadn’t told his family he’d sold it. He never got the chance to as he passed away straight after selling it. It’s only when Ruthie comes face to face with Marco Bellanuovo, the previous owner’s grandson, that the family realise what has happened – and they’re not exactly pleased about it! Ruthie tries to make the most of her new life abroad but it isn’t easy; She inherits the Bellanuovo goat who she renames Daphne, she has a lot of work ahead of her to get the house up to scratch, and she faces an ongoing battle of wills with Marco. There are some lovely scenes between them that had me gasping and cringing in shock (the funeral scene was brilliant, but that’s all I’ll say) and I found myself smiling and laughing as I read on. Ruthie’s ex-boyfriend Ed crops up a few times and she wonders if she’s made the right choice several times in the story. Then there’s Ryan; an Australian who takes a shine to Ruthie and makes her feel welcome in Italy. He offers to help her out with the works needed on her new home, and she gratefully accepts. With three potential love interests for Ruthie, the book keeps you guessing as to what will happen. I did have a fair idea but the story was so well written, I couldn’t be certain as to who Ruthie would choose until the end due to the twists along the way. Some books you read and then pass on to a friend and some you drop off to the charity shop. Not this one. This book is for keeps! It was heart-warming, funny, romantic, and I couldn’t put it down.

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  • Good story

    A lovely take of romance and impetuousness. Set in Italy, a beautiful backdrop.

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  • Great Story

    Jo Thomas is a great author as she writes in a way that makes you feel as though you are there. I really loved my holiday in Italy!

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