☆☆➹⁀☆ 4 stars ☆➹⁀☆☆
What it’s about:
A delicious and sharply funny page-turner about “innocent” Americans abroad in 1950s Siena, Italy. Newly married, Scottie and Michael are seduced by Tuscany’s famous beauty. But the secrets they are keeping from each other force them beneath the splendid surface to a more complex view of ltaly, America and each other.
When Scottie’s Italian teacher–a teenager with secrets of his own–disappears, her search for him leads her to discover other, darker truths about herself, her husband and her country. Michael’s dedication to saving the world from communism crumbles as he begins to see that he is a pawn in a much different game. Driven apart by lies, Michael and Scottie must find their way through a maze of history, memory, hate and love to a new kind of complicated truth.
Half glamorous fun, half an examination of America’s role in the world, and filled with sun-dappled pasta lunches, prosecco, charming spies and horse racing, The Italian Party is a smart pleasure.
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The Italian Party is a blast from the past. Travel back to 1950’s Italy where the Tuscans are still rebuilding after WWII, and the Americans, British and Soviets are each making a play for world domination as the Cold War heats up.
While Christina Lynch’s book provides readers with a lot of interesting Cold War insight, The Italian Party is a fictional tale. It features newlyweds Michael and Scottie Messina, who rushed to the altar without knowing much about each other. Additionally, each has a few deep, dark secrets that have motivated them to marry. Through their trials and tribulations, the foundation of their marriage is shaken. I loved these two characters, and I wholly enjoyed reading of their escapades. Spirited, friendly Scottie easily wins over the townsfolk while her more serious husband works tirelessly to “sell Ford tractors to the local farmers”.
Ms. Lynch’s book is provocative and fun. It blends the glamour of James Bond spy games and rural tourism. The story tension mounts when Scottie’s Italian teacher goes missing and it is apparent that neither Scottie nor Michael should completely trust anyone. I was on the edge of my seat waiting for the “jig is up” scene. All the while, Ms. Lynch paints a beautiful picture of the Tuscan landscape, its people and cuisine. The avant-garde view of love and relationships is a bit ahead of its time. The politics, both local and worldwide, were icing on the cake, so to speak.
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