Title: The Villa Girls
Author: Nicky Pellegrino
Publisher: Orion Fiction
Release Date: April 2011
The Villa Girls is the story of four young women who decide that wherever they are in the world and whatever they're doing they'll meet every few years for a holiday together somewhere sunny. Despite life taking them in very different directions, their snatched days in the sun in little hidden villas are crucial to them all.
Rosie was always the odd one out - initially only invited as the others felt sorry for her, but it seems that in the end, she might be the one whose life is touched the most by her villa days. For it's there that she meets Enzo. The eldest son of an olive oil dynasty in southern Italy, he is being groomed to one day take over as head of the family.
Rosie and Enzo have a holiday romance that seems set to become something more serious until she discovers he is not entirely what he seems. Years later they meet again and this time Rosie must decide how much she is prepared to compromise for the sake of love...
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nicky Pellegrino's Italian father came to England and fell in love with a Liverpool girl. Bringing his passion for food to his new family, his Italian mantra that you live to eat not eat to live is one of the inspirations behind Nicky's delicious novels. Now living in New Zealand, where she works as a journalist, Nicky hordes her holidays so she and her husband can return to Italy to see family, eat the best mozzarella and research her books.
The premise behind this story is so simple, yet something that most of us probably don’t do within our own lives. What would it be like to have a small group of close friends that you catch up with every few years, no matter what was happening. I’d love to have this sort of close bond with a few people I’ve known over the years. In this story the four friends, or rather three who are close and one who is a bit of a tag along, meet up and the chats they have are pretty interesting and believable.
There is a bit of tension with the events that change the life of the third wheel, Rosie, and how much difference the new man in her life has made. One of the interesting things about this novel is that it was written in the perspective of four women, but by a male. Usually, this sort of combination just doesn’t ring true to the dialogue, but in Villa Girls it works out quite well.
Not a bad read at all.