As an ardent reader of the previous works written by Jenna Evans, this read was not disappointing in the slightest. If you haven’t been to Italy yet, this paperback copy will take you on a voyage to discover the elegant corners of this European country. I remember having gelato for the first time from Gelato Divino while watching the new year fireworks in Dubai.
Even though they may not match the local quality of gelato available in the streets of Florence, they did burst in my mouth!
Hope you have a fun perusal 🙂
This story is so much more than love and Italian gelato, it portrays the life of two generations of American women and how a summer in Italy changed the course of their journey. Six months ago, Lina lost her mother to pancreatic cancer, and during the last days on the hospital bed, Hadley Emerson told her daughter all about her best friend, Howard, from Florence. After her mother’s departure, Lina was sent to spend the Summer in Florence with Howard (who is said to be her father). Lina meets Lorenzo, aka Ren, who lives in the neighborhood area, and their friendship blossoms. Lina receives an old journal of her mother from her dad’s colleague Sonia, and she unravels Florence through those journal entries and learns about the secret behind her existence.
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This novel has also been adapted into a motion picture; you can watch the movie here.
- “You know, people come to Italy for all sorts of reasons, but when they stay, it’s for the same two things. Love and gelato.”
- “You may be slow to warm up, but once you do, you light up the whole room.”
- “When we’re together, we make one whole Italian.”
- “Italian gelato. Take the deliciousness of a regular ice-cream cone, times it by a million, then sprinkle it with crushed-up unicorn horns.”
- “What I really want is someone who will wake me up early so I don’t miss a sunrise.”
- “You bet your meatballs I’m Italian.”
One of my favorite characters in this story is Howard Mercer, who is the caretaker of a cemetery in Florence and the father of Lina. His protective and caring nature is embedded in his personality, for example, how he intimidates Ren for the first half of the story. He is deeply passionate about Italian history.
Secondly, I also adored Lorenzo (Ren) Ferrara, who has an ENFP (Extraverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Prospecting) personality. He has a great sense of humor that tears readers’ eyes from laughter. Ren is hugely involved in helping Lina by unwinding the secrets left by her late mother. He is half-American and half-Italian.
Lina is an excellent runner but lost in a competition on the day she learned about her mother’s cancer prognosis. She has a friend called Addie back home in Seattle, where she grew up, and she keeps updating her about her life taking different turns and twists in Florence.
This book captured the Italian cultural aspect through paintings, rich architecture, ambiguous sculptures, and delicious cuisine. There were a few Italian phrases here and there in the story, and I had a great time Google translating them and writing down my notes. The sculpture of a bull’s head at Piazza del Duomo and the significance of its backstory on Hadley’s relationship. Reading about Howard’s version of the story of Porcellino, aka boar, was indeed delightful. Moreover, Italian cuisine improved the essence of the story through descriptions of the local Italian pizza with fresh ingredients, Cornetto con Nutella, and last but not least,
Books similar to Love and Gelato 🙂