Turning the Pages: ‘The Italian Party’

Title: The Italian Party
Author: Christina Lynch
Release Date: 3/20/2018
Page Count: 336 pages

Synopsis: 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.

Our Thoughts: Our book tastes are always and forever changing. It’s like what are we in the mood for? What do we want? What do we need? We didn’t know we needed this charming spy story that kept us entertained and not thinking about our everyday drama. Life is full of secrets and lies, but the big question I asked myself while reading this book is who has more secrets – Michael or Scottie.

I loved the setting – being in Italy. I love books that are set some place else and the writing is so vivid that I feel like I am there. Lynch accomplishes that flawlessly. If I ate pasta, that would be all I was eating after reading the book. But what I loved so much about Lynch’s writing was that everything was described beautifully, delicately, and nothing really felt the same.

Michael and Scottie barely know each other, the secrets that they keep from each other are sometimes – well, just from not knowing each other. Each moment felt like two people falling, but yet no knowing how to fall for each other. Sure, there was some hanky panky (for lack of a better term), but there was also a sense that you were watching them fall for each other, while trying to skirt around the lies that they told each other – because they had to.

How do you ever really know your significant other if they are a member of the CIA and trust and truth is the last thing that they can give you?

Some parts of the book dragged out, some didn’t carry on long enough. But what made me look past all that and love this book is that Scottie and Michael are perfection. They are sweet and kind and hateful and stressed and they aren’t perfect which makes them perfect. We navigate their relationship with them, which makes us invested, which means – we’re in it for the long haul.

The Italian Party is told from multiple points of view which enabled us to feel more of a connection to the characters. Everything seems so cut and dry and spelled out, which took away a little bit of our imagination. But overall, a fun read to enjoy.

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