VALERIE BARONA was born in 1955 in Poole, Dorset. She trained as a teacher and
followed her husband to Piussogno, his village in northern Italy. After having two children, she returned to teaching and is currently on the staff at a local school. She enjoys entertaining her grandchildren - and writing.
4 out of 5 stars
This was a very easy read showing the differences between the Italian and British lifestyles.from the Eighties though to the present day.
There was great humour written into the the author's life story.
A great holiday read.
by Neil Clarke
Sometimes reading about people's true lives can seem a little voyeuristic and sometimes like a warm hug on a freezing evening - happily, Valerie's book resides in the latter term. From her marriage to Michele and her move to a mountain village in Italy to becoming a grandparent and all her life in-between such as being the only English person in the village and coming to understand how the 'word of mouth' system works in rural Italy (we call it gossip) rebooting her career and all the other lovely bits such as her culinary ability (or lack of it, which brings to mind Ria in Butterflies) and dealing with Italian in-laws gave me such a wonderful reading experience. It's a gentle story that pulls you in. My only gripe would be that time flies past so fast in the book and I would have liked more content; but, that doesn't take anything away from Valerie's fluid and enjoyable writing. I would highly recommend this book - it's a great escape over to rural Italy.
by Stephanie Tate
4 out of 5 stars
When I began to read this novel, I felt I had missed something. Like it was a book two in a series, and I forgot to read the first book. I looked up the author and discovered this is her second book. Mystery solved. I think the book would benefit from a brief introduction or preface, so you don't get the feeling you were missing something.
Once the book began, I loved it. It was a first hand account of living in Italy. It was as if I was living there myself. Reading the differences in culture and how simple tasks completely change in such a setting, fascinating.
I was a big fan of the movie, Under the Tuscan Sun, but I felt the book did not give me the feeling or viewpoint of the movie.
Mamma Mia... gives you that viewpoint. I would suggest it to anyone who likes armchair traveling.
by Lori Shafer
Aged 22, Valerie left a comfortable life in Poole, Dorset, to follow her Italian fiance´ to his home in northern Italy. In 1977, Piussogno was a sleepy mountain village where nothing much happened apart from the occasional triple birth of lambs. Valerie’s arrival was cause for gossip. The decision to build a disco meant she must be rich and it was also a foregone conclusion that she was pregnant. They were wrong on both fronts. Her new life involved living with her future in-laws, learning both the language and how to drive like an Italian and then the completion of the disco coincided with a visit from the local mafia....
The language, the locals and lasagne – That’s Amore!