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Summer School

Summer School [Kindle Edition]

Domenica de Rosa
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: £3.96 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Product Description

Product Description

Love, rivalry, and writing in a Tuscan paradise.

Relax. Indulge. And discover the writer within...

Patricia Wilson's carefully composed ads for the writers' retreat she runs at her thirteenth-century Italian castle promise so much. But while the splendour of their surroundings and chef Aldo's melanzane never fail to wow the guests, huge maintenance bills and bad news from the bank threaten to close Patricia down. It's make or break time for the Castello. 

Each of her seven aspiring authors arrives with the inevitable baggage alongside their unpublished manuscripts. But this August something is different, and soon lifelong spinster Mary is riding on the back of Aldo's vespa, and smouldering odd-job man Fabio has set more than one heart racing. 

As temperatures rise, the writers gossip, flirt and gently polish their prose by the pool. But with ghosts, scorpions, and some unexpected visitors to contend with, one thing's for sure: neither the Castello, nor Patricia, has ever seen a summer like this.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 455 KB
  • Print Length: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Quercus (29 Aug 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009S8HIXW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #12,431 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Domenica de Rosa was born in London. She is half Italian and half English and her books often reflect life in both countries. Her first book 'The Italian Quarter' was shortlisted for the Pendleton May First Novel Award. She lives in Brighton with her husband and two children.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An evocative read 25 July 2009
By Nicola in South Yorkshire TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
This is a very easy and light read, but still has depth to each characterisation. I loved the idea of the writing summer school and the beautiful Tuscan setting, but most of all I loved the characters of Mary, the 74 year old spinster who gets more than she bargained for at the castle, and Aldo, the chef who makes mouthwatering food for the guests, and who also finds something unexpected during the summer.

I'm definitely going to read more from this author. This is an excellent summer read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely characters and setting 13 Sep 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book. I could almost see Italy, taste the food and smell the aromatic flowers and foliage. The story centres round a writing course taking place in a Tuscan castello run by Patricia - divorced 40 something with a teenage son. The 7 would be writers have various degrees of ability and teacher - Jeremy - is a disillusioned author of a bestseller who hasn't written anything for years.

All the characters are interesting and there are excerpts from their writing and diaries dotted throughout the book which I found really good. I think my favourite character is Mary - 74 and a retired spinster. I also liked Anna - constantly overshadowed by her more flamboyant friend Cat.

This is easy reading but it is excellent quality. If you are interested in writing you will be able to pick up lots of helpful tips from the book as well as enjoying the interaction between the characters and the Tuscan background. I loved it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a taste of Italy! 7 Nov 2008
By Becki
This is a lovely story. Excellent plot and character development and well written. It makes your mouth water to try some lovely Italian food!
I really enjoyed it.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars La Dolce Vita 4 Nov 2008
I bought this book for a holiday read and it was exactly what it said on the jacket.A gentle read about a group of individuals who all want to be writers, they descend on an Italian Castle and its all about what happens during their time there.

Not a demanding read by any means, but I enjoyed the development of the characters and the plot ambles along.The real joy of this book is for anyone who loves Italy - it evokes the sights and smells of that country beautifully and is a pleasure to read.

If you want a gentle holiday read which will bring Italy to life then this is the book for you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fun and Fantasy in Italy 6 Aug 2014
By Zuleika
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a wholly delightful story. At the beginning, Patricia is rather anxiously preparing her carefully restored castello in Italy for a writers course, hoping to bring in enough money to keep the castle going; it is very beautiful but expensive to maintain. She despairs over her finances, and her teenage son, Matteo.
Soon the guests arrive, and we learn all about their writing ambitions, their lives, and their insecurities. As the course continues, they start to gel as a group, and we , the readers, start to care about their lives, and what will happen to them when the course finishes. The Italian background, with the idyllic scenery, and the delicious food, is ever present, and there is a suspenseful denoument, as the course reaches it's climax. The characters are well drawn, and above all it is very funny; I laughed out loud several times as I read it. Highly recommended to all lovers of literature and Italy.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Tuscan delight 8 Jun 2014
By Pauley
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Really enjoyed this book & all the diverse characters & story lines. It brought Tuscany alive & I just want to go back & visit it again. My mouth drooled at the description of Aldo's meals & it was so good to have a love affair for the older generation. I have already downloaded some of her other books & if they are as good as this I will be delighted.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Lightweight and unengaging 15 April 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Having never read this author and going on previous (hyperbolic) recommendations, gave this a whirl as the book title had potential. Set in Italy, the book promises to follow the lives of guests who have come to Summer School for a life changing experience. Potential. Lots of potential.

However, disappointingly, I found this to be a very lightweight offering, unengaging, full of whining characters, sappy, predictable and well, barely worth dedicating the time to get as far as page 47.

This is a personal view and the book may please readers who simply want something to dip into, poolside and with a very large glass of, well, anything.

Sorry, but not my idea of a super holiday read.
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When Patricia hosts a writers' retreat at her Tuscan Castello, there are all the usual suspects. The tutor who once wrote a best seller, but hasn't written a word since; the bloke who's read The Da Vinci Code and reckons the publishing game is a doddle; the woman exorcising her childhood demons through memoir writing; the father who thinks the stories his son loves would make great children's books and so on. Anyone who has been on a residential course will recognise them, and de Rosa introduces the characters and their embryonic relationships very well.

Her descriptions of the Tuscan countryside, the towns they visit and the local people are very evocative. The food - lovingly prepared by the elderly chef, Aldo - is mouthwatering. As the temperature rises, the aspiring writers swim and sunbathe and flirt. Relationships develop. Writing is inspired. Or forgotten....

I like the idea of bringing together individuals interested in writing (or painting or reading) and de Rosa cleverly introduces some unexpected visitors, who upset the fragile equilibrium of the group. Unfortunately a fortnight's holiday a bit short to really develop the relationships, and the plot seems a bit rushed towards the end. A couple of scenes in particular are overly melodramatic, which is a pity. The more reflective passages, particularly when she's writing about the 'nicer' characters, seem to work better.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A great Italian storyline
I downloaded this book to read on holiday in Italy and thoroughly enjoyed it. The atmosphere of an Italian holiday home was perfectly reproduced and I loved how the characters'... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Debs
5.0 out of 5 stars THOUGHLY ENJOYABLE BOOK.
Published 1 month ago by V G URQUHART
5.0 out of 5 stars So much more that a great summer read
So much more that a great summer read, laugh and cry with the characters and makes you think about the real Italy.
Published 2 months ago by Quiltbee
5.0 out of 5 stars ... you are part of the group at summer school loved the characters...
You will soon feel you are part of the group at summer school loved the characters and fantastic descriptions of Italy
Published 2 months ago by Margaret Campbell
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
A good light read ideal for holiday!
Published 2 months ago by B. Hughes
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read!
Thoroughly enjoyed Summer School! I am reading Villa Serena now which is another good un! Will look for another one of Domenica's, I enjoy them particularly the locations.
Published 2 months ago by Lady Anne
5.0 out of 5 stars Just what the doctor for deer fir summer
Terrific light summer read. Suspend belief, sit back with a glass of wine and enjoy :)
Published 2 months ago by MRS J HERRINGTON
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful Tuscan holiday read.
A very good story with unexpected twists and turns, set in the glorious Tuscan countryside with super descriptions of wonderful exotic meals. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Jilly
4.0 out of 5 stars Really liked it. Jolly good holiday reading
Really liked it. Jolly good holiday reading. Lots of ups and downs for the very mixed characters along the way. The book gives a real feel of Tuscany, an area which I love. Read more
Published 3 months ago by T
4.0 out of 5 stars Romance, Writing and Tuscan Sunshine
A classy bit of tourist fiction with several original twists. Seven aspiring writers set off one August day to travel to the Castello della Luna, near Siena, where Patricia O'Hara... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Kate Hopkins
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