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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Italian Connection.
Anna, Catherine and Sophie meet at conversational Italian evening classes and become friends, each with their own story developed carefully throughout this lovely novel. As the course progresses they all make new friends and it looks as though this year will be a year of starting over for all of them.

Sophie left home when her parents tried to manipulate her...
Published 12 months ago by Ismay1012

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A light read, well written
Well written, light and pleasant, although a little predictable at times, this was better than other similar books I've read (although I'm no expert on 'chick lit'). I did find it a little confusing at the beginning, when the chapters alternated between the three main characters with no apparent common thread, but this was soon resolved.

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Published 11 months ago by Ebook Proofreader


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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Italian Connection., 5 Jun. 2014
By 
Ismay1012 - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Anna, Catherine and Sophie meet at conversational Italian evening classes and become friends, each with their own story developed carefully throughout this lovely novel. As the course progresses they all make new friends and it looks as though this year will be a year of starting over for all of them.

Sophie left home when her parents tried to manipulate her future. She could never forgive them for denying her the dream of becoming an actress and set off backpacking around the world. She ended up in an Italian ice ream parlour in the tourist quarter of Sorrento, pining over a failed romance with the delectable Dan. Tracked down and called back home when her father had a serious heart attack, she is soon surprised by how much she is enjoying her time at home. Catherine is looking ahead. Her husband, who had told her he had never loved her, had recently left home for another lover. Rocked by this unkind dismissal of their marriage she is rebuilding her self-confidence and looking for a job so that she can support herself. Anna has a dilemma of her own. Her geriatric Nan had let slip that her father was Italian. Suddenly her tanned skin and dark hair had made sense and she had decided to look for her father and discover her Italian roots. Her cheating boyfriend discarded, what was to stop her? When her work as a food journalist takes her on a free trip to Rome to complete a cookery course she is ecstatic. Opportunity, method and means open the door to her future.

Only things never run smoothly and all three girls have serious setbacks to overcome before their journeys are complete. Problems, problems, problems. Can Sophie move on and learn to trust her parents again? Dare she leave her father when he seems so frail? What should Catherine do when she discovers mysterious payments in her cheating husbands account? What can she do when her husband decides to sell the family home now that their children are at university? Will Anna’s Italian family welcome her or will there be problems when she introduces herself to her Father? The Italian class has opened new doors, created new friendships and given each of the girls support and new confidence to move forward with their lives.

Lucy Diamond had written another novel full of friendship, love and intrigue. I really enjoyed reading it and have no hesitation in recommending it to you as an enjoyable, entertaining, light read perfect for a relaxing holiday read.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars heartwarming, 26 May 2014
This review is from: One Night in Italy (Hardcover)
I LOVE LOVE Lucys books ,they always leave me with wet eyes and a warm heart .

This book surprised me as I assumed it was to be set in Italy but its set in Yorkshire .

It tells the story of 3 different women who are all discovering themselves at different times in their lives and how they are all connected through the language of love .

It is a great mixture of ages ,romance, heartbreak and lifestyles
A great book of friendship and love
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read that I didn't want to end xx, 10 Jun. 2014
By 
realovesbooks (South east London) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: One Night in Italy (Paperback)
I have been looking forward to reading Lucy Diamonds new book One Night In Italy, I love the authors books and I also have a great interest in anything Italian be it the language of love the delicious food and the stunning sights so I couldn’t wait to begin.

Anna has never known anything about her father until now when she is visiting her nan and she lets slip that her dad is called Gino the Italian, with not much to go on Anna is determined to find her dad and on her search for him she begins to do all she can to embrace her inner Italian side she never knew she had.
Catherine’s world is crashing down around her as her two children are off to uni and on the same day her husband leaves her. Suddenly she finds she has time on her hands and so she decides to enrol on an Italian language course.

Sophie has been living in Italy for the last 2 years but after her dad falls ill she has to return home. Back in Sheffield she is desperate for work and when an opportunity to teach Italian for 10 weeks came up she jumped at the chance.

The three ladies are joined at the language class and along with the rest of the class they all soon become great friends and help each other with their problems.

What a great read this was, it wasn’t what I was expecting at all I had assumed that the book would be set in Italy but actually it is set in Sheffield but yet the storyline wasn’t short of an Italian theme. It took me a while to distinguish between the three main characters but once I got used to who was who I soon became swept away in the storyline. All of the three women have completely different personalities and problems so they all bring something to the book and because the story is told from each of their points of views we really feel like we can connect to each of the characters. It is unusual for me but I didn’t actually have a favourite I loved all three of the ladies.

Although the book had a light feel to it, it did cover some serious issues too which gave the book more depth and also gave the book a more realistic feel to it. I have never attempted any Italian but reading this book watching the characters learning the language of love and also with each chapter title is written in Italian ( with an English translation) it did spark my interest and I still remember some of the phrases now so as well as enjoying this book it has educated me to!

This author always manages to create a busy book with lots of storylines going on but she also manages to weave them together beautifully and this book is no exception. The ending to this fabulous book is tied up perfectly to so we are not left on a cliff hanger or with questions still in our heads waiting to be answered.

I really enjoyed this book, although not the holiday read I was expecting it was still an enjoyable read that I was actually quite disappointed to finish it!
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Belter from Lucy Diamond, 10 April 2014
By 
Lincs Reader (Lincolnshire, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: One Night in Italy (Hardcover)
I love reading novels that are set in a familiar setting, and I fully expected One Night In Italy to be set in Rome or Venice or some other hot and sultry Italian city. I was surprised and delighted to find that instead of the magic of the Mediterranean this story is set in glorious Sheffield - a place I know well and is very dear to my heart.

Each of the characters are linked by an evening class, they all sign up for Italian for Beginners, taught by Sophie, and although the course is only ten weeks long, it doesn't take them long to become firm friends.

Sophie herself has found herself back in her home town of Sheffield. She's spent the last few years running away, travelling the world, never settling anywhere for very long. Teaching Italian to beginners was always going to be just a stop gap before her latest adventure abroad - but sometimes things just don't go to plan.
Catherine, the wife of a respected but not particularly pleasant GP discovers that despite the years of being a downtrodden wife, she really can do something. Her classmates are just the encouragement that she needs.

And Anna, local journalist and girlfriend to the spreadsheet loving Pete; her life too will be changed dramatically by those few weeks of learning the basics of the Italian language.

Lucy Diamond has a gift for creating characters that the reader really can relate to. This eclectic group of people are so realistic that you find yourself becoming really attached to them and rooting for them all the way. The story gallops along at a fast pace, with each character having their own starring role, although the supporting cast are all pretty great too.

There are serious issues amongst the funny one-liners and the author deals with these effortlessly too. From the downtrodden wife, to NHS corruption and newspaper politics, there really is something for everyone contained in this gem of a story.

Once again, Lucy Diamond has delivered a belter of a book. Italy, Sheffield, food, recipes, love ... this is the perfect combination and will delight her fans.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Catherine is the first and when her husband ups and leaves she feels like she is starting all over again, 21 Nov. 2014
By 
Best Crime Books "Best Crime Books" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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Three women are the focus in this latest Lucy Diamond release. Catherine is the first and when her husband ups and leaves she feels like she is starting all over again. We also meet Anna who has recently discovered her father who she has never known is Italian, and then Sophie who has returned from her many years abroad to see her ill father. The three women will meet through the Italian language course they all decide to be a part of.

The three women’s stories are told individually and you really get to know each of them before they eventually meet. Anna and Sophie I instantly liked, but for some reason I wanted Catherine to grow a backbone and she annoyed me for the first few chapters. However, when she starts to make changes to her life I warmed up to her. Sophie was my favourite and I loved the way the reader gets to discover slowly why she left the UK, and why her relationship with her parents had gone so wrong. Anna was a funny and warm character and you couldn’t help but get swept along with her in her dream to find out about her Italian roots.

The story flowed beautifully and I was transported into all of their lives and willing them to all get what they wanted out of their classes. In addition to the three main characters we also meet some of the characters at their class, and they definitely made the book complete in my eyes. Once again Lucy Diamond has managed to create a heart-warming story, which takes you away from reality for a few hours. I read this in just under 2 days and really enjoyed it. Certainly a recommended read, although ‘Summer With My Sister’ will always remain my absolute favourite!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bella Italia, bella foccacia :), 9 Jun. 2014
By 
Agi - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: One Night in Italy (Paperback)
After reading "Me and Mr. Jones" I have promised myself that I'm going to read every book published by Lucy Diamond. I have waited for "One Night in Italy" for months and was more than excited when it finally arrived on my doorstep.
At the first sight you can see that the cover differs from the covers of all Lucy's books, but the deep blue colour is so beautiful, there is spaghetti:) and you can feel this brilliant, gold heart under you fingertips.

The book follow the stories of three women who don't know each other but are going to meet one day. Catherine thinks she's happily married so imagine her shock when, after driving her both children to the two universities she comes back home and finds her husband already in bed... with other woman. Mike has always underestimated her and bullied her and made her feel very uncertain, tentative and hesitant but she loves him. Or so she thinks.
Anna is a journalist and lately she got the wind that her father, whom she doesn't know because her mother doesn't want to talk about him, could be an Italian. So she decides that, with her Italian roots, she must do something Italian: learn language, or cook, and then travel to Italy and find him, although she only knows his name. In the meantime, she finds that her boyfriend is marking sex with her on special spreadsheet and, some time later, that he cheats on her.
Sophie loves to travel, although her travelling is actually a kind of escape from her parents and their possessiveness, so it's also a shock for her when she receives a call from her cousin that her father is in hospital. She immediately comes back home and tries to find her place there afresh.
All three women meet on the Italian course where Sophie is a teacher, and, together with the rest of the group, become friends and share their lives and the hidden dreams. I loved all of them, although it took me some time to like them all in this way. At first I found Anna a little naive and too quickly jumping to conclusions, and when she on the spot decided that her father is for sure one handsome Italian named Gino I thought, surely not Anna? When I already started to like her much more she broke up with her boyfriend, which was already long over-dued, and then started to have doubts. Then I thought for the second time: surely not? For a person that's a journalist you should know better, shouldn't you? But all in all, she was a warm, sunny, cheerful, very likeable girl. I have also thought that Catherine is going to be a no - go character for me, with her being so meh, so subdued, such a doormat, dealing with empty next syndrome, but then she showed me that she has balls actually and can live her life on her own rules.
It takes some time for the characters to get together and it happens when Anna and Catherine attend Italian classes that Sophie agrees to teach. And the classes were the next winner in this book. They were not only about learning language but all the participants become friends and shared their stories in the pub after the classes. The Italian phrases that I learnt are just a bonus:)

Lucy Diamond is a champion in creating brilliant, likeable, realistic and believable characters, and not only the main ones, oh no, the whole cast of the interesting people that appear in the story are just popping out of the pages, coming off to life from the pages. It was like reading about one big extended family that help itself through hard times - and it is no wonder, there is Italy in the background, isn't there? And what is more important for Italian people if not their families?

The chapters are told from our three main character's point of views. I totally enjoyed the way their stories started to overlap, even if it took some time for them all to get together.
I have thought that the book is going to be set mostly in Italy and was surprised when I found out that Italy itself is actually only mentioned, but there was enough Italian things, especially food, oh yes baby, and I promise Lucy, I'm going to do this foccacia one day.

What I also really enjoyed in this book was the fact that the end was not too rushed. It often happens in books that their ends come just out of the blue, as if the author has lost his thread and just wanted to write THE END. In "One Night in Italy" the end wrapped itself very nicely, was not too sharp, accidental and left me feeling totally content and satisfied. It was absolutely enjoyable book, from the beginning to the end and it had me immediately hooked. I wanted to know where the story is going, how it is going to end and I found myself keeping my fingers crossed for our three main characters. They were all so different, but in some way they rub together so well, and it's impossible not to like them and root for them. And it is also one of the main power of this book - that the three women are so different, their stories are so different but we keep our fingers crossed for all of them.

The novel has so many extended plots and threads but I haven't felt confused for a single moment. Lucy Diamond has her way with the words, she writes in a very easy, engaging way that let you follow the story easily, with eyes wide open and sometimes keeping your breath in, a way that sucks you in the story. The pace is only right, we have some twists and turns there as well, the characters are people that you find yourself rooting for, the author deals also with some very important issues but she does it in a very effortless way and altogether, it all makes a brilliant, light, interesting read. Can't wait for Lucy's next book!

Copy received from publisher in exchange for a review.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bubbly!, 7 Jun. 2014
This review is from: One Night in Italy (Paperback)
*Book provided by the publisher on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

I was really happy when I got accepted for this book on NG J This was the first Lucy Diamond book for my to read and I’m glad I did, there will be much more, she’s an awesome writer.

I have a strong connection to Italy so this was really special for me to read about. I loved that all the chapters had an Italian title.

The book tells us the story of three different women, who meet at an Italian class in Sheffield: Sophie, Anna and Catherine.
Sophie is their teacher, she recently came to England, because her father is ill. She spent the last two years in Italy and before she lived in Australia. She has a lot of memories from that time, especially a broken heart. And her heart still seems to be broken, because of Dan, and now he’s back in Manchester…

Anna is a journalist and has just found out that her dad is Italian. She is determined to find out more and most of all she wants to find him. So she goes to the Italian class, but that’s not all: Her boyfriend Pete seems boring and then she finds about more about what he’s been up to. She also gets the opportunity to write restaurant reviews for the journal and she spends more time with her colleague Joe. Misunderstandings and drama comes up because of the review she writes. Let’s see from there…
I really liked her energy and her passion!!!

Last but not least, there is Catherine. She’s married and has two kids at University. As soon as their gone, she finds her husband Mike cheating and he leaves her. She is heart broken and sad. Only after a while she wants to change her life and do something with it, so she goes to the Italian class. She also finds out more about what her husband was doing behind her back.

The stories of these three ladies are all connected somehow, which was great and really enjoyable to read about.

All three women are figuring out what they want in life and all in a total different way. I was hoping for at least ne of them to get to Italy and Anna made it. It was also there, where her new life began! I loved her story. She expressed her feelings in her articles and found her luck.
Sophie started acting again and I liked the way she changed after that, like she was glowing and then Dan turned up at the premiere…
As for Catherine, also her story developed and she realised how much her children mean to her.

Lucy has a wonderful way of writing; it’s bubbly, funny, thoughtful and entertaining!

Rating: 4.5
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars bellisima!, 8 Jun. 2014
By 
R. Green (Sheffield, UK) - See all my reviews
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Wonderful book, great characters, fab setting (im from sheffield) and as always, well written!! Im a huge fan of lucy and her books never disappoint!! Grazie x
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect holiday reading, 27 Jun. 2014
By 
Welsh Annie (Wetherby) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
When I reviewed Milly Johnson's wonderful The Teashop on the Corner, I mused a little on the cafe/bookshop as a way of bringing together a cast of characters, each with their own story. Here's another that works equally well - the evening class. Yes, it's been done before - there's Erica James' Hidden Talents, and Evening Class by Maeve Binchy is one of my all-time favourites. This lovely book by Lucy Diamond - whose writing seems to be getting better with every book - is an equally enjoyable read, out in paperback just in time for holiday reading.

First, let me manage your expectations - if you're reading this book because you like an Italian setting, be aware that it's set in Sheffield! That said, the Italian flavour features really heavily through the background stories, the language class and the food Anna cooks. Anna is one of the three main characters - she writes for a local paper, and is stuck with the most awful boring boyfriend who keeps a spreadsheet on their sex life (amid other transgressions). She discovers that her father - who she knew nothing about - is Italian, and learns Italian cookery as well as learning the language, hoping to travel and find him. The second lead character is Catherine - when her children leave for university without a second glance, she discovers that her marriage isn't what she thought it was - fragile at first, she kick starts her life with the support of friend Penny (a quite wonderful creation), starting with learning italian. Sophie teaches the class - home after years away, she needs to resolve issues in her relationship with her parents. And then there's ex-boyfriend Dan...

This book was a quite perfect read - the main characters are realistic, very easy to like, and the supporting cast contribute perfectly to the progression of the story. As with many of Lucy Diamond's other books - I reviewed Christmas at the Beach Cafe back in November (and loved it - and don't, whatever you do, miss The Beach Cafe or Summer With My Sister...) - this is one of those books that give you the luxury of a total escape. For as long as you take to read it, her world becomes your world, and when you're reaching the end you really don't want to leave. And her writing is excellent - she writes humour as effortlessly as she moves you to tears.

Now, have you got room for two books in your holiday suitcase? You'll remember I've already told you to take Milly Johnson's latest - take this one too, it's such perfect holiday reading, and you should have the loveliest of breaks.

My thanks to netgalley for my advance reading copy. One Night in Italy was published by Pan Macmillan on 5th June in Kindle and paperback formats - also available in hardcover.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An Italian feast of a read!, 21 Sept. 2014
By 
Chloe S "Chick Lit Chloe" (Berkshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: One Night in Italy (Paperback)
What is it about Italy that draws people together? A group of new Italian language students is about to find out whether Italian really is the true language of love! There's Sophie, who has just returned from living in Italy for a few years who becomes the teacher of the Italian class at the local college, but really wishes she could be well away from her family too. There's Catherine, whose life has been blown apart by a shock revelation from her husband and she's left to rebuild her life alone, and she's scared. Anna is determined to find out more about her birth father, who she recently learned is an Italian man. It draws her into wanting to learn more about her father's native country, and she joins the language course to learn some of her new language too. The new class form friendships together, and a love of Italy is born. But what secrets are the group hiding, and can the Italian help them in more ways than one?

I have to confess that I love books where there is more than one character plot playing out, I find it fun to keep up with them and find out how they are going to interact with each other. In this book, we follow the three women, along with a few other members of the Italian class too, to find out what is happening in their lives and how they are going to overcome their latest problems. A broad section of readership is represented in the book as well, with the younger Sophie and Anna in the book, and Catherine representing an older age range. I found it easier to relate to Anna and Sophie myself, but I felt deeply sorry for Catherine and the betrayal she is going through - it's a complete nightmare situation for her but I was so hoping that she would get herself back on her feet and see that she was worth more than what she initially believed.

My favourite character was Anna, who was desperately trying to locate her birth father, as well as juggle her new column at the local paper where she works as a journalist. I found her story quite compelling and easy to read, with the birth father story remaining a good mystery throughout the book, and her columns made me giggle too! Finally, there was Sophie. I struggled to warm to her, she was very cold with her parents and even though there were extenuating circumstances, I felt she wasn't especially nice and I really did not like her for quite a large part of the book. As her story is revealed more, you can understand why she is as she is, but unfortunately she remained my least favourite! I liked some of the other characters at the class too, they each have their own story, my favourites being married couple Roy and Geraldine... such a sweet love story there, you can't help but love the pair!

The Italian class was a fun addition to the book, and is the reason for each of the women meeting each other, and starting a new chapter in each of their lives. I don't know any Italian, but Lucy makes it easy, giving us only basic phrases and the characters always give us translations as well. It was fun to learn a few snippets! There is a lot going on in this book, lots of emotions, stories and issues but it's all so well written, Lucy has done a marvellous job bringing all these threads together and joining them perfectly. I honestly did love everything about this book, from the wonderful descriptions of the Italian food, to the language and the country too, it's a fabulous read and I really didn't want it to end. Diamond brings together likeable, realistic characters and puts them in a story that you will simply adore. I can't recommend it highly enough, it was brilliant, and definitely Lucy Diamond's best yet!
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