Happy Wednesday lovely! How’s your week treating you? I finished this book over a week ago and it’s still with me. That’s the sign of a great book, isn’t it?! Here’s the official blurb:
A proud family. Snubbed by aristocratic neighbour Lord Frampton at a coming-of-age ball, Donald Oliver dreams of the day he’ll have his vengeance.
A wild daughter. Laura Oliver, beautiful and tempestuous, falls in love with Giovanni, an Italian ex-prisoner-of-war, now a humble cook. Disdaining her father’s snobbishness – and his wrath – the couple flee to London.
A desperate hope. Giovanni and Laura arrive to a city that has not yet re-awoken after the traumas of war. Facing destitution, only their love for one another and their dream of opening a restaurant business keeps them going.
From Cotswolds farmland to London fish markets, society ballrooms to icy gutters, this is a tale of prejudice and ambition, power and passion, and one couple’s struggle to overcome all obstacles and carve out a life of their own.
Okay, let me just preface this by saying, I’m fairly certain I was Italian in a former life and if I could live anywhere on Earth it would be Italy. Now, the book. As someone who spent a fair amount of time between the ages of 10 and 18 studying World War II, its causes and effects, I thought I knew pretty much everything about how the war and the post-war year affected everyone in the U.K. Turns out I was wrong. This book raised so many questions for me – but in the best way possible. Through the course of the book, we follow Laura as she grows from child to teenager to successful businesswoman, wife and mother. I was emotionally attached to her by the end of the first chapter. Not to mention her mother, Maud; Grace, Jill, Sophie, David, George and Giovanni. The only person I didn’t warm to, at least until almost the very end, was Donald – her father. But I’m fairly certain that was the entire point.
Overall, this book was heartwarming and beautiful. I cried, I laughed, I hoped against hope that Laura would find her happy ending, and by the end of the book, I was grinning like a prize idiot. The only part I hated – that the book just ended. I don’t mean that literally, but you know there’s so much more story to be told. Needless to say, books 2 and 3 are on my TBR list!
Have you read any of Prue Leith’s books? If not, I would wholeheartedly recommend!