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4.0 out of 5 starsVenice Confidential
Reviewed in the United States on December 20, 2019
Even though this is a light hearted story, I enjoyed it as the author definitely has knowledge of local and regional aspects of Italy, in this case the Veneto and Venice. I enjoyed her food and cooking descriptions as well as her knowledge of of places to share cichetti in late afternoon. She also seemed to understand some of the Italian family dynamics and it made the story fun. If you know and understand Italy, this is an enjoyable little story.
I guess you win some, lose some. I’ve enjoyed other books by this author but this one just did nothing for me. I found it muddled & dull. Characters all boring & though it’s many years since I was in Venice, even the scenery & descriptions did nothing for me except disturb some lovely memories. Sorry Nicky, try harder next time.
Just finished reading this and it's definitely one of those books that you don't want to end. It transported me to Venice, as the descriptions of the city captured the atmosphere of the seasons so well. It was also refreshing to read a book where the central character was not in the first flush of youth and the book deals with the process of Kat realising that she is becoming a "woman of a certain age". The other characters are beautifully drawn too and I particularly liked to watch the friendship develop between Kat and Coco the old lady who owns a dress shop. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and have already recommended it to a close friend.
5.0 out of 5 starsdelighting in the wonderful descriptive ambiance of this beautiful Italian city - salivated ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 30, 2018
Superb! I've waited so long for Nicky Pellegrino's new novel. I settled for re-reading her other books in the meantime and when 'A Year at Hotel Gondola' eventually reached my mailbox, I downed tools, turned off my phone and spent two glorious, sunny days immersed in this absorbing book. I was whisked away to Venice, delighting in the wonderful descriptive ambiance of this beautiful Italian city - salivated on the recipes Nicky gives us in her book of Venice's delicious food, meandered with her through the streets and canals and got completely caught up in the character's romances, friendships and experiences. This book is different in some ways to the author's previous novels. There is less of her usual historical story but more about Venice today and a woman of today. Without giving any of the story away, I will say that if you are a woman on the cusp of discovering who you are and what your heart desires, who loves adventure and food and wine and romance, I know I do - then you will devour this book as I did. It is a fabulous read, it is unput-downable. I find it hard to describe but in one way it is like having an evening out, in a wonderful foreign city, with your best girl friends, eating amazing food and laughing/crying while you each talk about love and loss and dreams. I was sad when it ended and love that it is one of those books that makes you really feel like you have been on a journey from your chair, wherever that chair may be. A wonderful story from a wonderful writer. Next please.
4.0 out of 5 starsA charming tale of Venice off the beaten track
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 26, 2018
I liked the idea of Kat Black spending a year in Venice to test out her relationship with suave Massimo Morosini, owner of Hotel Gondola. As a travel writer, who had spent her time and energy on a lot of planes, travelling between exotic places this would be a testing time. Being settled in one place diverted her attention to looking for the exotic in the place where she was living temporarily, exploring side streets that led to where life of the locals is revealed, and being part of a community. And of course the gorgeous Italian dishes she came across are mouth watering to say the least. I loved the book.
Having read all her novels and some more than once as I've enjoyed them so much, this book was disappointing. I struggled to keep up with the context of one chapter being a book that Kat was writing during her time at Hotel Gondola and the next her life while there. I have started reading it a few times since purchase and eventually persevered. I won't be reading it again!
I have in the past devoured all Nicky Pellegrino's books with great gusto but the last one as well as this left me with the impression that it was a tale that had to be finished to meet the publisher's deadline and hit the shelves in time for the issue of the "holiday reads" I couldn't see the point of this, writing a story within a story and did wonder if it was worth persevering to the end. Adding a few simple recipes for effect didn't cut it for me either. Sorry. Hope the next 1 is a better read.