by Nicky Pellegrino
A wonderfully atmospheric, touching and sumptuous novel about a young widow's search for happiness in a small Italian village.
Raffaella Moretti, by far the most beautiful girl in the southern Italian town of Triento, is about to marry the only boy she has ever loved. It seems that nothing but happiness lies in store for Raffaella. Yet, just one year later, she is a widow, and has had to take a job as housekeeper in the Villa Rosa, for the young American who is temporarily working in Triento. As Raffaella struggles to recapture her own lost happiness she starts looking for ways to help those around her to do the same. There is Silvana the baker's wife, her passion barely hidden; Carlotta the gardener's daughter with her mysterious grief, and the kind and gentle owner of the Gypsy Tearoom who offers Raffaella friendship. As the lives of these villagers interweave, Raffaella is pulled into the centre of a conflict that threatens not only to divide Triento but also to destroy all she holds dear. Filled with food, love and longing, SUMMER AT THE VILLA ROSA is like taking a seat in a sun-drenched piazza, and becoming a tiny part of the endless spectacle of life there.
Nicky Pellegrino's Italian father came to England and fell in love with a Liverpool girl. Bringing his passion for food to his new family, his Italian mantra that you live to eat not eat to live is one of the inspirations behind Nicky's delicious novels. Now living in New Zealand, where she works as a journalist, Nicky hordes her holidays so she and her husband can return to Italy to see family, eat the best mozzarella and research her books.