Despite the title, Italian for Beginners by Kristin Harmel, is not an instructional language book.
This chick lit novel takes us on a spontaneous trip to Rome, Italy with the main character Cat Connelly. Cat is a 34 year old single American woman who tends to play it safe with everything in her life from love to money. She works as an accountant in New York, has never taken a sick day, and carries no debt on her credit cards.
When Cat’s younger sister gets married and Cat is humiliated at her wedding by the gossip of family members wondering why she’s still single, she decides to shake things up and take a trip to Italy where she struggles with her past ghosts, love and what it is she wants to do with the rest of her life.
Author Kristin Harmel is well liked in the genre and has several other published works. While I felt some of the dialogue was repetitive and the references to the film Roman Holiday overdone, I also consider her portrayal of Rome and Italians to be pitch perfect, having visited and fallen in love with the city myself.
This book is scheduled to be published 8/13/09.