THE ITALIAN PARTY by Christina Lynch / Mystery / Released March 20, 2018 by St. Martin’s Press
Review by Heather Haven
I will begin by saying the cover attracts attention right off. A black and white photo of a couple sitting on a moped, it shows immediately that the story centers on a man and woman, takes place during the fifties, and resides in Italy. That’s a good cover. When the book arrived, my husband was so intrigued by the cover alone, he picked it up to check it out.
And thus I come to the best part. I lost The Italian Party to my husband for the evening. When he came up for air, he’d read over half of it. I snatched the book back, declaring I had to review it, but at his insistence, promised to return it to him immediately after finishing. And I did. It’s that kind of book.
According to the blurb, and I quote: “…a newly married couple, Scottie and Michael, are seduced by Tuscany’s famous beauty. But the secrets they are keeping from each other force them beneath the splendid surface to a more complex view of ltaly, America and each other.”
Sounds like a love story, right? Not quite. I found The Italian Party to also be about universal subjects, often the Rites of Passage one experiences in life. This is a story of not only love, but caring, sorrow, desire, expectation, weakness, strength, and acceptance, all woven together with history, politics, and social mores. The characters have unique relationships. Embattlements ring true. As in real life, the story never quite takes you where you think you’re going to go.
This is Christina Lynch’s debut novel. Ms. Lynch has a notable background in writing and editing, and delivers a fine and complex tale. I plan to read any of her future endeavors.