This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
I didn't get far into the novel One Night in Italy by Lucy Diamond before my mouth started to water. In fact, it was on page 15. I read it, marked the page with a sticky note and thought: Right. That's what I'm having for my lunch tomorrow.
One Night in Italy is about an Italian evening class and three women: Anna, Catherine and Sophie. Lets start with Sophie. Sophie is living in Sorrento and works as a waitress happily serving coffee and ice-creams to tourists. She left home eight years ago and has been travelling ever since, not wanting to return home to see her parents. Until she receives a phone call from her cousin with some news that makes her pack her bags and return home immediately.
Then we have Catherine. She is married with two children. These children, twins, are about to fly the nest and spend the next few years at university. Catherine is distraught, but the children – being teenagers – are oblivious. It's an emotional day, the day she takes them to their student accommodation. To return home to a horrible shock is the (mouldy) icing on the cake.
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Then we have Anna. Anna has been brought up without a father, her mother would refuse to tell her anything about him, his name not even being on the birth certificate. But while visiting her grandmother a secret was revealed. A hint to his identity. His name, Gino. And the fact he was Italian.
Of course, Anna's mind immediately starts whirring. And her imagination goes into overdrive. She pictures a father "on a sunny Tuscan hillside" with olive trees in the distance. On the table – it would be outdoors naturally – would be carafes of rustic red wine and a plate of "fat scarlet tomatoes" with "creamy mozzarella drizzled with olive oil". Well, it has to be said, Lucy Diamond had me there. Immediately I wanted tomatoes and mozzarella with a sprinkling of fresh basil. Those three ingredients, with the addition of olive oil, really conjure up the smell and the taste of summer and warm, sun-kissed holidays.
And yes. Not only did I want the tomatoes and cheese. I also wanted a holiday in Italy.
But you can't have it all. A plate of this will do for the time being.
Tomato, as flavoursome a one as you can find
- Slice cheese and tomato.
- Scatter with basil
- Drizzle with olive oil
- Imagine you're in Italy.