It Happened in Venice is the sequel to Molly Hopkins’ first novel, It Happened in Paris. I hadn’t read It Happened in Paris before I started the sequel, so I was concerned that I would be missing out on some context. As I started reading however, Hopkins easily introduces Evie’s job as a tour guide, and her friends and family, allowing the reader to effortlessly segue into the second book. As I continued reading, a few queries crept up, most of which centred on Rob. I couldn’t understand why a likeable, funny and sweet person like Evie would be engaged to manipulative Rob. For those readers who have read and invested in the first book, the consequent events that feature in It Happened in Venice might not make for the easiest read.
Nevertheless, I was looking forward to reading about Evie’s adventures in stunning Venice, a city of romance. Getting away from London and heading to the Italian city is just what Evie needs. It was very enjoyable to read about Evie’s tours in Marrakech, Amsterdam and Dublin and I couldn’t wait to escape with her to Venice. It was quite a wait, however. It was over three hundred pages into the book before Evie landed in Venice, and it felt like no sooner had she taken a boat trip to the Island of Murano and admired the Lagoon view than she was back in London.
From reading the back page, I had expected the majority of the novel to be set in Venice, so couldn’t help but feel misled as very little of it was. The novel’s turning point however, did, as the title suggests, happen in Venice, and this was where the story gathered more momentum.
It Happened in Venice was carried along by Evie, the most relatable and down to earth character in the novel. If Evie was in your life, you would feel very lucky, so I was rooting for her to find some well-deserved happiness. There is a colourful bunch surrounding Evie: dramatic best friend and man mad Lulu, millionaire older man John and Nikki, Evie’s temperamental boss. They are all there for Evie in their own ways, but it is perhaps Nikki who helps Evie the most, despite the endless work shifts and their entertaining verbal sparring.
Although It Happened in Venice turned out to be much different from what I expected, it was still an enjoyable, fast paced and fun novel, and a good summer read.