If you're like me, there were a few things on your summer “wish list” that you didn’t get to this year. For me, thanks to endless swim meets, ball games and family get-togethers, the one thing that I wanted to do with my family was go on a vacation, but it didn’t get crossed off my summer fun list.
But that’s okay - I wouldn’t trade our crazy schedule for anything (I’m only half serious, I would totally trade a few t-ball games for a tropical get-a-way, but I digress). However, this is the very reason why I am a such bookworm. Thanks to my ever growing reading list, I actually “visited” many a beautiful land this summer. I’ve been a pioneer, trekking across America in the mid-1800s, I’ve been a poor twenty-something in the cut throat world of Upper East Side waitressing. I’ve also been a housewife with a deep dark secret, a reporter held hostage on a yacht and a fake blogger with agoraphobia who lives in her late stepfather’s attic. I’m telling you, I’ve been places.
Of all the places that I visited on my literary journeys, one of the best was Siracusa, Italy. The setting and inspiration behind the book of the same title by Delia Ephron. Siracusa was my favorite read of the summer. It’s everything a juicy vacation read should be. There’s scandal, secrets, love, lust and the most beautiful backdrop you can imagine. Think crystal blue ocean, rustic, historical buildings, cobbled streets and endless wine.
When two couples decide to go on an Italian excursion together, there are some things they don’t take into account before getting on a plane together. For one, Michael and Lizzie didn’t know that the other couple, Finn and Taylor, were bringing their daughter, Snow. Lizzie also doesn’t know her husband is having an affair or that she may actually be in love with someone else. To say she doesn’t get what she bargained for with this vacation is an understatement.
The multiple-narration of the novel really lets you get right down to the dirty details - you find out secrets before the characters themselves figure them out; it’s a bird’s eye view that lets you in on the web of lies, relationships and disasters as they happen. Two of the vacationers end up kissing someone who is not their spouse, someone gets pulled from an ancient fountain and there’s definitely something weird going on with the little girl.
As the secrets, lives and affairs mix together, they become a catalyst of corruption that tears through the group in a way they never could have imagined (and a terrible tour guide certainly doesn’t help their problems).
As I was reading Siracusa, I found myself thinking many things. Did he seriously just do that? Is this appropriate for a young child? And, I definitely had a few Oh, no she didn’t! moments. I simply couldn’t stop reading.
I always love to end my book reviews with a quick recommendation - either read it, skim it or skip it. This is my advice for Siracusa- DEFINITELY read this, hands down. You’ll smell the salty sea air, taste the dry red wine and feel the back stabbing all in just a few pages.
Jennifer Roup is a life-long bookworm and aspiring writer and works at SJC Marketing. At the top of her to-do list: being a mother to her two children, a wife to her adoring husband and being a loving sister, daughter, aunt and friend. She lives in Northwest Missouri and is passionate about Kansas City, especially the Kansas City Public Library, where she and her husband said their vows in an elopement ceremony in September 2014. Using her love of gab and enthusiasm for reading, Jennifer is known by her friends and family as the go-to woman for book recommendations. Her blog, That’s What She Read, is internationally recognized by Bloglovin as one of the top Books and Entertainment Blogs with over 100,000 followers.