Sunday, 12 August 2018

Book Review - A Year at Hotel Gondola by Nicky Pellegrino - Blog Tour

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Title: A Year at the Hotel Gondola
Author: Nicky Pellegrino
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Orion
Publication Date: 9th August 2018 
Rating: 4 Stars

Kat is an adventurer, a food writer who travels the world visiting far-flung places and eating unusual things. Now she is about to embark on her biggest adventure yet - a relationship.

She has fallen in love with an Italian man and is moving to live with him in Venice where she will help him run his small guesthouse, Hotel Gondola. Kat has lined up a book deal and will write about the first year of her new adventure, the food she eats, the recipes she collects, the people she meets, the man she doesn't really know all that well but is going to make a life with.

But as Kat ought to know by now, the thing about adventures is that they never go exactly the way you expect them to...

If you have ever wanted to feel as though you have been to Venice and stayed there for a considerable amount of time, then this is easily the book for you. 

For Kat has decided to spend a year at The Hotel Gondola in the aim of seeing what it is like to put down roots in once place after travelling the world for most of her life. She has also fallen in love with Massimo and is curious to see what a longer term relationship is really like. 

Kat though is a food writer and has agreed to write a book documenting her year in Venice, and this is in part where my niggles with the book are. 

For what I was reading was really two books in one  - every other chapter was a chapter from Kat's book written in the first person, and typically in a font a few points smaller than the rest of the book.  Then the other chapters are in the third person, and dealt with what was happening in real time, whereas the book was the edited highlights as such. 

I was reading on a kindle and found either I was upping and reducing the font ever other chapter as I like my fonts at a certain size, sand too much larger or smaller is frustrating. In the end I was putting up with the smaller font on the chapters - but found all of it each time, just took me out of the swing of things as my eyes re-adjusted.  

That aside I did really enjoy the  book(s).  Kat is 50 years old,  and given her way of life she has an interesting perspective on everything. I loved every last description in this book - and really got a feel for how you could wander around Venice, get completely lost,  end up in a small osteria  or baccari offering assorted Cicchetti,  or discovering the festivals, the hidden shops. 

The book also touches on the real issue facing Venetians which is to do with the level of tourists in summer with calls to ban cruise ships.  This I know is based on real life, and was interesting to see in a book, and the younger Venetians take on the situation.  

I am a huge fan of Nicky Pellegrino and normally would be raving about her books, I feel she has lost her way slightly with this one, I found it to be very good but just missing that certain something that would normally have me whizzing through the pages. 

Regardless though this is an enjoyable story, and really does transport you to the heart of Venice, to the extent that I feel as though I would explore the city more next time I'm there on a cruise (or not depending on how that situation unravels). 

Thank you to Orion and Netgalley for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing. My family loves traveling abroad so this will be super useful


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