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The Italian Party: A Novel
by Christina Lynch

Published: 2018-03-20
Hardcover : 336 pages
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One of the Wall Street Journal's "Six More Books to Read This Winter" "Required Reading," The New York Post Library Journal's "Spring/Summer Bests" of 2018 A Sonoma Index-Tribune Bestseller One of CrimeReads' "Debuts to Discover Spring 2018"

"Deeply funny." ?The New York ...

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Introduction

One of the Wall Street Journal's "Six More Books to Read This Winter" "Required Reading," The New York Post Library Journal's "Spring/Summer Bests" of 2018 A Sonoma Index-Tribune Bestseller One of CrimeReads' "Debuts to Discover Spring 2018"

"Deeply funny." ?The New York Times Book Review podcast

"[A] sweltering thriller set against the backdrop of what is probably your dream getaway destination: Tuscany." ?Bustle

"Tremendous fun! Wives with big secrets, husbands with bigger ones, swirling around a 1950s Siena teeming with seduction and spycraft." ?Chris Pavone, New York Times bestselling author of The Travelers

"Seeing the "antiquated" culture of postwar/Cold War Italy through the eyes of Americans, obsessed with modern convenience and progress, sort of mirrors my Italy to America transition in a fun way?plus there are spies! Affairs! and lot of food!!" ?Giada De Laurentiis

"Imagine Beautiful Ruins plus horses; Toujours Provence with spies, a mystery and sex. The Italian Party is a fizzy, page-turning delight that begs for a Campari and soda!" ?Julia Claiborne Johnson, author of Be Frank With Me

“I’ve always wanted to take a trip to Italy in the 1950’s and The Italian Party is my ticket. Like the best Italian paintings, this smart and funny book deftly combines the light and the dark. Christina Lynch’s prose pairs well with any hearty Tuscan red.?Conan O'Brien

Newly married, 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.

When Scottie’s Italian teacher?a teenager with secrets of his own?disappears, her search for him leads her to discover other, darker truths about herself, her husband and her country. Michael’s dedication to saving the world from communism crumbles as he begins to see that he is a pawn in a much different game. Driven apart by lies, Michael and Scottie must find their way through a maze of history, memory, hate and love to a new kind of complicated truth.

Half glamorous fun, half an examination of America's role in the world, and filled with sun-dappled pasta lunches, prosecco, charming spies and horse racing, The Italian Party is a smart pleasure.

Editorial Review

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Excerpt

ONE

LA LUPA, THE WOLF


“FROM ROME THE COAT OF ARMS, FROM SIENA THE HONOR”

TUSCANY, APRIL 25, 1956

1.

Newlyweds Mr. and Mrs. Michael Messina drove down the Via Cassia from Florence, he at the wheel, she with the map. The car was brand-new, a two-tone Ford Fairlane in canary yellow and white, headlights gazing into the future, the only car of its kind in all of Italy. It was twice the size of the tiny, drab little Italian matchboxes they were passing, like an eagle amidst starlings. ... view entire excerpt...

Discussion Questions

1. This book has been called “sneaky” for how it seems to be a comedy, yet explores more serious issues as well. Did it live up to your expectations, surprise you, or something else?

2. What effect does it have on you as a reader when you experience the story from more than one point of view, as in this book where you get both Scottie and Michael’s thoughts?

3. People like to put books into “genres,” but some books resist categories. In your view, is this a spy story, a love story, a missing person story, a coming of age story, or something else?

4. This novel could be considered part of a genre called “comedies of remarriage,” which includes films like “The Awful Truth” and “The Philadelphia Story.” How is the end of the novel both a happy ending and not a happy ending?

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