I picked up The Villa Girls because I was wanted a seaside novel that I hoped would be a good summer read. This novel alternated between chapters focusing on Rosie, a young woman who recently lost her parents, and Enzo, a young Italian man on the path to taking over his family’s olive oil business. Rosie was insecure but harbored a need to fit in and belong again. The book began when she stumbled into a friendship with Addolorata that landed her in a villa in Spain and resulted in her placement as the fourth girl in the exclusive club, the Villa Girls.
When the girls made a pact that they would always make time for similar getaways in the future, I anticipated making several journeys with them to similarly exclusive locales. I had hoped that this would be a book that focused on four friends in the seaside villa like The Summer Girls and The Best Of Us. Instead, the action that took place in villas was minor compared to the time spent following Rosie’s life in New York. Aside from Addolorata, the other two villa girls were hardly in the book, although they had plenty of sass to make their presence well known.
Rosie was swept into Addolorata’s family where food and fighting were normal behavior at the large Sunday family meals. That environment helped Rosie move past her parents’ deaths and open up to her friend, and that journey was endearing to watch. Enzo was the dutiful son everyone assumed would take over the family’s olive oil farm and the significance of his place in the story wasn’t clear until the end. I wasn’t overly excited by Enzo’s story, and the book would have been fine without him, but I did appreciate that both narratives honed in on the Italian family dynamic, something I really enjoyed reading about that since I am Italian!
Although this wasn’t what I was expecting, it was a good read. The author’s easy writing style gave this an air of fun even though there were series topics discussed. I would read more by this author.