An Italian Adventure is the first book in Gaia B Amman’s Italian Saga. It is told from the perspective of Lee, an adventurous and imaginative child in Italy in the 1980s. It has everything you could want in a book about childhood – long, warm summer days full of seemingly endless possibilities, secrets, confusing adults, monsters, tears…
Lee is absolutely charming. She’s tough and always ready to stand up for herself, but also sensitive and loyal. Pretty much all of her friends are boys, and a big theme in the book is her (and them) figuring out if they see her as a person or a girl. I really like how her relationship with Viola, her older sister, develops over the course of the book. Where Lee is on the brink of teenagerhood, Viola is approaching adulthood with the stress of final exams looming over her.
It’s a very enjoyable book. I felt a lot of nostalgia for my childhood reading it, and it made me think a lot about my own experiences. I also learned a lot about childhood in Italy (and a few Italian swear words…) which was interesting!
For me, this is a five star book. It’s the first in a long series, so I’m looking forward to following Lee’s adventures as she grows up. I really enjoyed reading this, and getting to know the characters.
Reviewed by @translunartumshie