Happily. Ever After? is the sixth book in Gaia B Amman’s Italian Saga. Leda, the independent and adventurous heroine we’ve watched growing up over the past five books, is now in her early twenties. She’s had her heart broken and broken hearts. She’s struggled with mental illness. And coming through it all, she’s now focused on her course and her hobbies. But she can’t ignore her feelings for Sergio, and his demands on her attention.
Leda is great! The books are written from her perspective and Amman does a great job of getting inside her head. She is both mature and naïve, the paradox of young adulthood, and this comes across in her interpretation of situations. She’s clever, and I found myself learning a thing or two about biomedical sciences (Amman’s background really comes through here – I enjoyed the level of detail!).
I like the varied LGBT+ representation, particularly with bisexual and polyamorous characters. There’s generally a great cast of characters, building up throughout the books, and it’s good to have some diversity there!
The pace sometimes felt a bit odd – chunks of time would fly past and yet we get incredible amounts of detail about things which aren’t necessarily central to the plot – but it sort of feels like we’re focusing on the things that are important to Leda. We have to appreciate what her priorities and occupations are!
This is a five star book. A great insight into Italian life (as a teacher, I particularly enjoyed learning about the education system…) and wonderful to see Leda maturing. If you like coming of age stories spread out over a number of years, such as the Adrian Mole books, you’ll enjoy this series!
Reviewed by @translunartumshie