A Woman of Culture

A Novel

Fiction - Womens
328 Pages
Reviewed on 05/02/2021
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite

A Woman of Culture by CC. Carpenter is a romance novel about an ambitious career-oriented woman navigating work, marriage, and motherhood as she comes to terms with her in-laws from a vastly different culture. Nancy Paris is an Englishwoman from Wallingford, Oxfordshire, working as a senior accounting manager for a top firm in Boston, Massachusetts. On a visit to the local nightclub, The Sixers, with her friend Alise, Nancy meets a handsome Italian American man named Massimo Russo. After a string of dates, where they fall head over heels for each other, Nancy and Massimo decide to get married. But Nancy is in for the culture shock of her life as she struggles to get over the imposing nature of her in-laws. Will she be able to balance her work and family life?

A Woman of Culture is an entertaining novel about love, female empowerment, and cultural assimilation that readers of women-centric literature are bound to enjoy. Author C.C. Carpenter brilliantly portrays the stark contrast between English and Italian cultures and makes a point to reiterate the age-old adage of love being able to overcome the greatest of obstacles. I found the plot to be quite fast-paced, and the characters felt lively and colorful. Nancy and Massimo's relationship is the focal point of the story, and it drives the narrative. I also enjoyed the relationship dynamic between Nancy and her in-laws. The scenes involving Nancy and her sister-in-law Luciana made for some particularly entertaining moments. I enjoyed A Woman of Culture from start to finish, and I think romance lovers will feel the same.

Trudi LoPreto

A Woman of Culture by C.C. Carpenter tells the story of Nancy. Her courting, her marriage, her work, and her relationships. Nancy goes out for an evening of fun with her best friend. A handsome young man is fascinated by her and wants nothing more than to dance with her and then, at a later date, take her out to dinner. Nancy is reluctant and not at all impressed with Massimo but agrees to meet him for dinner. She is surprised by how different he seems than he did at the club and finds him to be attractive and a man she is willing to go out with again. Nancy and Massimo soon find themselves in love and planning a wedding. Nancy has only her Mum and her best friend. Massimo comes from a very large Italian family. They quickly discover that their idea of what is involved with being part of a family are two very different things. Massimo enjoys spending much of his time with his parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Nancy, on the other hand, wants to spend time with Massimo, only occasionally seeing his family. This creates problems that must be worked out, especially when little Massi is born.

A Woman of Culture takes us along on Nancy’s journey and we share in her ups and downs. I found that A Woman of Culture was very descriptive. C.C. Carpenter paid a lot of attention to carefully detailing each event and sharing Nancy’s deepest feelings and thoughts. We were also given the opportunity to share and understand Massimo’s confusion as to his wife’s thinking; as well as his disappointment in her not willingly and blindly following his family’s many traditions. A Woman of Culture is a great women’s read, full of insight and situations that many of us can relate to.

Stephanie Chapman

In A Woman of Culture, C.C. Carpenter creates a romantic fictional memoir. Nancy Paris was a successful accountant raised with modern English values. One evening she goes out to a new club with her best friend. She meets Massimo Russo and inwardly dismisses him as not being her type because of his clothing and lack of dancing skills. Massimo is persistent and finally convinces her to go to dinner with him. Nancy is shocked by the change in his appearance and discovers that she thoroughly enjoyed his company. A whirlwind romance and marriage evolve from the encounter. However, not everything is perfect as Nancy gets a lesson on what Italian tradition and family mean to her husband.

C.C. Carpenter effectively hooked me with the elegantly detailed depiction of the scenery. A Woman of Culture is from Nancy's point of view and presents her as a very polite, sophisticated woman. Nancy was quick to judge the outward appearance of people, and I was able to connect with her as she learned more about basing her opinion on personality instead. Massimo has an extremely close relationship with his mother, and I pegged him as the epitome of a “Mama's boy.”Some of the family traditions that he tries to make Nancy cope with were a bit extreme, and I would probably have been less tolerant of them. I found the wedding dress debacle to be highly entertaining, especially when the bridal boutique assistant came up with an underhanded way to help Nancy get the dress she wanted. The plot is well-developed with turmoil and the dialogue is engaging. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys a thought-provoking romance that focuses on cultural differences in families. There are references to sex but in a tasteful manner that is not quite erotic in nature.