Bella Cigna

Fiction - Chick Lit
272 Pages
Reviewed on 09/30/2020
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Risah Salazar for Readers' Favorite

Left by her cheating husband, Sarah Miller flies to Italy. Pushed by her best friend Meredith, she grabs the opportunity to go back to teaching in the beautiful city of Rome. Aside from being an art lover, she also paints; that's why Rome will be a good fit for her to breathe and start anew, right? Wrong. All her sight-seeing plans get derailed when she meets the head of the Scuola -- the daunting Sister Maria. Then there's Anna, too, the happy-go-lucky math wiz who keeps on inviting her to parties and setting her up with dudes half her age. Right in the middle of it comes Eduardo, the father of one of her students, with a heart-melting smile and a nicely-toned body. With all of this and more, how can Sarah find peace and heal her broken heart?

Romance touched with a little bit of comedy, Wendi Dass's Bella Cigna captures the reader right from the get-go. That beautiful cover does not disappoint; the plot is complex but it develops seamlessly. With a poetic language and amazing imagery, the book is sure to appeal to the senses. It discusses relevant themes such as depression and infertility delicately. The characters are not perfect but it's the silly imperfections that make them relatable and real. They may be troubled but they are brave and they won't stop fighting to live another day. A story of losing and finding yourself again, Bella Cigna is highly recommended to lovers of art and contemporary fiction.

Lesley Jones

In Bella Cigna by Wendi Dass, Sarah Flynn's world falls apart when she experiences the ultimate betrayal. Heartbroken, she travels to Rome to begin teaching English. As Sarah tries to piece her life together, she meets quirky maths teacher Anna and the formidable Sister Maria. Sarah realizes that a change of location does not make her problems disappear; she is expected to speak fluent Italian and perhaps she may have made a huge mistake. As Sarah is wondering whether to return home, a pupil's father, Eduardo, offers her Italian lessons. Sarah sees that escaping to another country will not make her heartbreak disappear. Can she repair her heart and allow love back into her life?

Bella Cigna by Wendi Dass is a beautiful story exploring the personal journey of the main character, Sarah. Her thought processes and emotions are very believable. I thought the beginning was quite tragic as she seems to lose everything she holds dear. I loved her transformation from a victim to someone who is in control. The relationship between Sarah and Anna was very endearing with great comical moments. Anna was a super character who brought some lovely humor to the story. I thought the gradual development of Sarah and Eduardo's relationship came across as authentic. Sarah had been through so much heartbreak, her healing journey was vital and I loved how the author dealt with this. I also loved the character of Sister Maria, especially when her softer and caring side was revealed. The setting of Rome was idyllic and added the perfect romantic layer to the story. This is definitely not a cheesy romance novel but a story around subjects many women will have experienced and can relate to.