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Reviewed by Deborah Lloyd for Readers' Favorite
An adventure in Italy! Laura Lobono won an all-expenses paid trip to Italy. Her husband, Nick, is less than thrilled about touring the country of his ancestors on a Jolly Holiday bus tour “with old people,” visiting such beautiful cities as Milan, Venice, Florence and Rome. Laura and Nick are a young, newly-married couple, and Nick can seem distant as a result of his experiences of 9/11 and fighting in Afghanistan. The Journey by N.V. Maresca brims with details of Italian history, significant (and not so significant) tourist sites, and scrumptious meals and wine. Nick soon discovers his fellow touring companions are interesting and complicated people, representing the best and the worst of American tourists. As the tour continues, there are many humorous mishaps, as well as revelations about personal motivations and relationships. The journey is a reference to both the trip itself and to personal insights for Nick, and others.
N.V. Maresca has masterfully blended historical detail, luscious scenery and personal stories in The Journey. There are smooth transitions from informational content, to dialogue, to individual perceptions – an easy flow throughout the narrative. The reader feels as if they could recognize each main character if meeting them on the street because each one is fully developed. While a few of the characters seem to be the stereotypical, boorish tourists, the descriptive terms utilized make them believable. Whether one has ever visited Italy, or wishes to some day, this book is a delightful treat. The reader can learn about the main sites, the culture, and how travel can result in personal growth – a worthwhile trip and adventure indeed.