Cover Image: Sally Brady's Italian Adventure

Sally Brady's Italian Adventure

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Member Reviews

I love historical fiction so, I had to request this one. I will say the title is cute and this book was not. This book is a serious book about war and hard times. This book was heartwarming but also heartbreaking. Like others have said a lot of the things one of the characters does feels unbelievable but, I’m not a history buff. I also am not a huge fan of multiple pov but, it works okay in this book. Three stories are woven together pretty well in this historical fiction.
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Historical adventures lovers will adore Sally Brady's Italian Adventure by Christina Lynch. Readers are taken on a journey through the 1940's as "Sally" takes on many continents. Travel with her as she is sent off from her family to make a better life, live with a famous Hollywood movie star and take Fasicst-era Rome by force. 

I enjoyed reading this novel and the many points of view that were interwoven throughout. While sometimes it was hard to keep track of what was happening with who, I found reading and learning about this era of history to be intriguing.
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I loved the evolution of Sally's character and how she found her way in Wartime Italy as an American. This book truly transported me to the streets of Italy and I loved the descriptions of life there despite the war The perspectives of Lappo and Alessandro helped me to understand the views in Italy at the time!  There is humor in this book in spots with Sally's spunky character but it was also a book that helped me feel for the people.  I liked The Italian Party by this author and this is another enjoyable book!
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Dear Sally Brady's Italian Adventure,
Every time I read an historical fiction book, I love that it brings a new perspective and light to that time period. You shed new light on the Italian side of World War II, through the lens of a woman caught between tow worlds. Sally is an American caught in Italy during the rise of Mussolini.  I loved that you shared a perspective outside of the cultural buy-in that most Italians had to fascism. I loved the delicate balance that Sally walked between frivolity and intelligence and I adored her as a character. You gave me a wonderful escape into pre-war Italy and I thoroughly enjoyed your story.
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I ended up loving "Sally Brady's Italian Adventure" by Christina Lynch so much!  Don't let the lighthearted title fool you like it fooled me; this book is not what I call fluff but instead has much more depth and seriousness than I expected.  Set in Italy during the dictatorship of Mussolini.  American socialite Sally Brady's  life takes a turn when she comes face to face with the perils of fascism and war,  I loved seeing her grow from a vapid and irreverent young woman to a strong-hearted heroine.  Despite the hardships Sally faced, she remained irrepressibly positive and her charm and humor saved her from more than one sticky situation.  Overall, this is a fun read tinged with the darker side of fascism.  It's an aspect of World War II we don't often see in fiction and I was educated as well as entertained while reading.   It is my first book by this author but it certainly will not be my last.

Thank you NetGalley for the opportunity to read an advanced digital copy of this perfect summer read!
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A young girl gets on a train from the midwest heading west, and encounters a woman who adopts her and takes her on a whirlwind trip around the jetsetting world. Then, the war hits and she is thrust into an adventure of another kind.
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What if you found yourself in the middle of a war armed only with lipstick and a sense of humor?

I have a quilt that my mom made me from squares cut from my old clothes, curtains from my childhood bedroom and any cloth materials from toys or furniture that she had saved over the years. It’s not very appealing, it’s a mish-mash of colours, designs and textures. However, it’s one of my prized possessions for its representation of memories and events. This book is like that. The author admittedly combined bits and pieces of her past and people she’s met with, several settings, and factual history to produce this adventure….at first glance, perhaps even first read, it’s a mish-mash. I caution you to read it again. Go slowly and savour the compilation. We need to travel through time and experience to see the growth and development of the characters and their coping mechanisms.

You’ll instantly know by the short, choppy, simple sentences that Sally is a child. She’s only 11 years old, but you’d never know it based on her survival skillset. Don’t mistake this narration as the author’s style for the entire book! It’s an attempt to get readers in the mind of a pre-teen. After convincing a Hollywood star, Patsy Chen, to adopt her, the two start off on their journey to Europe. Along the way, Sally struggles with the meaning of family, friendship and kindness. I’ll be honest with you, Sally irritated me. The slow pacing and unlikeable character/dialogue almost had me shelving this book. Almost. 

Aimed at exploring whether humour can help you survive a world war, author Christina Lynch introduces readers to her plucky heroine, Sally Brady, and invites us to follow her from a refugee during the Dust Bowl era to a columnist in Rome, a second abandonment, and then to Tuscany at the height of Fascism. If you stick with it, you’ll be rewarded with an examination of Mussolini’s Italy and the making of a strong and resilient woman who chooses to see the bright side of life. It may seem like the two stories are separate, but keep reading as they do join and then it’ll all make sense. When you step back from the story after turning the last page, you’ll see the big picture. Sometimes comedy is the only answer. 

Congratulations on a fantastic cover! 

I was gifted this copy by St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley and was under no obligation to provide a review.
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As a huge fan of The Italian Party, I was curious to see what Christina Lynch would do next.  Her sophomore effort was almost a tale of two stories.  I now know why I saw several reviews from readers that refused to finish the book.  I was not a fan of the first half, but came around in the second.  
Sally Brady has a rough start to life, as an 11 year old in the Depression sent off by her parents to find work in California.  As luck would have it, she’s adopted by a film star.  The story quickly moves to prewar Italy. Sally is a gal with the ability to land on her feet no matter the circumstances. 
The story is told and alternates between 3 perspectives. The first is Sally’s, who has gone on to become an impossibly young gossip columnist.  Lapo, an Italian writer and farmer, whose writing Mussolini takes a fancy to, and his son, Alessandro, aged 17, an anti-fascist but still of draft age.  He ends up in the Italian army in Prague.   
It’s obvious that Lynch was trying to balance the humor inherent in the idea of a young gossip columnist caught in Italy with the horrors the Italian government visited on their country.  But the first half of Sally’s story comes across as trite and silly.  To be honest, I initially found her irritating in the extreme. “I was careful to wear my red arm band, even when it clashed with my outfit.”   
I was much more interested in Lapo’s and Allessandro’s stories.  Here, Lynch doesn’t attempt to be silly.   These two are allowed to bear serious witness to what’s happening.  “Alessandro remembered one of his professors saying that as societies collapse they spend more money on wars, police and prisons.” 
The story is slow to start, taking ages to get to what I would consider the “meat” of the story.  Once it did, though, I became more engaged.  Sally becomes more real, not quite so silly.   In essence, she grows up. 
Elise Roth is the narrator and captures Sally’s devil may care, perky manner.  She’s less successful on the parts of the story concerning Lapo and Alessandro.  In fact, her attempt at a voice for Felice Pappone made him sound like a boy, not a 6’2” bruiser of a man.  
My thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press/Macmillan Audio for an advance copy of this book.
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3.0 stars

Thank you to Christina Lynch, St. Martin's Press, and NetGallery for the opportunity to read this book!

First off, I think that the title and description of this book are not quite on point. It was NOT an Italian adventure and a lot of it takes place during WWII. Some of the book takes place in Hollywood, then Rome, and then finally in Siena. The part in Hollywood was just to set up the book and the time in Rome was about typical socialite parties and good times. When the book really gets into WWII and the hardships and difficulties of the Italian people under Mussolini. 

The book jumps back and forth between the three main protagonists which made it hard to follow at times. Also, some of the characters - are just not believable to me. I cannot imagine some of the things that happened in this book really happening, but who knows? It just didn't ring true to me.

VERY lukewarm recommendation
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This story had so much depth I don’t know where to begin. There is humour, which might seem weird in a book about the war,  but sometimes humour makes it easier to cope. I loved following Sally as she grew.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advance copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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A story told from three points of view, starting in the USA in the 1930s and then on to Italy, leading up to and including much of WW2. Although much of the story has a serious tone to it, when Sally's parts are told, there is some humor injected into what's going on. There were sections that seemed to drag, making me want to hurry along, but then it would pick-up and be more interesting. 
    I received an ARC copy from NetGalley and the publisher. All opinions are my own.
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In 1931, at 11 years of age, Sally is sent by her family, struggling on a farm in Iowa, to LA to try to find a job in order to send money back to them.  By chance, she ends up being “adopted” by a Hollywood actress which leads her on an adventure in Italy as a socialite/anonymous gossip columnist.  Then the Fascists take over and World War II ensues.  Meanwhile, Lapo, married to an American wife and owner of a dilapidated farm and castle, finds himself the attention of Mussolini while his son, Alessandro, is conscripted into the army.  

The story is told in three POVs, Sally’s, Lapo’s, and Alessandro’s.  As strange as it sounds, to me, Sally was a bit of a comic character and her part of the story was almost a light hearted look at the atrocities of WWII.  Hidden in the text, however, are important lessons for today’s world.  The dangers of a cult of personality and conspiracy theorists who seem ridiculous until they start running for offices and winning…how strange it is to “live in an era when things were going backward”…the hatred and intolerance that lead to Fascism…one person who says he alone can fix things….the role of women and how many men, especially authoritarian, try to subjugate them.  One thought I found especially relevant in our time was when the question is raised as to whether our senses of right and wrong are formed by the stories we hear. 

Although it had a bit of a farfetched plot, I found the book an enjoyable read.  It may not be to everyone’s taste; it has a somewhat different take from typical WWII historical novels.  I appreciated it for the sparks of humor, satire, and profound insight.
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Insightful and entertaining. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  I liked learning more about Italy during the war  
Many thanks to St. Martin’s Press and to NetGalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.
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I was surprised to see the changes in narrators, but greatly appreciated the switching from first to third perspective.  It gave me some of the feels that the Storied Life of AJ Fikry
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A dual storyline that brings us to Italy during the war. We see numerous characters that bring depth to the story. 1930/40s Italy is a an era I love reading about, This novel does not disappoint.
Thank you NetGalley.
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I love historical fiction and this novel by Christina Lynch provided a ton of information about Mussolini’s fascist takeover of Italy and its affect on the lives of their people. It was more than just historical events, but she lightened up the tale with the story of Sally Brady, her abandonment by her parents during the depression years and how she was adopted by a movie actress and introduced to the high living of Hollywood and later Italy, when her adopted mother Elsa whisked them both off, living the high life of expatriates, until the war started.
Christina Lynch is a wonderful storyteller, with her riveting descriptions of the castles, parties, and glamour of the party scene! Her characters are interesting and she manages to throw in some familiar characters to add authenticity to the story. 
My thanks to NetGalley, the author and St Martins press for the ARC. It’s definitely four star worthy.
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Ugh. Did not finish and I will suffer through most books. It was slow moving and couldn't figure out all the points of view. I will say the first chapter or two grabbed me but it was all down hill from there. 

Thank you to Netgalley for the ARC.
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Unfortunately, I didn't love Sally Brady's Italian Adventure. The first half, though slow, was better than the second. Who doesn't enjoy reading about 1930's Hollywood, the parties, high society, and movie stars. The second half of the story delved more into WWII and Sally's "adventures" in Italy after she is unable to return to America during the war. Some of the events seemed far-fetched, there were characters that were too frivolous for the times and plots that seemed too humorous given what was going on in the world. I felt it hard to really develop a connection to the characters and it wasn't the type of "adventure" I was expecting to read about. Thank you to NetGalley for the Advanced Copy.
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1 "light, trite, stale, vapid" star !!

Thank you to Netgalley, St. Martin's Press and to the author (not for this book but her wonderful melodrama The Italian Party). This will be released June 2023. I am providing my honest review.

I decided to dnf this at 33 percent. This started at three stars and was slowly trekking downward and I wanted to have a few positive feelings about this author's first book...the Italian Party.

O how I loved the Italian Party...stylish, funny as fuck and lots of playful romantic 7th favorite read of 2020 and a whopping five stars !

Sadly Sally was another case whatsoever....unbelievable, silly, stale, so NOT funny and lots of cliche....this was one of the biggest letdowns ever !

So I am not going to finish this and keep that wonderful Italian Party at the forefront of my mind as I want to continue believing that Ms. Lynch is a talented writer. Is she? Her third book will be my deciding factor.
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Thank you to @netgalley and the publisher for the #AdvanceReviewCopy 

Summary: This Historical Fiction story set in Italy during WW2 follows Sally’s adventures as she’s forced (by her parents) as a little girl to leave her childhood home in the USA in search for a job to help feed the family. While homeless, Sally meets a woman who takes her in and they travel to Italy where Sally grows up to be a secret gossip columnist writing about the rich and famous. Sally’s life is full of parties, exposure to designer things and secrets, but when Italy declares war on The USA, as an American, her life changes. 

My thoughts: I LOVED this book. I loved Sally and her wit and charm. This is a multiple POV story with Sally in the forefront; her chapters are told in 1st person whereas the others are 3rd person. This distinguishes Sally from the rest of the story and enlightens the fact that the others are there to set the stage and help move the story along. When the characters’ stories converge, you’ll already be at the edge of your seat, hoping, willing and rooting them on. 

This is is a beautiful story you’ll get lost in, learn from, and truly enjoy.
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