One Summer in Sicily

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Pub Date 08 Jun 2023 | Archive Date 22 Jun 2023

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A new fun and fresh rom-com set in Sicily by Canadian-Italian author Nancy Barone.

In an attempt to resuscitate her twenty-year-old marriage, aerophobic Gillian Dobson knocks down a few tranquilisers and takes a dreaded flight to the Sicilian Island of Lipari to surprise her husband, away on a business trip. But her troubles are just about to begin...

For fans of Jennifer Weiner, Kristen Bailey and Sophie Kinsella.

Readers love Nancy Barone:

'I loved it!... It kept me flipping pages well past my bedtime!!' NetGalley Reviewer, 5 stars

'Finished this within 1 day, I devoured it!' NetGalley Reviewer, 5 stars

'Lovely lovely story and such a twist I really did not see coming.' NetGalley Reviewer, 5 stars

'Read the first page and you will be hooked.' NetGalley Reviewer, 5 stars

'Loved this fun, uplifting feel-good book. It really made me smile and at the moment is something that we all desperately need.' NetGalley Reviewer, 5 stars

'Really gorgeous, wonderfully feel-good, completely uplifting and wonderfully romantic. I absolutely loved it. Don't miss it.' NetGalley Reviewer, 5 stars

'Finished this in one sitting. A great uplifting read.' NetGalley Reviewer, 5 stars

'Will tug at your heart so be prepared.' NetGalley Reviewer, 5 stars

A new fun and fresh rom-com set in Sicily by Canadian-Italian author Nancy Barone.

In an attempt to resuscitate her twenty-year-old marriage, aerophobic Gillian Dobson knocks down a few tranquilisers...

Available Editions

ISBN 9781803284521
PRICE £2.99 (GBP)

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Average rating from 133 members

Featured Reviews

this was a good one from the start. must read and really enjoyed this from page one. I am loving this author more and more. Every book does it for me.

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This is a really uplifting and moving story about a middle aged woman’s growth and development. Gillian comes to Sicily to surprise her husband Tony. However the trip backfires on her as Tony has got himself a younger and richer new fiancée!
Having lost her luggage Gillian has to start to get closer to the locals than she expected to do. However Gill is resourceful and funny as she manages to make good friends and even start her own business. Romance comes to her with Mattia who helps her buy a new home and even shares a dog with her.
This is an uplifting story that proves that even when you are dumped you can get over it and develop into a stronger person. You just have to keep your sense of humour like Gillian manages to do

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I liked this book, with some flaws in the story. Overall, it was enjoyable.

Gillian flies to Sicily to surprise her husband while he is on a business trip and get the spice back in the marriage. As you can probably guess, the outcome of the trip is not what she thought it would be.

Once her marriage is blown up by what she discovers, she decides to stay in Sicily while she figures out her next step. One issue I had with this book, is she is very concerned that she will soon be 40, and her Sicilian love interest is "Younger". Younger as in 36, so three years. That is younger, but hardly anything to bat an eye at. She also has self-esteem issues about her weight and I understood that, however, who would not want to eat yummy Italian desserts while fixing a broken heart?

This had a nice cast of characters, a lot was so perfect, it was a little Hallmark-ish, but who doesn't need a little bit of that once and a while. One unanswered question, was what happened to the husband? She told him only to speak through attorneys, but she kept extending her stay, and that part of her story never came back.

All in all enjoyable, I would like to give 3 1/2 stars, but rounded up.

Thank you to NetGalley for the preview.

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I really enjoyed this whole book. I loved how fast paced it started getting right into it. I also really enjoyed reading all the amazing descriptions of Sicily and the food. I was able to put myself right into the place. Reminded me of Under the Tuscan Sun but way better. Really good read for summer!

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I really liked this. This has all the family drama that you would expect. I thought that it was a very good book and I would definitely read more from this author again. Thos book was perfect to read on a rainy day to take you away and be absorbed in this book.
I just reviewed One Summer in Sicily by Nancy Barone. #OneSummerInSicily #NetGalley
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This is a very sweet second chance rom-com about a woman finding herself after heartbreak. Gillian finds her husband is cheating on her after flying to Sicily to surprise him. Instead of mopping and wallowing in self pity too much, she steps outside her comfort zone and tries new things. Little does she expect to find love and friendship in a new place, new world, but she does.
I loved Mattia as a character, and Sandra. Gillian left room to be desired for me personally, but even still, she was a stronger character than I wouldve been.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher and Netgalley for an honest review.. This was the first time I read anything from Nancy Barone. I will be looking into more of her writings. I will recommend this to all the second chance readers and romance readers.

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First time reader of this author.

I felt and instant love and connection to Gillian, the wonderful caring people that helped her along the way and the unexpected events that lead her to make the biggest decision of her life.

An wonderfully written story, uplifting and happy, full of mishaps, accidents, love and hope!

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I received this book through NetGalley! I thoroughly enjoyed reading One Summer in Sicily. I found myself rooting for Gilian after the unfortunate ending to her 25-year-old marriage. I understand that some people who read the book found her too hard on herself and spoke poorly of herself at times throughout the book. Still, I think that was important in understanding how she feels about herself, especially after being betrayed by someone she loved for 25 years. I also loved all the side characters in this book and thought it was such a fun, easy read that was uplifting about a woman learning to love herself and love another again!

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Gilly flies to Sicily to surprise her husband, but receives and unintended surprise herself. Gilly sets out to find herself on the island of Lipari. We are introduced to an array of characters that help Gilly on her quest.

I thought that the description of the island was wonderful, as well as all of the delicious sounding cuisine. I imagined closing my eyes and being there eating something un-diet friendly! The romance between Gilly and Mattia was very slow moving and I got tired of the back and forth. I wanted to like Gilly. I felt she wavered too much and I would have loved to have seen her evolve to an even more confident woman...without a man.

Much thanks to NetGalley and Aria for this advanced copy.

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I liked this book, i did struggle with the first few chapters but it was an interesting story subject. I like the book cover that is what caught my eye.

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Thank you Aries Fiction and Netgalley for sending me this awesome read. What a way to kick off summer. I was excited about this read because Nancy Barone gets down to meat of her books immediately and it keeps me hooked. The interesting story of Gillian a woman who went to Sicily to surprise her husband not only found him cheating but also engaged to someone else! I loved the resilience in starting over and finding new love. A must read.

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I enjoyed the read of Gillian going to surprise her husband to find out he is having an affair! Enjoyed how she tries to move on and doing things her way! A good read! Look forward to more from this author.

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Absolutely fantastic plot! Could not put the book down once I began reading it. Cannot wait for it to be released. Will recommend it to everyone I know!

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Not only is this book cover so colorful and fun, but the story of Gillian finding herself again and making a new life after a mishap was heart-felt and warm. I would say this is a fun romance book that jumps right into the story from the start. You see how Gillian takes a hard life event and turns it around, but not without some bumps along the road.

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One Summer in Sicily was such a fun read! I loved the romance, the characters and I especially loved the setting. I was able to imagine myself relaxing on the beaches of Sicily and experiencing everything that Gillian was experiencing. I always love stories where the ladies get their mojo back, especially after what Gillian went through with her husband of 25 years! Overall, this is one of those perfect summer reads that I highly recommend.

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This book gave me insane wanderlust...between the beautiful descriptions of Sicily itself, and the storyline of self love, found family and romance, this book was a lovely summer read. I'll be going through the pros and cons of this book, with no major spoilers ahead. Thank you NetGalley for sending me this book in exchange for my honest review. Without further ado, andiamo!

Pros of One Summer In Sicily by Nancy Barone


So, for those of you that have followed me for a while know that a large portion of my family is from Sicily, including my grandparents who taught me the dialect since I was a kid. I loved reading about the Sicilian culture, food, language and just way of living as it made me think of my own family. The way the main character Gillian accepts the Sicilian life as the story progresses is very beautiful, as her new found family shows her the best way to enjoy la dolce vita. I'll read quite honestly anything that's based in Sicily, but it helps tremendously that this story was so loveable and rather than picking on Sicilian and Italian stereotypes, it shows the best parts of the island and the country as a whole. I also love how Gillian is an Italian-Canadian, much like the author and myself. It makes the story so much more relatable, and I love that.


Oh boy, did I ever like Mattia. You can't go wrong with an extremely charismatic Sicilian leading man, and Mattia delivered the best book boyfriend lines a woman could ask for. He was patient, encouraging, a little bit mysterious, charming and just overall dreamy. He was the type of male lead to pull for, and quite honestly the complete opposite of another male lead from another Italian based book that I recently read. Mattia had me swooning, as was Gillian! He was very loveable, Ms. Barone did a great job making him so endearing.

Gillian's Journey

I love a good rags to riches story, and Gillian's - as unorthodox as it was - was definitely a climb. After 20 something years of marriage, Gillian finds out that her husband Tony has been cheating and naturally she leaves him, although reluctantly at first as she settles into a life without him. She meets Sandra and Mattia, who take her in and help her get over her recent divorce. Gillian mentions several times that she's a plus sized woman, and that because of that her ex-husband made her feel poorly for it, whereas a certain Sicilian architect never seems to bat an eye at the fact that Gillian is a size 18. She learns to accept her body for what it is and rather than cover up like she's been doing for the longest time, she starts wearing flattering clothes, as well as a trip to the salon to make her feel like a new woman. As clumsy as Gillian is, she's also kind of like a caterpillar that's blossomed into a butterfly after spending so much time in Sicily and gaining some self confidence. She often mentions how she can't believe an attractive man who's heavily desired by basically the entire island is interested in her, and I feel like that just speaks to a lot of the plus sized girls out there who have felt the same thing. Gillian grows and learns to love herself, those around her and the new life she's made for herself, and that alone is a beautiful thing.

Cons of One Summer In Sicily by Nancy Barone

Empty Spaces

I loved this story, however, I found that there were many empty spaces in the book that kind of ran on a bit, but I kept reading of course because I was captivated by the story itself and one of the bigger reasons, I was so curious as to what Mattia's secret was! And so, I read on about minor subtopics that seemed to drag on for a bit, but it kind of made it feel more realistic in a way; like I was reading a journal of someone who actually was living in the book.

Overall, this book was very enjoyable, and I would definitely recommend it to friends, family and readers.

Have you read One Summer In Sicily by Nancy Barone? Do you want to? Let's have a conversation!

Find me on social media!

Instagram: @melissa_dia @cozyannotations

YouTube: @MelissaDiaferia

Facebook: @melissa.diaferia.5

A presto,


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This book is the perfect beach read. Nancy skillfully writes a lighthearted masterpiece. Gillian is being conned by her husband, and I feel so sorry for her. While this is unpleasant, it's a sad reality, and this book is a good representation of problematic men. I devoured it in a day. It's definitely a book to look out for.

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Gillian come to sicily to surprise her husband and get surprise back, her husband cheat on her and got engage to another woman. Near 40, divorce a head, the daughter already work aboard, Gillian doesnt have reason to back to UK. She enjoy her time in beautiful Sicily and try to think the next step. I love how strong Gillian, she ready to move on and glow up and plan what she want to do. The back and forth drama with Mattia really annoy me. I like how Gillian not judge with her friends decision even when she disagree.

Thank you to NetGalley for provide this book, it is pleasure to review this book.

#OneSummerInSicily #NancyBarone #AriaAries #NetGalley #ARC

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Fun, quick and easy escapist story that kept me turning the pages and wondering what would happen next. Readers will be packing their bags, itchy for a trip to beautiful Sicily.

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In an attempt to revive their stale marriage, Gillian flys to Sicily to surprise her husband Tony. Tony was attending a physicians conference and what better way to rekindle their romance than in Italy.

Rather than surprising Tony, Gillian is shocked to discover Tony with another woman. A much younger one at that. Gillian’s twenty-year marriage just went up in flames.

Resigned not to go begging Tony for a second chance, Gillian instead vows to become her own person. As Gillian navigates single hood in a foreign country, she befriends a surprising amount of people — including hot and handsome architect Mattia.

One Summer in Sicily is an excellent beach read exuding hot summers, gentle sea breezes, refreshing cocktails, and quaint shops, all located on the island of Lipari off the northern coast of Sicily.

Like all of Barone’s novels, the characters are well developed. I enjoyed all of the characters in this novel. Except I just wished that her main character (Gillian) would be comfortable in her own skin rather than being so self deprecating. But I guess that’s where the humor comes into play.

The story unfolds in a linnear timeline, beginning with the shocking infidelity and culminating in a nicely packaged finale. There were some unexpected twists that really brought the whole narrative together.

Reminicent of the movie Under the Tuscan Sun, One Summer in Sicily is sure to be a fan favorite for those romance aficionados. 4.5 stars rounded up.

I received a digital ARC from Aria & Aries through NetGalley. The review herein is completely my own and contains my honest thoughts and opinions.

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I really loved this book especially with how the Sicilian setting is stunning in the mind as you read and I sat and read in one go as I couldn’t put it down! Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for early access to this book.

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Thank you Netgalley and the Publisher. I really enjoyed this feel good read, the storyline was great as was the characters and obviously the location sounds beautilfu.

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I love a good romance book and this did not disappoint. Well developed, characters, witty banter, what more can you ask for?

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Does Gillian regret her impulsive decision to fly to Sicily to surprise her husband Tony? Well, yes at first because she discovers he's been cheating on her but then no- because she decides to stay for a while. She doesn't have much but she makes friends quickly with Sandra and, more importantly Mattis. He's a handsome man but also a kind one who treats her with a respect she's been missing, He's got a bit of a secret and the course of true love is never smooth but fans of this genre know there just might be a happy ending out there. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. Great atmospherics (Siciliy!) and good storytelling.

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One Summer in Sicily is the perfect breezy atmospheric summer read. Readers are transported to Italy with descriptions of the scenery, weather, food, drinks, shops, and helpful locals. Gillian's character growth from a newly cheated on divorcee into a more independent woman was a fun arc for me as I am in my 40's and can empathize with how women can 'lose sight' of themselves and struggle with stepping out of our comfort zones later in life. This read had the perfect balance of humor, growth, and romance that make it perfect for lovers of romance and women's fiction!

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One Summer in Sicily starts out with a crash. Gillian is determined to suprise her husband of twenty years by showing up in his hotel in Sicily. What’s waiting for her at the end of a terrifying plane ride is something Gillian could never prepare for. When her life is literally turned upside down, Gillian decides that spending the summer in Sicily with her new barrage of friends is the best solution. Filled with interesting characters, incredible scenery and romance oozing from the page, One Summer in Sicily is a delightful read. As a newly-forty year old woman, I felt myself nearly screaming out loud to Gillian. I was cheering for her to find herself along the streets of Sicily, put on her swimsuit and take up space! One Summer in Sicily is perfect for this summer’s beach reading and should not be missed!

A sincere thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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Feeling as though her marriage was on the rocks
Gillian braves flying to join her husband and gets some shocks!
Her luggage is left behind her somewhere
And he has a lover, about Gill he doesn't care!

So starts her stay in Lipari, Sicily
And a new possibilities she begins to see.
An accident, drama, shocks and surprises-
Her life is changing before she realises.

Unfortunately Gillian has had her confidence drained
And her relationship with food is also quite strained.
Her self image is dire and so she feeds...
Can this prove to be the new start that she needs?

There's a great sense of community and friends who are new,
Tasty foods, fantastic places and lots to do, too.
But can she learn to trust once more
And all the new opportunities begin to explore?

Whilst her inner dialogue was often quite sad,
This is a light hearted read that certainly isn't bad!
There's even a canine involved to adore
As this fantastic region you get to explore!

A story to escape into where friends and chances
Give the opportunity for heartwarming romances.
For my complementary copy, I say thank you,
As I share with you this, my honest review.

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I always love a novel where the protagonist isn’t a twenty-something girl with very little life experience. In Gillian Dobson, the lead character of One Summer in Sicily, author Nancy Barone has given us a brilliantly flawed, mature (but not old) woman. Married for twenty years, she visits Sicily to surprise her husband only to find that the surprise is on her, and it’s not a happy one.

Subsequently we get to see Gillian, who already conquered aerophobia to get to Sicily in the first place, deal with all the issues women deal with when they are in transition: self-esteem, body image, loneliness. While she challenges herself to conquer these issues, it’s the journey that makes the story, and author Barone has crafted an excellent plot.

I enjoyed the language choices the author used, and the way Sicily seemed like a character in the novel. rather than merely a setting. I liked Gillian, and rooted for her. But, speaking as someone who is about to turn 53, forty is not old, especially in today’s world, and the younger woman (the surprise she finds her husband with) is only a few years younger – in her mid thirties. Making Gillian truly middle-aged – mid forties to mid fifties – and/or making the younger woman significantly younger would have given the story more impact and made Gillian even more sympathetic.

Over all, though, this was a satisfying read, and I will happily read more of Barone’s work.

Goes well with: espresso and a cannoli with citron.

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