Today’s Bookbag title brings us to a romantic comedy, a genre I don’t generally seek out in literature (and only occasionally in movies). But Poggibonsi by Dan Alatorre was such an entertaining read it was one of the first titles I listed when brainstorming Bookbag posts.
Poggibonsi is the story of Mike, a venture capitalist sent to Italy to launch a new tourism project. He brings his family along at first, which only seems to highlight the rockiness of his marriage. By the time his wife and daughter head back to the States, leaving him to finish the project, he’s frustrated and just wants to get to work. Then, his Italian boss has a heart attack, and Mike is left to work with an associate, Julietta.
And Julietta is a fantasy come to life. Mike had been fascinated with her since he saw her on a train days earlier (though he didn’t know she worked for his boss). He doesn’t learn that until chapter 21, when she walks into his hotel lobby, distracts every man in the room, and introduces herself to Mike.
Venus was addressing me.
I think she said hello.
I’m pretty sure I said something back. I don’t really know. To say I was tongue-tied is the understatement of the century. I forgot how to speak. I couldn’t believe the beautiful goddess from the train was now standing in front of me. Blonde hair, green eyes, porcelain complexion . . .
I tried to remember how to breathe.
But she was definitely saying something. Those beautiful lips were moving and the green eyes were looking at me. I shook my head, trying to refocus.
She was asking my name.
I didn’t know it.
Let’s get one thing out of the way here–yes, Mike has an affair. But the whole book isn’t about that. He doesn’t even meet Julietta until chapter 21, about halfway through the book.
The story is about Mike’s journey. It’s about learning what’s most important in life, even if you have to fall flat on your face and lose everything to get there.
Before that, though, there are sex scenes, and they are hot. There are laugh-out-loud comedic moments that range from sarcastic to slapstick. There are charming interactions between all of the characters. There are moments of heartbreak, the most poignant one involving his daughter (I dare you not to cry when reading that scene).
And I don’t think it’s too much of a spoiler to say it’s a story of redemption–because how could anyone come back from that?
What P titles are in your Bookbag?