Feature book: Love, Lust and Lies
Gabriella Vitadini is a very angry woman. She has just found out that her husband, Tony, is cheating on her, so she kicks him out of the family home. Gabriella is an Italian-American Catholic woman and according to the social mores of her culture, she is supposed to ignore her husband’s womanising and be like the ideal of the Madonna. However, Gabriella has other ideas! In walks a gorgeous client, Dave, who quickly ignites her lust.
The ties to family in her culture are very strong and Gabriella has to put up with a lot of pressure to take her husband, Tony, back. Gabriella’s mother-in-law has put up with her cheating husband, Pinto, for years. Gabriella tries to date her new boyfriend, Dave, in secret, and this leads to some quirky misadventures. Somehow, Gabriella even ends up taking her husband’s scary grandmother, Bisnonna, on a date with Dave, with whom Bisnonna develops a crush!
Dave is eleven years younger than Gabriella, but has no inkling of the age difference. He sees a sexy Italian mother who can give him lots of children. Gabriella is aware of this, but doesn’t want anything permanent with Dave. Meanwhile, her husband begs Gabriella to take him back. What a quandary! There is also a secondary romance between Gabriella’s best friend, Lucy, and another Italian, Riccardo. Lucy is a divorcee and must get Bisnonna’s blessing to marry Riccardo or she will be cursed.
Love, Lust and Lies is the latest novel by award-winning author Cathleen Ross. She has written this novel in the first person, and I must admit that, at times, I found this to be quite confronting. The reader is privy to all the main character’s thoughts without any filters and this made it difficult for me to empathise with her. However, the novel gives the reader a great insight into the double standards inherent in many cultures, in this case, the Italian-American culture. Gabriella is a feisty heroine and has the courage to stand up for herself against cultural pressure. She deserves to have respect from her husband and family and to make her own choices in the way she lives her life.
reviewed by Nicola S
The author provided a copy of this book for review.