Reading: Prosecco and Promises by A.L. Michael

12th February 2018

Requested for review from the publisher on Netgalley.

Mia is trying – and failing – to prepare herself for orphanhood. Her mother died when she was young, and now her beloved dad is succumbing to the cancer he survived years before. The dutiful daughter, Mia finally agrees to her father’s final wish. When the time comes, she is to leave him with his much younger wife, take a plane to the Italian island of Ischia, where her mother grew up and her family still lives, and have a drink in his memory.

Devastated, angry, and broken, Mia arrives in Ischia, to her warm, loving aunt (the only one who knows her father is dying), her shrunken, bitter Italian grandmother, and her fun-loving cousin. She remembers her only other trip to Ischia and seeks out the antique shop she visited only to find herself drawn into the shop owner and his grandson’s lives, as she learns more and more about her mother and herself.

While Prosecco and Promises didn’t appear to be my typical fare, combine Italy and prosecco with a little archaeology, and I’m all in. As in many books, the main character is seeking something, not realizing she really needs to find herself. Ischia is steeped in her family’s history, and Mia wants to learn more about her mother, the fleeting figure she can hardly remember, but at the same time, she has to come to terms with the impending loss of her father. A.L. Michael writes Mia’s ache so well, and I felt for Mia and understood her anger. At the same time, it was evident that Mia’s life was on hold and that the anger that bubbled out of her was directed as much at herself as anyone else. The release she feels once her father dies allows her to fast track the life she didn’t realize she was missing, and I loved that the author didn’t clip the ending but instead allowed Mia room to explore and feel her way a bit.

The cover belies the struggle Mia faces, as this is no chick lit, and Prosecco and Promises was a good mid-winter read, as the sunny Italian island is a perfect foil for the cold weather.

*Read what others have to say on Goodreads.

  • I also have a weakness for books set in Italy. This sounds very Mary Stewart-style escapism

  • iliana

    The cover, although pretty, definitely makes you think you are in for some light fare but sounds like this one has a good storyline and character development!