Advertised as a feel-good-read, the young woman at the center of this story goes on a fairy tale sort of adventure and is rewarded with a fairy tale ending. Her journey is picaresque, with twists and turns in her path to romance and financial security. She deals with various different romantic interests: men from her past, some in her present, and some in her dreams about Venice.
Dreaming of Venice is an accurate title since the English protagonist doesn't actually get to Venice until the end of the book, after dreaming of the Italian city throughout the story. If you are looking for a book set in Venice, this isn't it. Most of the story takes place in England, and mostly in London. Non-Brits should be prepared for English amounts of alcohol in daily life (massive!), and English reverse snobbery (“Her accent was very posh, but her smile was friendly.”)
The young woman at the center of the story enters into an unusual agreement that comes with lots of perks, both financial and personal. Her life changes dramatically as she earns more money, opening up a new social life, creative life (she is a painter), better living conditions, better friends (her early ones are rather disgusting, with copious sexually inappropriate suggestions, like that she should prostitute herself!!!), better access to healthcare, and improved personal welfare.
This author always writes smooth prose, in this case 3rd-person limited narrative, that is gently educational, full of life lessons. With the exception of the gross and ignorant friends who think prostitution is a wonderful job for a woman, the book is light entertainment, a fairy tale story for a deserving young woman.
Here is the book's description:
Find love, friendship and Prosecco – in the magical city of VeniceLife is tough for Penny. A dead end job in a London café, a boyfriend in Australia (what could go wrong?) and an art career going nowhere. But then Penny is approached with an extraordinary proposition.It isn’t going to be easy but, if she can pull it off, she will turn her life around and at long last see the fulfillment of her dream – to visit Venice. And, just maybe, find true happiness with the handsome man of her dreams.But can dreams come true?
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