Italian for Beginners, by Kristin Harmel.
But consistent was good, wasn't it? It was safe, reliable, predictable. I had always been proud of being that person everyone could count on, the one who would always be there, who security guards could set their watches by, who arrives at work early and stayed late, who held everything together while everyone around her fell apart.
This novel was a great piece of chick lit, and I had not previously heard of Kristin Harmel; now, however, I want to read all her books. Cat is thirty-four years old and her little sister, who is twenty-nine, is getting married. Their grandmother launches into a loud and quite embarrassing shpiel at the wedding, asking (as the semi-senile person she is) why it's Becky (the younger sister) getting married and not Cat. Cat recalls being at her most happiest when she was on study abroad in Italy, and after encouragement from her father, she goes back there, in an unprecedented (ie, last-minute) move for her. She thinks she knows what she wants to find there, but instead everything goes in a way different direction, and she finds that different - and taking risks - doesn't always have to be bad.
The prose flows very easily in this book, and I wanted to stay up the whole night to finish it (sadly, I had to get some sleep before work). Harmel is also the author of The Art of French Kissing, among other books, which takes place (you guessed it) in France, and I can't wait to read that novel next.
4 stars out of 5.