Escape to Italy with The Olive Branch. The irresistibly romantic new novel from Jo Thomas, award-winning author of e-book runaway best-seller The Oyster Catcher.
It's amazing what you can buy online these days: memorabilia, fashion accessories, a crumbling Italian farmhouse...
After a Prosecco-fuelled girls' night in gets out of hand, Ruthie Collins awakes to discover that she has bid for her dream Italian home online - and won. Recently out of a relationship, a new start is just what she needs. Anything is better than sleeping on her mum's settee.
But arriving in Southern Italy, Ruthie doesn't know the first thing about running an olive farm. And with new neighbours - the tempestuous Marco Bellanouvo and his fiery family - to contend with, all Ruthie wants is to go back home.
Life can change with the click of a mouse. But all good things - friendship, romance, and even the olive harvest - take time to grow. Can Ruthie finally put the past to rest and find her own piece of the Dolce Vita along the way?
©2015 Jo Thomas (P)2015 Headline Digital
"Enjoyable diversion but lacks some bite"
I liked this, but did not love it - though the reviews had promised a lot and I had high hopes. I thought the writer spent too much time inside the narrator's head, often listing her every thought. There was not enough time on setting the scene or giving us a sense of the wider context. Things happened but it was like we were missing their substance. A lot of telling goes on here - and it is sadly too easy to track the predictable pathway to the end. Fine for the beach.
"For fans of house flipping AND cooking shows!"
I started to read this story looking for a good romance novel, and there is romance, don't take me wrong, but I really stayed for the home projects and the yummy food descriptions. I finished the novel torn between grabbing a hammer and a screwdriver or cooking some Italian dish with lots of olive oil. You can't go wrong with Italian cooking, Italian hunks and lots of home renovation projects of a nice Italian villa! Fantasies galore!
"3 1/2 stars"
This was a sweet, relaxing listen. Not shallow, not deep, but charming in that British way. I would recommend as a good, light read.
"The Olive Branch"
The best book on Audible that I have listened to so far.
The reader is so full of life and emotion. Love her voice. Excellent!!
It felt as if I was part of the story. Right there in Italy amongst the olive gardens and walking inside her treasure of a home. To hear the laughter of a large extended Italian family. Absolutely beautifully written.
I look forward to other books by Jo Thomas. Highly recommend this to every woman out there who dreams of taking a chance on life and love.
I also look forward to other books narrated by Rachel Atkins. She has a fabulous reading voice. Thank you for this magnificent adventure.
"simply loved it!"
yes..the narrator was wonderful and the writing made me feel as if I was in Italy. I had to bring myself back to Texas every time I stopped listening!
She was great!! She made the story come ALIVE.
Such a nice summer listen!
"Like Eating a Good Italian Meal"
This was an enjoyable story. The description of Italy made me feel like I was there. Well drawn characters that kept me interested and involved.
The narrator did a fine job - but felt she was mis-cast. The character is a 29 year old and the narrator had a more mature voice. Her reading ultimately was well done - but it was hard to connect her voice to a 29 year old woman.
In the end it was very satisfying like a lovely Italian meal with a nice glass of Rose!
"A lovely story, slightly predictable ending"
The whole story was engaging and well written. Lots of detail about the lifestyle and food in Italy. Realistic characters, beautiful setting, hilarious power struggles between the newcomer and the locals.
The accuracy and descriptiveness of the lifestyle in Italy.
The roof - I will say no more so as not to spoil the story - however, the whole saga of the roof is just so accurate for that part of the world!
Finding La Dolce Vita :)
"Disappointed .. got to the end but nothing special"
Looking at other reviews, it seems i'm in the minority as i didnt actually enjoy this book. Easy enough to understand, drunk woman buys house via Ebay in Italy, moves there, has issues with the neighbours who owned the house beforehand, cute Italian guy, makes a bet she'll stay or go, love hate relationship, has olive trees which need harvesting... there was just never any surprises and i knew exactly what to expect. Great narration though!
"What a lovely story!"
I just finished The Olive Branch for the second time. I am one that listens to her books several times each. As it neared the end it was just too hard not to shed a few tears. What a story! The characters, the story, the new beginnings and even the ends were magnificence. Stole away and lose yourself in an adventure.
I didn't realise when I bought this book that it was a formulaic romance. It's a sweet story but very predictable from the beginning. If romances are your bag then this is a charming one in a beautiful setting. However, if you are expecting some depth, strong characterisation and adult treatment, then this novel might not be for you.
"A transporting romance"
Loved this audiobook, ok so you might be able to guess the kind of story line but its full of humour, charm and makes you feel as if you are in Italy too!
Loved the authors way of description about things and the general feel is great. Wasn't sure I was going to get on with the narrator to start with but after 10 minutes I was hooked.
"Loved it !!!!"
I now want to find a gorgeous italian and live in Italy just loved this story !!!!!
Good story , well read , funny and written from the heart, I liked the feel of what it's like to start a new life
I loved this story. lovely and light. easy to listen to. interesting and intreguing. I can see myself in it.
"Worth a listen. It is a light hearted story of escapism to try a new life (which I am sure we have all thought about)."
That's s us a story of escaping to Italy to try and make a new start. I would think mainly appeals to women. Light hearted and entertaining.
"Really funny, sweet and full of Italian charm!"
Really funny, sweet and full of Italian charm! A light-hearted, feel good read
Brilliant impersonations and Italian accent, really funny!
laughed the whole way through
Well written and well read. The main character 'ruthie ' demonstrates how complex and frightening starting a new life can be. She inspires and frustrates you as she takes you on her journey.
"A feel good book"
An easy listen and uplifting. I wish I was as brave as the lead character...would love to follow that dream!
"Impetuousness meets hard work"
As a dreamer of living abroad, this fiction ticked lots of boxes. Written in a relaxed easy style. The story trips along at great pace and you find yourself immersed in la dolce vita but with reality of hard graft thrown in. You quickly find you care about the characters and are eager to know how it all pans out. A relaxing listen.
Very predictable, and with a nice "taste" of Italy.
Definitely chick-lit but a good and pleasant read.
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