Review and Giveaway: Urbino, Unexpectedly by Maria Chiara Marsciani

Posted 21 March, 2014 by Paige in Book Reviews, Giveaways / 0 Comments

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My Rating 3.5 of 5 Stars
About the Book:
Can love really help us to find out who we truly are, or is it just a out-of-fashion statement?
Urbino, Unexpectedly, is set in Italy between the frivolous Adriatic coast, the backcountry’s romantic hamlets, the Alps, foggy Milan, and colorful Rome. It shows the Italian upper-class lifestyle and it is a coming-of-age journey through love, sickness, death, jealousy, and passion.
Clara is twenty-two; she studies in Milan and is about to become a lawyer. From the outside, everything is exactly as it is supposed to be, but Clara is unhappy. She finds Milan depressing, she hates law school and, anywhere she goes, she feels “like a fish out of water.” Embracing her parents’ values has trapped her in a life she neither likes nor understands. Her father is a famous surgeon and a reserved, pragmatic man whom she fears; her mother is a well-connected, flamboyant socialite used to supervising and influencing Clara’s every move; her roommates are often a source of trouble and, her grandma, who lives upstairs in the family’s home, is Clara’s only confidant. In Urbino, she meets Leonardo, a young doctor who lives in Rome, and from their first handshake, her destiny is changed forever. Their immediate mental connection crumbles the rules of her black-and-white world and their powerful physical passion shows her the many colors of life. But this is only the beginning. Clara’s newfound confidence, her decision to quit law school, and her intention to marry Leonardo trigger unforeseen conflicts and bring to the surface deep-rooted jealousy that force her to redefine not only the relationships with her parents, but also the meaning of true friendship. Clara is faced with the dilemma of having to choose between her own happiness and the peace of mind of the people around her. She has to understand if spreading her wings and living life her own way it is more important than the reassuring feeling of being a ‘good girl’ who always behaves.
Urbino, Unexpectedly is for anyone who had to fight to be accepted for who they are. It is a deep immersion in the Italian culture and a journey of self-discovery through the complexity of a mother-daughter relationship, friendship, the power of love, and the need to follow one’s own dreams.

My Thoughts:
I was pleasantly surprised by Urbino, Unexpectedly. It had a really nice flow to it, and it read almost as if I was reading a memoir(and y’all know how much I love a good memoir!). The story follows Clara, a twenty-two year old woman who is trying to find her way. About to become her lawyer, the story opens on her preparing to head to a conference, of which she daydreams through most of. Upon leaving, though, she bumps into a man and feels an immediate connection…
Like the synopsis states, this truly is a story of the power of love and the need to follow one’s one dreams, and I felt almost honored to be able to follow Clara on her journey as she navigated the ups and downs of life. I think that this is definitely a book for fans of chick lit, and it has a definite readability that is sure to span age groups.
My favorite thing about this book is the wondrous picture of Italy that is painted on almost every page. The author vividly portrays her birth-country with such detail that I felt as if I was almost there. It’s always been a dream of mine to visit Italy, and this book is about as close as I’ve ever gotten. I’ve read books based in Italy before, but never one that felt was an honest portrayal, until now. 
Maria Chiara Marsciani knows how to create breath-taking chapters and have you on edge just a bit as page after page you race to find what happens in Clara’s life next. I would recommend for anyone in the market for a good Chick Lit!
*I received this book for review from the author, but this in no way affected my review or opinion.*

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