Synopsis

This culturally rich first novel tells the story of Giulia Di Cuore, a first-generation Italian-American woman struggling with the old-world values of her father, a psychiatrist, as she discovers her place in the world as a daughter, as a woman and as an American.

Before seventeen-year-old Giulia spends the summer in Italy with her father’s brothers and their families, there is little doubt in her mind who she is. She is American: she wants to listen to the Beatles and go to college in New York City. But since the death of Giulia’s mother, the mission of her stubborn and exacting Italian-born father has been to protect her from America: American ways, American boys, American freedom. Most important, he wants Giulia to meet her family in Italy in the hopes of finding common ground between his world and hers and improving their increasingly troubled relationship.

Although Giulia agrees to take the trip to Italy, she has no intention of enjoying herself, let alone falling in love — with her Italian family, with Italy itself, and, least of all, with a green-eyed handsome Italian named Luca. Torn between her American values and her Italian heritage, between her father and Luca, Giulia is forced to come to a new understanding of herself and her place in the world.