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A search for a mysterious customer in Rome leads a young bookseller to confront the complicated history of her family, and that of Italy itself, in this achingly intimate debut with echoes of Lily King and Elif Batuman. Working at a bookstore in Berkeley in the years after college, Gabriele becomes intrigued by the orders of signor Vietri, a customer from Rome whose numerou A search for a mysterious customer in Rome leads a young bookseller to confront the complicated history of her family, and that of Italy itself, in this achingly intimate debut with echoes of Lily King and Elif Batuman. Working at a bookstore in Berkeley in the years after college, Gabriele becomes intrigued by the orders of signor Vietri, a customer from Rome whose numerous purchases grow increasingly mystical and esoteric. Restless and uncertain of her future, Gabriele quits her job and, landing in Rome, decides to look up Vietri. Unable to locate him, she begins a quest to unearth the well-concealed facts of his life. Following a trail of obituaries and military records, a memoir of life in a village forgotten by modernity, and the court records of a communist murder trial, Gabriele meets an eclectic assortment of the city’s inhabitants, from the widow of an Italian prisoner of war to members of a generation set adrift by the financial crisis. Each encounter draws her unexpectedly closer to her own painful past and complicated family history—an Italian mother diagnosed with schizophrenia and institutionalized during her childhood, and an extended family in Rome still recovering from the losses and betrayals in their past. Through these voices and histories, Gabriele will discover what it means to be a person in the world; a member of a family and a citizen of a country—and how reconciling these stories may be the key to understanding her own.


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A search for a mysterious customer in Rome leads a young bookseller to confront the complicated history of her family, and that of Italy itself, in this achingly intimate debut with echoes of Lily King and Elif Batuman. Working at a bookstore in Berkeley in the years after college, Gabriele becomes intrigued by the orders of signor Vietri, a customer from Rome whose numerou A search for a mysterious customer in Rome leads a young bookseller to confront the complicated history of her family, and that of Italy itself, in this achingly intimate debut with echoes of Lily King and Elif Batuman. Working at a bookstore in Berkeley in the years after college, Gabriele becomes intrigued by the orders of signor Vietri, a customer from Rome whose numerous purchases grow increasingly mystical and esoteric. Restless and uncertain of her future, Gabriele quits her job and, landing in Rome, decides to look up Vietri. Unable to locate him, she begins a quest to unearth the well-concealed facts of his life. Following a trail of obituaries and military records, a memoir of life in a village forgotten by modernity, and the court records of a communist murder trial, Gabriele meets an eclectic assortment of the city’s inhabitants, from the widow of an Italian prisoner of war to members of a generation set adrift by the financial crisis. Each encounter draws her unexpectedly closer to her own painful past and complicated family history—an Italian mother diagnosed with schizophrenia and institutionalized during her childhood, and an extended family in Rome still recovering from the losses and betrayals in their past. Through these voices and histories, Gabriele will discover what it means to be a person in the world; a member of a family and a citizen of a country—and how reconciling these stories may be the key to understanding her own.

30 review for The Vietri Project

  1. 5 out of 5

    Liz Moody

    This was one of my favorite reads in a long time. It's a beautiful take on a coming-of-age novel (and even a better, a later stage coming-of-age—I loved that the narrator was in her mid20s and still felt listless and without direction, something I think many of us can relate to). The author beautifully intertwines how we grapple with larger histories and horrors (on a country-wide scale) and how we grapple with our own personal histories. The core mystery keeps you turning pages, and the ending, This was one of my favorite reads in a long time. It's a beautiful take on a coming-of-age novel (and even a better, a later stage coming-of-age—I loved that the narrator was in her mid20s and still felt listless and without direction, something I think many of us can relate to). The author beautifully intertwines how we grapple with larger histories and horrors (on a country-wide scale) and how we grapple with our own personal histories. The core mystery keeps you turning pages, and the ending, although unexpected, is supremely satisfying (it has one of my favorite last lines in recent memory). Highly recommend for someone looking for a fun, lyrical read!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Natalya

    A gorgeously written, intimate, mesmerizing book. Who doesn’t love a quest? As the protagonist seeks out her mysterious Italian gentleman, The Vietri Project traverses fascinating, devastating vignettes of humanity, spanning early anti-communism pre-World War II to Europe’s refugee crisis following the recession. At the core of this phenomenal novel are big, existential questions, brought down to earth, and seen through the lens of a decidedly unsettled yet self aware young woman: Do our familie A gorgeously written, intimate, mesmerizing book. Who doesn’t love a quest? As the protagonist seeks out her mysterious Italian gentleman, The Vietri Project traverses fascinating, devastating vignettes of humanity, spanning early anti-communism pre-World War II to Europe’s refugee crisis following the recession. At the core of this phenomenal novel are big, existential questions, brought down to earth, and seen through the lens of a decidedly unsettled yet self aware young woman: Do our families define us? And what to do with our time here? It’s profound and beautiful and somehow still a page turner. Could not recommend more highly.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Cari

    Booklist review to come.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    I tried, I really did....... maybe if i was a bit more intellectual i'd have had the wherewithal to finish? Interesting story of a U.S. bookseller, and her mission to track down an Italian customer of eclectic books. Dry in parts, but it was the authors wit that kept me from waving the white flag sooner! I tried, I really did....... maybe if i was a bit more intellectual i'd have had the wherewithal to finish? Interesting story of a U.S. bookseller, and her mission to track down an Italian customer of eclectic books. Dry in parts, but it was the authors wit that kept me from waving the white flag sooner!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Devyn

    I received this book from Goodreads. The Vietri Project is a dawdling slug of a book about a 25 year old woman that hyperfixates on an old man in Rome instead of getting therapy. Not saying The Vietri Project was terrible, I just don’t have the patience to read about a 25 year old that already thinks she's old, able to comfortably travel Europe, and actively ignores a large family that loves her. Someone else may find more sentiment in this book, but I didn't. I received this book from Goodreads. The Vietri Project is a dawdling slug of a book about a 25 year old woman that hyperfixates on an old man in Rome instead of getting therapy. Not saying The Vietri Project was terrible, I just don’t have the patience to read about a 25 year old that already thinks she's old, able to comfortably travel Europe, and actively ignores a large family that loves her. Someone else may find more sentiment in this book, but I didn't.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kat

    "I had a feeling of grasping that if I could only sift together all of the stories I had heart, if I could understand these stories as a part of one story, maybe, maybe I would get close. I wondered If I was trying to save myself, and I wondered if it would work." The Vietri Project begs the question of what makes your story, yours? Is it one you can write yourself or is it one that's made up of all the other layers of your life and stories of those in your orbit? What begins as a journey to find "I had a feeling of grasping that if I could only sift together all of the stories I had heart, if I could understand these stories as a part of one story, maybe, maybe I would get close. I wondered If I was trying to save myself, and I wondered if it would work." The Vietri Project begs the question of what makes your story, yours? Is it one you can write yourself or is it one that's made up of all the other layers of your life and stories of those in your orbit? What begins as a journey to find a mysterious scholar that ordered thousands of books by mail from the Berkley bookstore where she worked, Gabriele heads to Rome, the home of her mother and her maternal family, and ends up trying to find her own story. Lost in her late twenties, I found Gabriele's character to be incredibly relatable as she searched for some sort of meaning in her life, while resisting building any connections in her life deeply, out of fear of being 'tied down.' Though Gabriele's search is ostensibly for the mysterious Vietri, she ends up digging into both the city of Rome's many layers, and those of her family's. Fearful of eventually succumbing to mental illness like her mother, it isn't until she sees her massive Italian family as individuals that she begins to understand that she too can still be part of her family and be vastly different from what she believed she was predestined to become.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    ARC provided by the publisher—Harper—in exchange for an honest review. The Vietri Project is the story of how a young woman leaves all that she knows in search of herself and the eccentric signor Vietri, the man who has ordered hundreds of books from the store where she worked. While I loved the premise of the story, the journey that Gabriele was on to make sense of her history and decide her future,, I did not care for the way it was written. I felt the writing was very bland, and it took away f ARC provided by the publisher—Harper—in exchange for an honest review. The Vietri Project is the story of how a young woman leaves all that she knows in search of herself and the eccentric signor Vietri, the man who has ordered hundreds of books from the store where she worked. While I loved the premise of the story, the journey that Gabriele was on to make sense of her history and decide her future,, I did not care for the way it was written. I felt the writing was very bland, and it took away from the story.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Donna Foster

    All about wishful thinking in an odd unresolved path.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Stacy DeRobertis-theye

    Amazing read. There were so many details that tied together, and I loved experiencing Gabriele’s journey.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ryo

    I received a copy of this book for free in a Goodreads giveaway. This is a fairly short read about a 25-year-old woman named Gabriele who works in a bookstore in California and receives a bunch of book orders from a guy named Vietri in Rome. She then abruptly breaks up with her live-in boyfriend, quits her job, and goes traveling through several countries, ending up in Rome, where her mother is from, and decides to go searching for Vietri. She meets various colorful people during her investigatio I received a copy of this book for free in a Goodreads giveaway. This is a fairly short read about a 25-year-old woman named Gabriele who works in a bookstore in California and receives a bunch of book orders from a guy named Vietri in Rome. She then abruptly breaks up with her live-in boyfriend, quits her job, and goes traveling through several countries, ending up in Rome, where her mother is from, and decides to go searching for Vietri. She meets various colorful people during her investigation, while also dealing with her own family issues, including her schizophrenic mother, her Italian relatives she hasn't seen in years, and her father back in California. The main idea running through this book seems to be that it's the journey and not the destination, and that family and history affect your present journey no matter how hard you try to fight it. I'll admit that I was at times frustrated at how the narrative didn't seem to be going anywhere; Gabriele seems to go down avenues of research that don't really reveal much of anything, and meanwhile she occasionally worries about inheriting her mother's schizophrenia, but it's never really explicit whether she actually is suffering from some type of psychiatric disorder, despite some erratic behavior like seemingly very impulsive actions and her desire to destroy anything that's not perfect. But then as I got to the end, I came to better appreciate the journey the book took me on, the struggle of the narrator searching for a stranger and his story while also trying to find her way in life and her place in the world, and her mixed feelings about being absorbed into the extended family that grew up a different country than she did, appreciating the connection she makes with them while also realizing that they don't provide the answers about her mother or her own life. The excessive comma splices, however, were at times very distracting, though I'm sure it was an intentional stylistic choice.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Laguna

    Truthfully, I was going to begin to read a different book, but when I tried to open it, my Kindle opened this book instead. Since I'm not one to argue with fate, I began reading. The story opens in Berkeley, California, where Gabriele is working at a bookstore. Because she is the newest person there, she is assigned to fill these large, cumbersome book orders that are ordered by a man named Vietri. Through the years Gabriele continues filling Vietri's eclectic orders, which arrive by typewritten Truthfully, I was going to begin to read a different book, but when I tried to open it, my Kindle opened this book instead. Since I'm not one to argue with fate, I began reading. The story opens in Berkeley, California, where Gabriele is working at a bookstore. Because she is the newest person there, she is assigned to fill these large, cumbersome book orders that are ordered by a man named Vietri. Through the years Gabriele continues filling Vietri's eclectic orders, which arrive by typewritten letter every few months. When Gabriele finally leaves the bookstore and begins traveling, she find herself in Rome--the city where she sent all of Vietri's books. Coincidentally, Gabriele herself has dual citizenship and all of her mother's family still lives in Rome. Growing up, she visited every summer. Back now, for the first time she was a pre-teen, Gabriele sets out to find Vietri, a journey that leads her back to her family and makes her question who she is herself. The writing in this book is absolutely beautiful and the depictions of Rome and it's citizens is like taking a literary vacation. I learned so much about Italy and the country's role in WWWII--things I had never been curious about before but now having read this, I'm immensely curious. And those are the things a good book does; they transport you and teach you and make you think about things you never would have though about otherwise. I truly enjoyed this novel about coming of age and starting down the path to discover who you are. Definitely recommend.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Katie Dei

    After the first couple of chapters, I was not enjoying the book. I thought it was going to be one thing but very soon it became something else. I started to question it “so what?” “What is the purpose of this story?” but even though I was asking those questions and felt frustrated I would still pause and reflect on the words. There was always a quote to highlight and markdown, a reason to set the book down and spiral into reflection. It was easy to read and I found that I start to enjoy reading After the first couple of chapters, I was not enjoying the book. I thought it was going to be one thing but very soon it became something else. I started to question it “so what?” “What is the purpose of this story?” but even though I was asking those questions and felt frustrated I would still pause and reflect on the words. There was always a quote to highlight and markdown, a reason to set the book down and spiral into reflection. It was easy to read and I found that I start to enjoy reading it. It isn’t a book for entertainment but thoughtful consumption. It is a novel that inspires reflection and makes you think about life and what it is and what it should be. I felt deep connections with Gabriele, while also feeling lots of frustration toward her. She is a complex character who highlights the complexity in humanity and ourselves. DeRobertis-Theye writes a subtly powerful novel about humanity and identity. She weaves a tale that focuses on community and isolation. It is about the past and present and the future of a country, of a family, of a man. The novel is about a quest that Gabriele begins, and she takes us on her quest while encouraging us to go on our quest. A beautifully written novel that will make you contemplate life. *I received a free copy of this book in return for an honest review.*

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ofdreamsandstories

    Thank you to Harper publishers for a gifted copy of ‘The Vietri Project’ by Nicola DeRobertis-Theye via goodreads giveaway!! The debut novel by Nicola was a very fast paced read about a young librarian from Berkeley on a quest to find the complicated history of one of her mysterious customer from Rome named Mr. Vietri! The young librarian, Gabriele post her graduation quits her job as a librarian and sets on a journey to travel different countries with her final destination being Rome. This place Thank you to Harper publishers for a gifted copy of ‘The Vietri Project’ by Nicola DeRobertis-Theye via goodreads giveaway!! The debut novel by Nicola was a very fast paced read about a young librarian from Berkeley on a quest to find the complicated history of one of her mysterious customer from Rome named Mr. Vietri! The young librarian, Gabriele post her graduation quits her job as a librarian and sets on a journey to travel different countries with her final destination being Rome. This place is also her mother’s hometown and Gabriele has many adolescent memories of this place, from her previous visits to her aunts and cousins. Gabriel quest to find hidden truth about her Mr. Vietri and unraveling all the family history and long lost history of Italy was a mesmerizing read. This was a amazing coming of age book where Gabriele comes to learn the value of family, and belonging to one own country. I loved how beautifully the author narrated the city, that I could not help but envisioned those colorful houses and beautiful River set in the backdrop of her story!! I totally fell in love with Rome and it’s history and beauty! This was a highly recommended read for me!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Terry94705

    I knew nothing about this book except that the protagonist worked at a bookstore in Berkeley and ended up in Rome, two cities of interest. I was expecting a fluffy read, but found instead one of the most engrossing books I’ve read this year. It becomes clear pretty quickly that the project Gabriele has embarked on — tracking down an eccentric customer from the university press bookstore — is a filler, something to focus her while she finds a life path after graduation. She has more anxiety about I knew nothing about this book except that the protagonist worked at a bookstore in Berkeley and ended up in Rome, two cities of interest. I was expecting a fluffy read, but found instead one of the most engrossing books I’ve read this year. It becomes clear pretty quickly that the project Gabriele has embarked on — tracking down an eccentric customer from the university press bookstore — is a filler, something to focus her while she finds a life path after graduation. She has more anxiety about this stage of her life than most newly minted English majors. Her mother is a schizophrenic and Gabriele worries that she too has the gene for the disease, often known to emerge in a person’s twenties. She even worries that (spoiler alert) the narrative she is trying piece together (the Vietri project) is a symptom of her disposition. This is an incredibly rich and smartly structured novel. Most debut novels are heavily autobiographical. I almost hope that that is not the case and that this is the result of a terribly literate and fertile imagination. I want more books of this caliber to follow!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sherrie Howey

    I really liked the first half of the book but felt that the second half of the book was all over the place. Gabriele works in a bookstore in California and receives frequent requests from a man in Rome for 50 books at a time. The subject matter of the books is quite varied, with no common theme and Gabriele is intrigued. Gabriele decides to travel and goes to Rome, in search of the man who ordered all the books. She pursues many avenues to find the book buyer. Along the way, she reunites with man I really liked the first half of the book but felt that the second half of the book was all over the place. Gabriele works in a bookstore in California and receives frequent requests from a man in Rome for 50 books at a time. The subject matter of the books is quite varied, with no common theme and Gabriele is intrigued. Gabriele decides to travel and goes to Rome, in search of the man who ordered all the books. She pursues many avenues to find the book buyer. Along the way, she reunites with many of her aunts and cousins from her mother's side of the family whom she hasn't seen in years. While we learn that Gabriele's mother is schizophrenic, and that Gabriele is concerned that she may become schizophrenic, I felt there should have been more to this issue in the book. The ending of the book had no closure and I wanted to find out what Gabriele had planned for her future.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Carole

    I received this book as a first reads winner. This is a story for millennials and I, being a Boomer, did not enjoy it very much. It is very much a story of a young American woman, Gabriele, searching for her own identity in Rome, the home of her deceased, schizophrenic mother. She meets am eclectic assortment of Roman inhabitants including members of her own extended family while searching for information about a signor Vietri, a customer in her former job at a bookstore. I apologize for this di I received this book as a first reads winner. This is a story for millennials and I, being a Boomer, did not enjoy it very much. It is very much a story of a young American woman, Gabriele, searching for her own identity in Rome, the home of her deceased, schizophrenic mother. She meets am eclectic assortment of Roman inhabitants including members of her own extended family while searching for information about a signor Vietri, a customer in her former job at a bookstore. I apologize for this disjointed review which reflects my inability to fully relate to the story. I believe the fault is mine and not necessarily the fault of the writer. I suspect that a younger reader would enjoy Gabriel's quest more than I.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Annie

    Gabriele’s life has been on hold up until now. Sure, she’s got a college degree, a steady boyfriend, and had a decent (if low-paying) job at a bookstore. But when that steady boyfriend suddenly proposes marriage at the beginning of The Vietri Project, by Nicola DeRobertis-Theye, something becomes unmoored in Gabriele. She dumps the boyfriend and follows a wild hair to Rome. This novel is a slow journey not just to Rome but also to Gabriele finally realizing who she wants to be... Read the rest of Gabriele’s life has been on hold up until now. Sure, she’s got a college degree, a steady boyfriend, and had a decent (if low-paying) job at a bookstore. But when that steady boyfriend suddenly proposes marriage at the beginning of The Vietri Project, by Nicola DeRobertis-Theye, something becomes unmoored in Gabriele. She dumps the boyfriend and follows a wild hair to Rome. This novel is a slow journey not just to Rome but also to Gabriele finally realizing who she wants to be... Read the rest of my review at A Bookish Type. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley, for review consideration.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen Gray

    Giordano Vietri has ordered so so many books on so so many subjects from the store where Gabriele works. She's at a standstill in her life, she thinks. She's 25 and, like the protagonists of the recent genre of aimless millennial, looking for something- not clear what- but something and thus she chooses to go find Vietri. She doesn't find him immediately when she arrives in Italy but she does find other things, including her distant relations in Rome. Her quest is also dogged by her concern that Giordano Vietri has ordered so so many books on so so many subjects from the store where Gabriele works. She's at a standstill in her life, she thinks. She's 25 and, like the protagonists of the recent genre of aimless millennial, looking for something- not clear what- but something and thus she chooses to go find Vietri. She doesn't find him immediately when she arrives in Italy but she does find other things, including her distant relations in Rome. Her quest is also dogged by her concern that she, like her institutionalized mother, has schizophrenia hanging over her. Although this skims the surface in spots, it's well written and thoughtful. No spoilers from me on Vietri. Thanks to the publisher for the ARC. Excellent read that will appeal to fans of literary fiction.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lynda

    I received a copy of this book from goodreads in return for a honest review. The idea of the story sounded so interesting. A girl going to Rome to look for this man who was always buying multiple unusual books from the bookstore where she worked in California. Turns out it wasn't interesting at all. So many stories that really had nothing to do with anything were thrown in. The author's writing style was so drawn out. Endless sentences filled with commas. I found myself just skimming through tow I received a copy of this book from goodreads in return for a honest review. The idea of the story sounded so interesting. A girl going to Rome to look for this man who was always buying multiple unusual books from the bookstore where she worked in California. Turns out it wasn't interesting at all. So many stories that really had nothing to do with anything were thrown in. The author's writing style was so drawn out. Endless sentences filled with commas. I found myself just skimming through towards the end just to get to the resolution which never appeared. Would not recommend to my friends.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jami Moss

    I received this book as an ARC from a good reads contest and as a thank you I’m leaving an honest review. I really thought I would enjoy this book the story of a girl working in a bookstore deciding to look up a customer and ask him about his orders seemed like a great little story idea. And the parts of the story where she was looking for him or interacting with her family were good but geez the writing style of this book is horrible. It’s just like one long rambling train of thought. There’s n I received this book as an ARC from a good reads contest and as a thank you I’m leaving an honest review. I really thought I would enjoy this book the story of a girl working in a bookstore deciding to look up a customer and ask him about his orders seemed like a great little story idea. And the parts of the story where she was looking for him or interacting with her family were good but geez the writing style of this book is horrible. It’s just like one long rambling train of thought. There’s no course for this book, no story arc and no real ending. I’m just utterly disappointed I feel like I got tricked into reading this book by the cute synopsis given.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    The Vietri Project is unlike anything I've read in a long time It took a bit to get used to the style of prose; sometimes it was hard to follow the train of thought Gabriele was a hard to like character at the beginning, but you definitely grow with her as you travel with her on the search for Vietri Growing up with the fear you may inherit some mental illness is something I could understand, and it was certainly something to travel that road with someone else. I would recommend this story for so The Vietri Project is unlike anything I've read in a long time It took a bit to get used to the style of prose; sometimes it was hard to follow the train of thought Gabriele was a hard to like character at the beginning, but you definitely grow with her as you travel with her on the search for Vietri Growing up with the fear you may inherit some mental illness is something I could understand, and it was certainly something to travel that road with someone else. I would recommend this story for someone who is ready for introspection - while not long, it makes one think about all the interconnected ways this world works *won in a goodreads giveaway

  22. 4 out of 5

    Rose Hriz

    Gabriele work in a university bookstore and fulfills the orders of a man named Vietri in Italy. When Gabriele turns 25 she quits her job to travel and ends up in Italy. She decides to visit Vietri but cannot find him. This sends her on a quest to find out to find him. She is also trying to find herself and worries that she will become mentally ill like her mother. This is a quest for what Gabriele should do with her life. Should she remain in Italy or return to Berkley. It is the story of a young Gabriele work in a university bookstore and fulfills the orders of a man named Vietri in Italy. When Gabriele turns 25 she quits her job to travel and ends up in Italy. She decides to visit Vietri but cannot find him. This sends her on a quest to find out to find him. She is also trying to find herself and worries that she will become mentally ill like her mother. This is a quest for what Gabriele should do with her life. Should she remain in Italy or return to Berkley. It is the story of a young person trying to find her place in the world.

  23. 5 out of 5

    amanda eve

    Full disclosure: I know the author and received an ARC directly from her. That said, this book is magnificent. It's the type of novel you savour, getting lost in the language. DeRobertis-Theye's syntax reminds me of Virginia Woolf: long, clause-heavy, comma-laden thoughts to unravel. It's very precise, very elegant wordsmithing that no doubt changes meaning whenever you re-read it. I stayed up too late last night to finish the book; the final chapters were so gripping and I was so invested in no Full disclosure: I know the author and received an ARC directly from her. That said, this book is magnificent. It's the type of novel you savour, getting lost in the language. DeRobertis-Theye's syntax reminds me of Virginia Woolf: long, clause-heavy, comma-laden thoughts to unravel. It's very precise, very elegant wordsmithing that no doubt changes meaning whenever you re-read it. I stayed up too late last night to finish the book; the final chapters were so gripping and I was so invested in not only the conclusion to the story, but the beautiful writing.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    The Vietri Project is a semi-interesting story with a semi-resolved ending. Nicola DeRobertis-Theye crafted some seriously beautiful sentences and a vibrant Italian setting. I had a difficult time connecting with the narrator and following her sporadic trains of thought. This story didn’t really have a climax and felt like 222 pages of rambling, with incredibly long and drawn out sentences. It is a style I struggled with, but I’m sure others will love. A big thank you to Harper - HarperCollins f The Vietri Project is a semi-interesting story with a semi-resolved ending. Nicola DeRobertis-Theye crafted some seriously beautiful sentences and a vibrant Italian setting. I had a difficult time connecting with the narrator and following her sporadic trains of thought. This story didn’t really have a climax and felt like 222 pages of rambling, with incredibly long and drawn out sentences. It is a style I struggled with, but I’m sure others will love. A big thank you to Harper - HarperCollins for the ARC!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    I was bewitched by the writing in this book, which often takes on a poetic and introspective tone as it details the mental journey of protagonist Gabriele from childhood (or some kind of delayed adolescence) into adulthood. Underneath the surface, the book is really about the contours of this internal journey, but the main plot line is a sort of academic mystery that begins in California and resolves in Italy. I found this main plot line unnecessarily slow and ultimately unsatisfying. However, m I was bewitched by the writing in this book, which often takes on a poetic and introspective tone as it details the mental journey of protagonist Gabriele from childhood (or some kind of delayed adolescence) into adulthood. Underneath the surface, the book is really about the contours of this internal journey, but the main plot line is a sort of academic mystery that begins in California and resolves in Italy. I found this main plot line unnecessarily slow and ultimately unsatisfying. However, my interest in how Gabriele viewed the world and her development kept me turning pages.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Janie Prim

    I enjoyed the premise of this book; a manager of a bookstore in Berkeley, CA, after selling and mailing hundreds of books to a Mr.Vietri in Rome, decides to do a bit of travel to Rome to locate him, and in the process of her travels, finds herself. I thought it a bit wordy, at times, and was not patient to read every single word, especially towards the end. I think that whether or not she finds him??? A question one can only answer by reading the book!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Evans

    This book just does not seem to really know what its about. It wanders from random Italian history event to another, bringing in various characters about whom we know little. And, I know that published authors can get away with loosening up "rules" for sentence structure, grammar, and punctuation, but the author's rampant run-on sentences and comma splices simply make for confusing sentences and tedious reading rather than creative descriptions. The narrator seems whiney rather than lost. This book just does not seem to really know what its about. It wanders from random Italian history event to another, bringing in various characters about whom we know little. And, I know that published authors can get away with loosening up "rules" for sentence structure, grammar, and punctuation, but the author's rampant run-on sentences and comma splices simply make for confusing sentences and tedious reading rather than creative descriptions. The narrator seems whiney rather than lost.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie McNutt

    I wanted to love this book, but it felt so slow and redundant. The premise of the story was fantastic, but I had a really hard time connecting to the characters. The story was a great thought, but just did not feel like it was executed well. I had to keep starting the book over again. In the end, I don’t think I’d purchase this again or but it for others.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jamie

    Rootless and directionless, Gabriele breaks up with her boyfriend, gives up her apartment, and decides to tool around Italy for a while on a quest for the mysterious man who orders a lot of books about all kinds of topics in the bookstore where she worked. A quest novel that also turns into search for self and family and would make anyone want to head on over to Rome.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Dana

    I received a copy as part of a Goodreads giveaway. To be honest, I didn’t like the main character. Her behavior seemed self-destructive and I did not even get a sense of her personality? That and the lack of conversations put into quotes didn’t agree with me. Honestly, whenever I tried to read this I fell asleep 🙈

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