Published by Kristin Anderson on March 12th 2017
Solid and dependable, high school counselor Sarah Turner knows all about helping others get their lives on track. But when her own life spirals drastically off course due to a fast-track divorce, she surprises everyone. She leaves her job and home in Bend, Oregon and heads to Europe for a six-week solo adventure. Amsterdam is her final destination where she plans to enter a controversial program that could change her life.
From the temples of Angkor Wat to the ruins of Machu Picchu, renowned Dutch travel writer Fokke van der Veld has seen it all. After a major betrayal, there’s one thing he’s not interested in seeing again: women. That’s why the guys-only trip to the Italian Dolomites with his old fraternity brothers is just what he needs. Sort of. If they weren’t teasing him and getting him drunk.
When a series of unexpected events in Italy throws Fokke and Sarah together, the sparks are undeniable, but so is the fear that keeps them apart. Will these two independent travelers open themselves up to a chance of love, or catch a fast train to safety?
This romantic comedy is a story of self-discovery and love that travels through regions of Italy, Argentina and The Netherlands.
Kristin Anderson, author of Green (2013), is an American living in The Netherlands with her Dutch husband and their son. This is her second novel.
The Things We Said In Venice by Kristin Anderson is a very welcome trip outside of my usual genres. I received a review copy of this eco romance a while ago, but I’m glad I waited until now to read it. It’s the perfect book to keep you company next to the pool or on the beach. The tropical temperatures, a cold drink and sunshine are a must for the ultimate enjoyment of this book.
The story starts with Sarah and Fokke, an American woman and a Dutch man, who switched backpacks. It was a given that these two would fall in love, but the obstacles that stand in their way aren’t your ordinary obstacles. Both characters are around forty as well, which gives them a different outlook on love and their future than a couple around their thirties or in their twenties.
The themes go beyond the basics of a romance novel. Travel, the environment and veganism are often spoken off, but it never feels intrusive. The topics are discussed as part of the story and form the foundation of the characters. To leave these out, or to not give them as much attention as Anderson did now, would be wrong. The story would’ve been weaker if she had. I like learning new things as I read and Anderson has given me food for thought plus amazing descriptions of the cities featured in her book.
One thing that I appreciated was how Anderson translated the Dutch culture and language. Fokke is Dutch and speaks Dutch occasionally with other characters. The depiction of Amsterdam and The Hague are accurate and I could recall everything perfectly as Anderson described it. Her attention to detail and willingness to write everything perfectly is admirable.
I rate The Things We Said In Venice five stars. I laughed, I cried, I swooned. A good book makes you feel, a great book makes you think. This one did both. If you’re looking for a good book for your summer break, this one won’t disappoint you.