Thursday 5 October 2023

Review: A Winter in New York by Josie Silver

Where better to start again than New York?

Iris arrives in the city of dreams, intent on restarting her culinary career, and leaving her recent heartache behind.

Wandering the streets at a famous food festival, Iris feels like she's living in a movie. Then she stumbles upon a gelateria that looks strangely familiar. Inside, she meets Gio: a perfect leading man with an irresistible smile - and a crisis of his own.

As fate would have it, Iris is the one person with the answer to his problem. She just can't tell him that . . .

So, can Iris finally let go of the past - and let herself fall in love?

Review:The title of this book makes you instantly feel cold if you’ve ever been in New York in the winter. Add into that a helping of authentic Italian gelato, and it could feel colder still. As a lover of New York and ice cream, I couldn’t wait to get into this book. It certainly didn’t disappoint, especially when a drop dead gorgeous man was added right from the start. It was one of those books when, once started, I didn’t want to put down.

The story centres on chef Iris, who has fled the clutches of an over-controlling boyfriend in London and moved to New York, a city where her late mother spent a lot of time. Iris has been lucky to find a job working in a noodle restaurant for Bobby, who has quickly become a close friend and confidante. While out walking one day, she sees a building that is familiar from a picture in her mother’s photo album. On investigation, it proves to be Belotti’s gelateria, where she finds handsome Gio, despairing over the lost recipe for their famous vanilla gelato. When Iris is given a sample of the last remaining batch of the gelato, she realises that she actually has the recipe, handed down from her mother who made her promise never to reveal it to anyone. Unsure what to do for the best, she offers to help Gio try to discover the recipe by trial and error. Over the course of a few weeks, the recipe is coming close to the original and Iris has fallen for Gio and the whole Belotti family. However, revealing what she has learned of her mother’s secret history with the family could have disastrous consequences and it looks as if Iris may have to turn her back on her new life and the man she loves.

This was such an amazing story spanning many years as the story is told of her mother’s history with the Belottis as well as Iris’s struggle to escape from a bad relationship only to perhaps lose what may just be the love of her life. I also found myself falling for the Belotti family, who were a power to reckon with when they all got together, and of course for the lovely Gio. As the story progressed I could not see how the situation was going to be resolved without a huge amount of heartache all round. The spectre of Iris’s ex haunted the pages, making both Iris and the reader afraid that he might just turn up and spoil everything. I can definitely recommend that you read this book and find out. It is certainly worth the trip across the Atlantic, but is probably best read with ice cream and tissues to hand.

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