Book Review: Head over Heel by Chris Harrison.

Release Date: 14th July 2016
Publisher: Nicholas Brealey Publishing
Twitter: @harrisonwriter

This past Christmas, my husband, Chris and I decided to get simple little presents for each other. Nothing fancy, as we'd just moved into our new house and both didn't feel like we 'needed' anything else. I took him to Nando's and got him a book and he bought me a new diary and this book. Chris, is now back in America until we can sort out his UK visa and for the past week I have been showing him the book on face-time as I thank him profusely for getting it for me... 

It was getting to the end of our Christmas shopping trip and Chris wanted me to choose something before we left. In each shop we went in nothing caught my eye and it wasn't until we were in the bookstore that I realized I was searching for something money couldn't buy. I picked up anything and everything related to Italy because more than anything I wanted my Grandad back. After getting a little emotional, I just wanted something that would make me smile and be someway connected to him. Then I spotted this book and immediately told Chris that it was what I would like. Grandad was from the south of Italy after all!

I rarely read non-fiction unless it is an autobiography of a 'celeb' that I like, so I wasn't sure if I would get into this book. I started a few pages and then had to google Chris Harrison just so I could put a face to his story and then I proceeded to go on an incredible journey. I met new people, I discovered a place in Italy I had never before heard of, I found out all about Italian politics, hospitals and police and with every new page I felt closer to my family and my heritage. 

Chis's descriptions and way of writing was so easy-going and detailed that I was transported to Italy each time I picked up the book. I was also happy because the Italian words he uses throughout his story, I actually knew before he translated them! Huge progress on my learning...something is going in!! A lot of the topics that Chris touches on, I already felt like I knew, from the trips I have taken to Italy and just from being around my Grandparents and family in Italy in general. The way they talk, the way they have two sets of rules; the ones that you're supposed to follow and then the ones that everyone does follow. The daily routines and the simple way of living, it all made perfect sense to me, which only made it funnier to read about, especially because Chris comes across as a genuinely funny guy. There was so much humour flowing through this book, that I constantly had to stop to share some remark Chris had made with my family. I often found myself with tears in my eyes from laughing so much. 

The fact that this book is Chris's story, from meeting his future wife, to moving to a completely new country and learning a whole new language, as well as, how to live in a small village in Italy, that isn't remotely up to date with the rest of the modern day world, fascinated me. I adored that Chris wrote down all these memories, moments and conversations and that he now has this book to preserve this very specific time in his life. It's wonderful to me. I mean what happened if he went to Italy and did all this and we had no account of it?? Surely it's a very positive sign that upon finishing this book, I couldn't imagine what it would have been like had Chris not written about his time in Southern Italy. I feel so much richer in knowledge after reading this, that I feel at risk of rambling too much and saying pretty much the same thing but in various different ways!

Let's sum it up! Thank you Chris for sharing your story with me and thank you to my husband Chris for getting it for me. I have absolutely loved being completely immersed in 'Head over Heel,' this past week and am so happy that I picked it up. I have left it on my parents coffee table, for my Mum and sisters to fight over who gets to read it next!! 

If you want to discover Italy, the real Italy, from an honest and open viewpoint. I cannot recommend this book enough! 

Buona Lettura! 

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