Lost in the Spanish Quarter by Heddi Goodrich (Review by Missi Gwartney)

2 min read

Rating:  3.6 out of 5 stars

“I’d know you’d rather I was dead.”   

An intriguing first line for the beginning of a book via a “current” email exchange which then quickly takes you back to the past for a detailed look at the start of a young blooming relationship.  Heddi, an exchange student from America, and Pietro, a semi-local Italian, meet while attending college in Naples and almost immediately embody the picture of young love.  A quick, passionate relationship develops and soon the two are committed to spending the rest of their lives together and making plans far into the future.  However, as quickly as their new love flourishes, Heddi and Petro are also forced to face the hard reality of what expectations and sacrifices true love ultimately will entail.  They both discover that sometimes love may not be enough and takes us down a path we never meant to go.

In her first book, Goodrich does an amazing job creating a story (based on her own first love experience) and creates a picture that you can imagine yourself right in the middle of.  The book flips back and forth between “current” emails between Heddi and Pietro and then flips back to the past to fill in the details of their relationship.  No detail is left unmentioned and initially, I was loving the storyline and characters.  However, as the book progresses the details get somewhat overwhelming and seemed unnecessary at times and I would occasionally felt detached from the story.  It is clear that this is an homage to her first true love and she wants the reader to embrace that nostalgic feeling that stays with all of us long after its actually ended.  This is the story of true uninhibited young love and the harsh realities that sometimes come along with such passion.

While I’d recommend this book, it is not one that I feel you need to drop everything to read now.  It’s so detailed that it takes time to read and was not necessarily a quick read for me.  It’s a great addition to your “to be read” list and will leave you reminiscing about your first experience with love.

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