An Italian Affair
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An Italian Affair

3.62 of 5 stars 3.62  ·  rating details  ·  1,385 ratings  ·  165 reviews
When Laura Fraser's husband leaves her for his high school sweetheart, she takes off, on impulse, for Italy, hoping to leave some of her sadness behind. There, on the island of Ischia, she meets M., an aesthetics professor from Paris with an oversized love of life. What they both assume will be a casual vacation tryst turns into a passionate, transatlantic love affair, as...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published July 17th 2001 by Pantheon (first published January 1st 2001)
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Irene
So many potent quotables in this adorable travel memoir. Laura Fraser makes me believe in the infinite possibilities of living la dolce vita with plenty of far niente thrown in. I've said this of her other travel memoir, and I'm saying it again...she makes me feel like I'm not alone in the crippling aftermath of a divorce from someone I should have never married. But I also learned something new here: no matter what transpired or the whys and how's of a failed relationship, its all a part of my...more
Aleta
I just finished this book and enjoyed it. L. Fraser did a great job telling a love affair story and keeping it tasteful, not loosing the story to the love affair alone. The story is told through the eyes of the female character and it is about the emotional healing and the blossoming of two human beings in their middle ages. One thing I really like about the book as that although the two are very passionate about one another they continue to lead their own lives and honoring their own separate l...more
Kathy Marler
I found this book in a home where Kurt and I stayed in Hawaii. The author, Laura Fraser is a travel writer, and I believe this was her first book. It is actually an auto-biography, written like a novel. Laura Fraser is a great author, and I wish there was another book to read.

Ms. Fraser made Italy come alive. The sights, the sounds, the aromas and tastes were described in such a way that I felt I was in Italy, enjoying once again, a vacation I had years ago. I now have a great desire to return...more
Tisha
This book is everything I love about Italy, traveling, european men, and even California. I immediately felt like I was in each and every location.

This book provides a great mini-vacation from the comfort of your living room.
Lori
I have to change my rating and review because I did end up finishing the book. The travel was so interesting that I would have to say I liked the writing, but the fact that it was completely driven by a sad relationship diminishes my enjoyment of this book. When I first decided to give up, the relationship had become too graphic, but she didn't continue in that vein, so I was spared the details that are all written in 2nd person, giving me the sleazy feeling that I'm participating. I kept turnin...more
Angela N
I wasn't too impressed with this book. I didn't enjoy the second person writing style, I didn't feel like the story had a great point, and I didn't agree with the author's behavior/philosophy. It seemed like the whole book was about a crushed/divorced woman who meets up with a guy every 6 months or so and has lots of sex. I didn't really feel like her story took her on a great journey of healing or enlightenment, she just kind of got over her divorce and described her sexual exploits. It wasn't...more
Larynda McKay
I first read this book in 2001 - at the recommendation of my friend Heather. To be honest I wasn't sure it would be something I'd like... and there were facets of the book that totally go against my moral values...however, it was delicious for a variety of reasons.

This book is written in 'second person' and therefore from a writing point of view - I was captivated by the unique form of narrating the story.

The story is true - based on the author's experience. I liked how she overcame a troubled...more
Micaela
I'm obsessed with all things Italian. I always said I left my heart there after my summer in Italia. My Dolce Vita. This book is great! What I learned from this book is you can have a great escape after a great loss in your life... that you can find love again in the impossible. She is just so cute and reading her words about her life, you just feel like you've met her. Like she could be one of your girlfriends. ABSOLUTELY loved it. Like your favorite movie, I could re-read this one over and ove...more
Jaclyn Day
How do you heal yourself after losing love? In the vein of Eat, Pray, Love, Fraser tells how she put a heart-breaking divorce behind her after a chance meeting with a Parisian professor in Italy who helped restore her self-confidence and her lust for life (and other things).

What really struck me about this book was the travelog feel throughout. Fraser is a skilled travel writer, and those skills are put to good use here as she offers a real taste of each location she visits to the reader. As she...more
Kristal
While I don't hand out 5 stars too often, neither do I give too many books a single star, but this was all I could offer. And I had such high hopes for this book since my dream is to visit Italy. The traveling part of the story was okay, the 2nd person narrative drove me insane!! And then the author's behavior was so pettish and clingy. I felt that she needed a man to validate herself. While I am not a expressing feminism here, only the fact that as humans, we do not need another person to make...more
Billie Criswell
I was immediately sucked into this book--start to finish. I read it in one luscious day and it completely consumed me. The style in which she writes is so vivid, so alluring, that you are taken into her world. I loved her language, and I loved that she melded her travel with her affair. In a world where we are all looking for love, she reveals so much about herself and her search for love that it makes us all wish we could exist with such honesty.

I don't know what I enjoyed more, her affair or...more
Twistedmoe
Memoirs and biographies are my favorites and this travelogue by Ms. Fraser is a light easy read that is funny, honest and at the same thought-provoking about the reality of unfaithfulness everyday and everytime. I love anything and everything that is Italian and I've picked up some nice notes from this book that'll prolly be of use when the time comes that I could finally step into the grounds of my soul's home country: Italy. :) Her story is one full of adventures, love and courage. The courage...more
Hazel
Jan 26, 2008 Hazel rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who loves life
Loved this book! Quite a page turner, which I could not put down. It is light, but well written, with lovely descriptions of off the beaten path locations throughout Europe, the Mediterranean, and Africa. It is actually really wonderful travel writing. A memoir about a recent divorcee and the affair she has with a married professor, over several rendevous in different cities. It was a great escapist read for a weekend. Author also shared interesting insights into pleasure, living, and joie de vi...more
Ssper
Some odd mistakes in this book, given that this is a true story: She keeps referring to the Mediterranean as "the ocean" (which Italians do not do). I'd understand if she acknowledged that this is a common Californian's mistake (which it is), but I don't think she realizes that she keeps making this mistake (because it's never acknowledged as a mistake, and it's done many times throughout the book).

Then, there's the odd exchange about her saying "ditos" for the plural of "finger". An "s" at the...more
Alicia
The best travel writing/ memoir I've read. It is a vacation for the reader. The romance is fun-especially against the backdrop of some exciting destinations. I read it in 2 days and was sad when it was over.

Amanda
Aug 05, 2007 Amanda rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of anything Italian
What an amazing read. Truly inspiring the mind and heart to keep searching even when you feel you have hit rock bottom. And what a great read about Italy and Italian men. Great book to get lost in for a weekend...
Alison
I really enjoyed the adventure the Author takes throughout this book, after having her husband leave her for another woman, Laura who was always a traveler decides to go to Italy and try and leave her sadness behind. There, on the island of Ischia, she meets M., a married professor from Paris, and their affair begins.Throughout the years she meets him for a couple of weeks at a time in many wonderful locations.
At first I had a bit of a time getting used to her writing it in the second person, u...more
Wanda Hilaire
This book reminded me of my own journeys and love affairs abroad. A lusty, honest read with a woman who savors every bite of life.
Laura
This book made me think that American men have a lot to learn about how to treat women! Fun read for sure.
Sheila
One of my all time favorites.
BJ
"An Italian Affair" is the first in a 2-book memoir by Laura Fraser. This was a re-read because it had been several years since I read it the first time and I recently found the second book. It is the story of a 30-ish writer (generally she writes travel pieces for various magazines)who lives in San Francisco who has a great affection for all things Italian. After her husband leaves her for an old high-school flame, she takes off for Italy to "recover." While there on vacation, she meets a marri...more
Janet
100% a light, quick, easy read - in fact, I knocked it out over Thanksgiving weekend while my parents were visiting.

And it's exactly what the back cover describes - "When Laura Fraser's husband leaves her for his high school sweetheart, she takes off, on impulse, for Italy, hoping to leave some of her sadness behind. There, on the island of Ischia, she meets M., an aesthetics professor from Paris with an oversized love of life. What they both assume will be a casual vacation tryst turns into a...more
Jennifer
I loved this book. It's a travel memoir written by a woman whose husband leaves her after only one year of marriage. Seeking to mend her broken heart she takes off for Italy, where she meets a married Frenchman. They have a casual affair over the next couple years that takes her to Milan, Morocco, London, the California coast, and more. She also talks about her trials and tribulations with her hometown dating scene and tries online dating, so it resonated with me.

In the end, it's a book about fi...more
Audrey ❦❦❦
I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with this book.

What I like: I love the description of the many locales in Italy (particularly Florence) and San Francisco which are reminiscent of holidays I have spent in both places. The sensory descriptions take me right back to some wonderful memories of time spent there.

What I don't like: The author never really develops, in my mind, a true relationship with this guy she randomly meets and beds multiple times. The "relationship" isn't really a relat...more
Lormac
This book was interesting from two perspectives: it is the journey through a relationship that the author has/had with a man she met while on a trip to Italy, and it is also a travelogue of the various places (including the author's home city of San Francisco) she visits during the time this relationship was occurring. The author succeeds in effectively taking the reader along with her on both trips. The author has a great, no-nonsense way of writing, and there is not a drop of self-pity or over...more
Lynn
I read this book in a matter of three days. It is a rich story that is also an easy read. Told from the point of view of Laura, the story chronicles the affair she has with a french art professor while they are on an island in Italy. It is a critical time in Laura's life as her husband of less than two years has just left her for an old girlfriend and Laura is trying to sort out what her life will be like moving forward. Despite all the odds, physical distance, his marriage, their other love sto...more
Maya Rock
May 16, 2008 Maya Rock rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Maya by: Waiting at B & N before going to Diana's to watch BSG
OK, what I did was an intensive kind of skimming of this book, I'll confess! But I wanted to recommend it to everyone. It's a memoir of a woman who gets a divorce and then meets this professor [in ISCHIA!!!]. He is married for like the next two years they meet up on vacations and have sex and travel together with the wonderful understanding that they won't ever really be married.

Miraculously, I actually really enjoyed this. I think it was the descriptions of the travel more than anything else. I...more
Rachel
I'm reading all novels set in Italy right now as research for my novel. Fraser's tale of a bittersweet love affair between a married Frenchman and a newly divorced American woman rises above the romance genre by its nuances and beautifully rendered settings, yet satisfies the same desire for vicarious enjoyment a romance story always does. There's plenty if vicarious food lust satisfied in the read too. The book made me want to cook some pasta, and yet reminded me that the flavors of Italy can't...more
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