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An Italian Affair
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An Italian Affair

3.65  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,782 Ratings  ·  200 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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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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
Jul 04, 2011 Lori rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 16, 2009 Aleta rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Kathy Marler
Oct 10, 2009 Kathy Marler rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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.
Angela N
Jan 28, 2011 Angela N rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 01, 2008 Micaela rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 07, 2011 Jaclyn Day rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 01, 2016 Kristal rated it did not like it
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
Jul 16, 2010 Twistedmoe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-wishlist
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
Jan 26, 2008 Hazel rated it liked it  ·  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
Maria Arra Perez
I have mixed emotions towards this book.

I liked this book in so many levels, the way I like a routine: repetitive, predictable, but still can't do without. Laura's series of transatlantic rendezvous with the professor has been a routine throughout the book, coupled with side stories about their lives. The reviews got it right -- this is a good travelogue and beach read.

The author has become an instant favorite owing to the beauty of her words. Her voice is so distinct and she strings words per
Peggy Davenport
An Italian Affair Laura Fraser 2001
Published by Vintage Books a division of Random House, Inc. New York.

A memoir of a young woman in her thirties divorced after her husband left her for his highschool sweet heart.

Actually a super cute book, a good chick lit. Written a bit first time novel-ish but then again a woman my age I can see it being more the disconnect of feeling from the personal...which is her mistake. She should have waited until she was ready to let the emotion sweep into the
Joanne Lake
I have to say that this book took me by surprise. It was the first book that I'd read by Laura Fraser, as well as, the first book I've ever read that was written using this choice of perspective. I consider myself to be fairly well read, my completed list is rather lengthy, but this was the first book I've encountered that was written in the first person perspective using "you" instead of "I". It does take some getting used too, but the book is an easy read, with incredible travel destinations t ...more
Nov 11, 2014 Mindy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
You know why good writers don't write books in the second person? Read An Italian Affair, and you'll get the idea pretty quickly.

Your husband cheats on you with his high school sweetheart, and then you have an affair with a married professor, but while it was NOT okay for your husband to cheat on you, it IS okay for you and the prof to cheat on his wife, because the prof and his wife have an "understanding." Oh, you never met his wife? And he doesn't have a note signed by her giving you permiss
Mar 11, 2014 Ssper rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 06, 2015 Kate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
When I started reading this book, my heart sank. Written in second person, present tense? I can handle that voice for a short piece--but for a whole a book? I thought I wouldn't be able to lose myself in the story because I'd be too overly aware of the style. I had just read Fraser's other book, ALL OVER THE MAP, and had loved it. I was hoping for more of the same.

But I needn't have rushed to judgment. Soon, I was swimming in the story and enjoying her insights into travel, love, heartbreak and
Jan 21, 2016 Anne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Written as a travel memoir, I was a bit surprised that An Italian Affair turned out to be a true story. It sounded like such a great fiction novel, so knowing this story actually happened to someone made it all the more incredible. Laura Fraser's story begins when her husband of one year dumps her for his high school sweetheart. Devastated, Laura decides to visit her friends for a therapeutic trip in Italy. Exploring one of the outer islands, Ischia, on her own one day, Laura crosses paths with ...more
Jul 02, 2009 Alicia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.

Aug 05, 2007 Amanda rated it liked it  ·  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...
Sue Marie
What I liked: A woman coming to terms with an unexpected divorce. A woman who changes her opinion of herself and her life. A woman who travels to other countries and shares her explorations.
What I didn't like: The book was written in second person. Since most books are written in first or third person this was a bit off-putting. Maybe it was done to give the book a "you are there" feeling. But I wasn't "there" and I'm not that woman. At one point I decided that the book was less engrossing and I
Nov 07, 2008 Marian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Waaaaay better than Eat Pray Love!!
Wanda Hilaire
Jan 06, 2010 Wanda Hilaire rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jan 31, 2008 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book made me think that American men have a lot to learn about how to treat women! Fun read for sure.
Linda Park
I was a little unsure of this book when I started it.

It was the first time I had come across a book written from this perspective and to be honest it took me a while to get into the flow of the story because of it. However, once I got used to the writing style, it was an easy read and I have to say that I really enjoyed following the developing relationship between Laura and the professor as she struggled to come to terms with who she was, after her failed marriage.

Travelling with her to Italy
Dec 16, 2008 Sheila rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my all time favorites.
Feb 03, 2009 cmac rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
thanks Jonelle
"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
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I am a long-time journalist and San Franciscan who loves travel and books. I'm the author of the NYT-bestselling memoir An Italian Affair, and its sequel, All Over the Map. I also wrote a book about the diet industry, Losing It. I am the co-founder and editorial director of, which publishes short, top-shelf ebooks by women. My own Shebook, The Risotto Guru, is all about eating in Ital ...more
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“It isn't such a bad thing to always know that someone on the other side of the world cares about you.” 148 likes
“You can't regret a whole period in your life. . . . It's part of who you are, one of your stories.” 21 likes
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