Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Italian Party” as Want to Read:
The Italian Party
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Italian Party

3.55  ·  Rating details ·  1,878 ratings  ·  449 reviews
A delicious and sharply funny page-turner about "innocent" Americans abroad in 1950s Siena, Italy. Newly married, Scottie and Michael are seduced by Tuscany's famous beauty. But the secrets they are keeping from each other force them beneath the splendid surface to a more complex view of ltaly, America and each other.

When Scottie's Italian teacher--a teenager with secrets
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published March 20th 2018 by St. Martin's Press
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Italian Party, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Italian Party

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.55  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,878 ratings  ·  449 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Italian Party
Larry H
Mar 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Between 3.5 and 4, rounded up.

On its surface, Christina Lynch's The Italian Party is like a fancy dessert—it's lovely to look at, but you aren't sure if there will be any substance beneath the decorative frills. But when you dig in, you realize there's more to it than meets the eye.

Newlyweds Scottie and Michael leave America to move to Siena, Italy, where Michael will be selling Ford tractors to Italian farmers, to get them to start absorbing American culture. It's the 1950s, not long after
Mar 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
4.5 Fantastico Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟.5

Grande Successo! this book was an unexpected Gem for me....Siena,Italy 1956....Two Young newly married Americans.... full of secrets and hope....

Scottie and Michael are newly married.... both of them came to the marriage with many secrets and for different reasons.... Michael works for Ford selling tractors to the Italian farmers.... but he has a hidden agenda... he wants to bring the American Capitalistic ways to Italy and fight communism.....scottie is a girl that go
Elyse  Walters
Feb 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It’s tempting to want to share spoilers - however- this sexy-romantic-historical fiction comical spy story with secrets that keep coming and coming - is such delightful entertainment—that personally - I suggest JUST READ IT —skip reviews until AFTER you’ve read it. The surprises are a comic-tragic-kick-of-fun.....pushing your curiosity buttons as to how and the heck are these guys going to weasel out of these situations.

This novel is a delicious adventure from start to finish.
Angela M
Mar 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Scottie is beautiful, broke and keeps a big secret about herself from her new husband. Michael is handsome, thought she had money and has a couple of very big secrets of his own that he keeps from his new wife. This would make a great movie as the truth slowly is revealed. Each believed the other was someone else. The reader becomes privy to the secrets early in the novel before these things are revealed to Scottie and Michael. How can this relationship survive? They are young and beautiful and ...more
Diane S ☔
Feb 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
It is 1956 and Scottie and Michael are newly married. Scottie is very young, naive, dropped out of Vassar to get married, Michael is older and likes that Scottie is young enough to be moulded. Michael is opening a Ford tractor business in Sienna and it is where he and Scottie will live for the time being. This couple don't know each other well, they both have
Secrets they are keeping from the other, and their own reasons for the marriage.

A fun read, a sort of spy romp but also much more. Althoug
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Mar 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle-version, arcs
4 adventurous spy stars with a side of Italy! 🇮🇹 ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

The Italian Party was a fun ride through the 1950s Italian countryside. It only turned serious in the last couple chapters. Scottie and Michael are recently married, and they move to Siena so that Michael can open a business. Scottie has much growing up to do, and each of them carry secrets into their marriage.

Italy is a hotbed of politics with speculation of communism and an impending election. The dynamics of this were fascinating f
Oct 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all who yearn an escape from this pandemic
Recommended to Jaidee by: Larry H
Shelves: five-stars-books
5 "sonorous, sensual with a dollop of melodrama" stars !!!

7th Favorite Read of 2020 Award

I am on cloud nine after reading this absolutely divine first novel by Ms. Lynch.

1956 Siena, Italy. A young American couple newly married arrive to open a Ford Tractor franchise.

Sounds rather dull right ? Except all is a ruse. One of them is CIA. Both of them have secrets. Both of them have affairs. The love they have for each other is new but sturdy. A fourteen year old boy is both admired and exiled. He
Feb 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Well, the big question here is who is concealing the most secrets, Scottie or Michael? One after another, they’re revealed to us. The newlywed couple has come to Siena, Italy, 11 years after the end of WWII. They know so little about each other, and most of what they think they know is wrong.

I felt for Scottie when she first arrives In Siena. Years ago, a group of us rented a house in Pontassieve. While most of the gang made their way from Florence to the house via train, the landlady and I spe
Brenda ~Traveling Sister Book Reviews
The Italian Party is a fun, witty, and entertaining cinematic story that I really enjoyed reading. Jennifer who was reading this one with me pulled me into a coulee with her and I was really glad I decided to join her. What a nice pleasant change of pace this one was. Without her, I would have missed out on such a fun read done on the lighter side with some serious subjects to make this an interesting story.

Christina Lynch does a great job creating interesting characters here with young America
Feb 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

Scottie and Michael are newlyweds living in Tuscany in the 1950's. What could be better! Sound like the adventure of a lifetime and in many ways, it is. But they both have secrets they are keeping from the other. They really didn't know each other for too long before they decided to get married. Michael liked that Scottie was educated at Vassar. That meant she came from money, right? She is a blonde from California and he believed she must come from a "good family." Scottie looks good o
I swear.....secrets, lies AND betrayals just keep on compounding throughout this entire novel!

THE ITALIAN PARTY begins in the late 1950's as a young newly married couple head off from America to Sienna, Italy to begin their new life together.

SUPER handsome Michael and SUPER beautiful Scottie are the perfect couple who have it all......or so it seems.

In reality, however, nothing is what it seems in this crazy-good story....NOT Michael NOT Scottie, nor just about anyone....aside from Ecco the dog.

Nov 14, 2020 rated it liked it
I want a novel to take me out swimming in a deep sea. This was more a frolic in shallow waters.

Newlyweds Scottie and - I've already forgotten his name and will have to look it up - Michael arrive in Siena in 1956. They both have secrets. She's pregnant by another man and he's gay and works for the CIA. Scottie is very much this new breed of female super hero. Ridiculously idealised. She is beautiful, kind, generous, socially self-confident, uninhibited, equally at ease in the city and country a

”Love is a flower
That blooms so tender
Each kiss a dew drop
Of sweet surrender

“Love is a moment
Of life enchanging
Let’s take that moment
That tonight is granting.
There’s no tomorrow
When love is new
Now is forever
When love is true
So kiss me and hold me tight
There’s no tomorrow
There’s just tonight.”

-- “There’s No Tomorrow,” (Ole Sole Mio) Dean Martin, written by Christopher Difford, Glenn Tilbrook

It is April of 1956 when this story begins in Tuscany, where two newlyweds, Micha
Suzanne Leopold (Suzy Approved Book Reviews)
Newlyweds Michael and Scottie Messina move to Siena, Italy in 1956. Michael is operating a Ford tractor dealership as cover for his role within the CIA. His current mission is to influence the local election to ensure that the winner is not from the Communist party. Michael is leading two lives and is keeping his CIA involvement and other secrets from his wife. Scottie’s life is in transition after dropping out of school abruptly and agreeing to a quick marriage. She has secrets of her own and h ...more
Party noun
1. a social gathering of invited guests, typically involving eating, drinking, and entertainment.
2.a formally constituted political group that contests elections and attempts to form or take part in a government.

When I first saw the title, I thought of the party, as in gathering, but this is mostly about a political party, the reason for Michael and his new wife, Scottie, for moving to Siena, Italy in 1956. Michael is a CIA recruit, pretending to be a Ford tractor salesman. Scottie has
Bam cooks the books ;-)
American newlyweds Scottie and Michael Messina arrive in Tuscany in 1956 to begin their married life together: he is starting a Ford tractor business and she will feather a little nest for them to call home. But they are almost strangers since they married in such a hurry. Each is pretending to be someone they are not, hiding some big secrets about themselves--will their marriage be over before it really begins if those secrets are revealed?

Both Scottie and Michael are nervous about what life wi
Mar 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
What a fun jaunt through Italy in 1956 with newlyweds Michael and Scottie! After a whirlwind romance and wedding, they barely know one another, but each thinks they have hit the jackpot with this marriage. However, both have a secret. Scottie has his reasons for being in Italy that he keeps from Scottie, and Scottie has secrets in her past that Michael knows nothing about. They are very young and very naïve when they arrive in Italy where Michael will open a business selling tractors. The tone a ...more
Mar 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"American tourists come here and they see only the happy, beautiful Italy they want to see, and that the Italians want them to see. The party. They don't see the scars. The ongoing struggles. Why would they? They don't see them at home, either." In 1956 Scottie and Michael are two naïve young Americans who married soon after meeting at a Vassar mixer. They have just moved to Siena so that Michael can establish a Ford tractor dealership and it turns out that they have brought a lot of secrets wit ...more
Mar 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It’s 1956. Scottie and Michael are young newlyweds. Each with their own selfish intentions and suitcases full of secrets they head to Italy. Michael is serious and has a guilt-ridden conscience; Scottie on the other hand is carefree and whimsical. They seem to be total opposites, but I look it as more of yin yang relationship.

There is a political theme which represents the time period throughout. It wasn’t heavy handed, but quite intriguing. The descriptions of Italy are beautiful, the food deli
Mar 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Young newlyweds Michael and Scottie are sent to Italy because of Michael’s job with the CIA, trying to change the upcoming election results there from communist leadership to democratic. Scottie has no idea in the beginning about her husband’s job, she thinks he works for Ford and is to sell tractors in Italy.
Secrets and lies are aplenty with these two, some comical moments, but this was just ok for me.

Thank you to St.Martins Press for the advanced copy and to NetGalley!
Mar 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
3+ stars

The Italian Party is pretty light given the topic. I think this will work well for some and less for others. I feel on the fence — at times I got into it and at others I wanted it to be more serious.

Scottie (a woman) and Michael are newly married Americans living in Sienna in the 1950s. They have lots of secrets and very different reasons for marrying each other. On the surface, Scottie seems like a good natured hapless new bride and Michael seems like an overeager new entrepreneur. As t
Michael and Scottie are young, attractive but naive newly weds who married after a whirlwind romance in 1956 and have moved to Siena in Italy where Michael is to sell tractors for Ford. Both carried secrets into the marriage and know very little about each other and it was delightful to watch their relationship unfold as they gradually discover who they are. Michael is also leading a double life trying to influence the local elections to prevent the spread of communism, although he really has ve ...more
Mar 09, 2018 rated it it was ok
First off, huge thank you to Jordan for sending me an arc of this one via Netgalley!

So, I was a bit hesitant to read this because it sounded a bit too historical/political for my tasting. And.. unfortunately it was.

But, I am glad that I took a chance because I'm not a huge historical fan or like much political aspects to my novels.

The Italian Party started off great with the lovely travel scenes in Italy! I absolutely loved the vivd images I was able to obtain from Italy's mountainsides and t
Mar 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley, fiction
Wow! 4.5 Stars for this debut novel by Christina Lynch. Full review to follow 🇮🇹


Ciao! Grazie to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for allowing me to read this Advanced Reader Copy of The Italian Party, a novel set in Siena, Italy in 1956. Thinking of my reading experience overnight, I decided to change my rating to a full five stars. In full disclosure, Italy is my favorite place on earth and I was excited when I was approved to read this novel. While I’ve not been to Siena, I feel li
I will admit that I didn’t enjoy this one as much as I thought I would, probably because I knew this book was categorized as historical fiction and so I was expecting a story with a bit more substance, a bit more seamless blending of history and story, a bit better balance of seriousness and lightheartedness. To me, the story felt a bit all over the place, at times being overly serious, other times bordering on comedic. I did love the setting though and I felt the author Christina Lynch did a go ...more
Marialyce (absltmom, yaya)
Mar 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: net-galley
4 fun and yet serious stars

Oh to be able to live and work in Italy! Scottie and Michael in 1956 got to do just that. They were young, they were newly married and they had secrets. But, oh the food, oh the people, and oh the fun one could have meandering through the sociopolitical scene that happened after the war years! But maybe, it was not fun at all! Secrets and lies are always a way to undermine a marriage, a life, and a friendship.

The fear was that the Communists would take over in Italy a
Mar 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Picturesque, insightful, and delightfully winsome!

The Italian Party is an immersive story that takes you back to Siena, Italy during the mid-1950s when The Cold War was still influencing Italian politics, Communism was rampant, spies were everywhere, and in this tale newly married American couple Michael and Scottie have just arrived with glamour, high-tech gadgets, and an abundance of secrets.

The prose is eloquent and atmospheric. The characterization is exceptionally well drawn with a whole sl
3.5 STARS.
I would describe this book as a fun frolicking read. I'm not sure if I was supposed to take the story seriously cause at no point did it feel serious till the last 2 chapters. It has the feel of a rom-com. It definitely put me in mind of Roman Holiday" or "Three Coins in a Fountain".
I loved the setting of Siena and loved all the talk of food. The author described Siena and its people well- definitely felt like I knew them.
Our main protagonist Scottie and Michael are Americans who have
Feb 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
The Italian Party is a smart, sharp, and satiric take on 1950s American culture and politics.

The newlyweds were picture perfect American ideals in the flesh: Michael, twenty-four, a handsome, well-dressed man who shaved four times a day, and twenty-year-old Scottie, Vassar educated, beautiful, blond haired, and dressed in pearls, heels, gloves, hat-- and girdle and underarm perspiration guards.

Their whirlwind courtship and quick marriage was secretly a marriage of convenience for them both. Th
Mar 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Set in 1950s Italy, 11 years after the end of WWII, The Italian Party "stars" a young, newly married American couple in the process of moving into a new home and new lives in an Italian town new to them both. You might wonder why I stress the newness of everything, but then you haven't met Michael and Scottie Messina yet. Along with their luggage they bring their secrets - from each other, from their new neighbors and from their new country. This historical fiction set in Sienna, Italy in 1956, ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Sam Hill: The Prince of Castle Nowhere
  • The Strange Case of Eliza Doolittle
  • Courage Is Calling: Fortune Favors the Brave
  • Lepanto: With Explanatory Notes and Commentary
  • Seven Will Out: A Renaissance Revel
  • Risen: The Novelization of the Major Motion Picture
  • Starring Miss Marple: A Murder is Announced / The Body in the Library / Murder With Mirrors
  • Surface Tension
  • Falling for a French Dream: Escape to the French countryside for the perfect uplifting read
  • We Are What We Eat: A Slow Food Manifesto
  • Up in the Air
  • Autumn in Venice: Ernest Hemingway and His Last Muse
  • WIN
  • The Woman on the Beach: A totally gripping family drama with a heartbreaking twist
  • Bread and Wine
  • Mr. Blue
  • Pasta, Pane, Vino: Deep Travels Through Italy's Food Culture
  • The Butterfly Garden
See similar books…
See top shelves…
Christina Lynch’s picaresque journey includes chapters in Chicago and at Harvard, where she was an editor on the Harvard Lampoon. She was the Milan correspondent for W magazine and Women’s Wear Daily, and disappeared for four years in Tuscany. In L.A. she was on the writing staff of Unhappily Ever After; Encore, Encore; The Dead Zone and Wildfire. She now lives in the foothills of the Sierra Nevad ...more

Related Articles

As this strange summer of staying put winds down, one thing remains truer than ever: Books offer us endless adventure and new horizons to...
62 likes · 28 comments
“American tourists come here and they see only the happy, beautiful Italy they want to see, and that the Italians want them to see. The party. They don’t see the scars. The ongoing struggles. Why would they? They don’t see them at home, either.” 1 likes
“The world’s first bank was born here—Monte dei Paschi di Siena, in 1472. Before Columbus even set sail!” 0 likes
More quotes…