BOOK CLUB: Meet Me in Venice

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By Barbara Hannay / Penguin Random House

Published: 6 August 2019
ISBN: 9780143794233
RRP: $32.99

Meet me in Venice by Barbara Hannay is a heart-warming story about Daisy who is still struggling a year after her husband Leo’s sudden death. She decides to take her 3 adult children to Venice, the birth place of Leo but when she visits her accountant, she discovers a secret from Leo’s past. None of her children want to go on the holiday as they all have secrets of their own that they want to keep from their mother, but they realise that the idea of the holiday is finally helping her be more positive.

The eldest child, Marc and his wife Bronte have been having problems with their marriage so this holiday will be a challenge as they will be staying in close proximity in an Airbnb apartment.

Middle child Annie has been living in London trying unsuccessfully to make it as an Actor but has been implying to her family that she is doing well. She is at cross-roads in deciding whether to continue acting or try something else. She will also have to share a room with her much younger sister Ellie who is taking a Gap year and has no idea what she wants to do and doesn’t want to be pressured by her family.

The descriptions of Venice are wonderful and make me want to experience the food, culture, architecture and history for myself.

As it says on the cover, “This is a moving and heartfelt family drama about difficult choices and finding happiness in the most unexpected places.”

I really enjoy Barbara Hannay’s writing, and this was another 5* read for me.

Thanks to Beauty and Lace Book Club and Penguin Random House Australia for my copy for review.

10 of our Beauty and Lace Club Members will be reading Meet Me in Venice and we look forward to hearing what they think.

8 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: Meet Me in Venice

  1. This book is based on Daisy Benetto and her 3 adult children – Marc, Anna and Ellie. Daisy is grieving for her husband Leo who died suddenly of a heart attack. To help her find herself and start moving forward, she invites her children to holiday in Venice and learn more about the country of Leo’s birth.

    Each of her children haven’t been totally honest with her about their lives and their jobs, but the biggest thing that turns her world upside down is the secret that her husband Leo took to the grave with him. It makes her question her marriage and the life they had together. She and her children really don;t communicate and they all pretend that life is great as they do not want to honestly say that it is not and disappoint her.

    Venice has a healing effect for them and finally enables them to trust and be honest with each other, no matter how bad it can be.

    Barbara Hannay has weaved novel that is very real and believable and makes her characters come alive.. Nothing is straightforward or banal. this book has all the romance,intrigue, sadness, loss and happiness which are all the right ingredients for contemporary fiction.

    This is the first book I have read of Barbara Hannay’s but it will certainly not be the last. I will buy more. thank you for an easy read, good novel.

  2. Thanks to Beauty and Lace and Penguin Random House for the opportunity to read Meet me in Venice by Barabra Hannay.

    This is a story of relationships – of brother and sisters, parents and children, husbands and wives and siblings. Against a back drop of a trip to Venice (I really want to visit Venice now) the Bennetto family find out a family secret, look to resolve the secrets in their own lives and discover deeper relationships and the true strength of the bonds between them.

    Engaging and easy to read (and a bit un-put-downable) I was drawn into the world of the Bennettos and the beauty of Venice. Did I mention I really want to visit Venice?

    Highly recommended!

  3. This month I read ‘Meet me in Venice’ by Barbara Hannay. It was a lovely book with an engaging, but fairly predictable storyline. The story did follow a calm, meandering path to get to the end. This is a good book to read when you want to relax.

    Thank you Beauty and Lace for letting me read this book >:o)

  4. This is the first book I have ready by Barbara Hannay, it is the story of the Benetto family who have suffered not only drama and sadness but also great happiness and romance that brings them together in unexpected ways.

    The story follows the lives of Daisy Benetto and her 3 adult children Marc, Anna and Ellie. Daisy’s life all a sudden falls apart when her husband Leo dies suddenly from a hear attack but a year later trying to put her life back together she invites her children on a holiday to Venice to discover more of the country where Leo was born.

    With her two older children living in different parts of the world they have not been totally honest about their lives and try to cover up what is really going on. Daisy finds out that there is a mystery left behind by Leo and this turns her world upside down. Does she really want to know what it is? Maybe going to Venice will answer her questions. They all go on holiday to Venice as they do not want to disappoint Daisy, but will they tell Daisy their stories or will she work them out.

    Whilst in Venice they all learn more about themselves and become more truthful about what is really happening in their lives but will their relationships survive and will they find the happiness that they really want?

    I highly recommend this book and look forward to reading more by Barbara Hannay

  5. As a fan of Italy, I felt very immersed in the story – it transported me back there! ‘Meet Me In Venice’ is a lovely, rich story of the Benetto family. I loved the descriptions of the characters, and the setting. I found it interesting, and difficult to put down. I recommend this book and will now be reading more of Barbara Hannay’s books.

  6. Loved this book. Thanks Beauty and Lace and Penguin Random house for the opportunity to read and review “Meet Me in Venice”. This is the first of Barbara Hannay’s books that I have read and I have no idea why I have not come across her books before.

    I loved the concept of a widow (Daisy) deciding to honor her late husband (Leo’s) wish to take her to Venice to experience where he grew up by taking her wide flung family on an all expenses paid holiday.

    Daisy is so looking forward to having her family back around her that she doesn’t actually stop to think how they feel about the idea and how it impacts on them. Her eldest is Marc, living in Silicon Valley where the requirement is that your job must be everything, with his wife Bronte (how Daisy longs to hear the patter of little grandchildren feet), Anna is next, living in London, a glittering acting career at her fingertips, and the youngest is Ellie, just finished year 12 and determined to take a gap year before choosing a career.

    The proposed family holiday brings with it dilemmas for each of Daisy and Leo’s children. Marc and Bronte have recently separated due to Marc’s overwhelming work commitments but the rest of the family have not yet been told. Will Bronte agree to come with him to Venice and participate in a farce of a marriage so as not to upset his mum. Anna’s career has not taken off the way she would have hoped, auditions are few and far between (and having your phone start quacking in the middle of an audition is not the best way to impress the panel!) and Ellie just really wants to spend time with her best mate Zach and not with her elder siblings and pressure about what she is going to do with her life.

    When Daisy goes to cash in some shares to fund the holiday she is shocked to discover that she can’t and that they are held in trust for a family she has never heard of. Did Leo have a secret family that he has kept hidden from her all their married life?

    Somehow all the family, including Bronte, agree to go to Venice where they stay in a beautiful home and experience the sights of the beautiful city of Leo’s birth. But underneath there is the bubbling discord and discontent that comes from so many family secrets. As the family faces their individual demons and the secret that Leo took to the grave everything they believe in is tested and could make or break them as individuals and a family.

    Hannay brings to life the dilemmas experienced by many as they strive to be who they are and live up to the expectations of family, and employers and the importance of being true to, and believing in, yourself. Her characters are well rounded and believable and the story line flows well with just enough gently twists to keep you interested. Her descriptions of Venice certainly inspire you to want to experience this city.

    Highly recommended for lovers of well written fiction, 5 stars.

  7. This is the first novel I have read by Barbara Hannay & I look forward to reading others.

    It was well written & a wonderful story about family & relationships, learning to overcome their grief for the loss of her husband Daisy decides she wants to take her children to Venice for a family holiday. Leo, Daisy husband & the childrens father was originally born in Venice & the family had not been before.

    Together they unfolded a story which was linked to Leo’s past. The holiday also brought together the family members & helped them heal their own realstionship issues.

    Having just returned from Italy & Venice in late August this was a wonderful setting for the story

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