Who hasn't gone to Italy and dreamed of living there? So, you can see why the title, Halfway to Each Other: How a year in Italy brought our family home, caught my eye.
Author Susan Pohlman and her husband were on the brink of divorce when a business trip to Italy sparked the idea of doing what most of us only dream about doing: sell everything, pack up and move to Italy. And that's exactly what they did. Little did they know, it would save their marriage and bring their family together in a way unimaginable.
While my curiosity in this book originally lay in discovering what it was like for an American to live in Italy, I came upon other fascinating realizations from the pages of this book:
1. It would be difficult to adjust to a different culture, yet surprisingly worth it. Ms. Pohlman lays it all out on the table. It wasn't easy for her family to live in a country where they couldn't speak the language; where modern conveniences were, well let's say, not so modern; or where American traditions were nothing short of challenging, like purchasing a turkey to celebrate Thanksgiving dinner. But doing it with a mindfulness for adventure, a great sense of humor, and with someone you care about, it can be a life-changing experience. It was for the Pohlman family.
2. Though it's difficult to talk or write about Italy without romanticizing it, the bottom line is the Italian people are just like you and me. They have their warts, flaws and charisma, too. Yet, the Pohlman's learned that these genuine people with their sometimes strange and quirky ways taught them valuable life-lessons. They learned how to look at themselves, laugh at themselves, and love themselves as individuals, and as a family.
3. Italy has a magical power to bring the best out in people. It delivers a precious gift: a sense of delight about life. The Pohlman's received that gift. As a result, they created lasting bonds of love, family and friendships.
I smiled through the pages I share Italian experiences with Ms. Pohlman. I turned green over those describing Italian places or things I've only ready about. I cried when the family faced returning home. I really enjoyed learning from this real-life tale how wonderful life might be from spending a year in Italy.
If you share our love for Italy, dream of living there one day, and enjoy a happy ending, then you might want to give this one a read!