At the end of Opposite Worlds, the prequel to Italian Girls, Mary, Frank Walsh's wife, has left him, frustrated by his philandering ways and apparent infertility. Unlike Mary, Frank doesn't believe in marriage, nor does he believe in God any more, though like her he was brought up as a Catholic. He even spent nine years training to be a priest, an experience described in Ghosters, the first book in Frank's saga, and an experience that still haunts him. The beginning of Italian Girls finds Frank feeling liberated but lonely, as well as guilty about the break-up of his marriage. He tries to find solace in love affairs with his international students at the colleges in London and Dublin where he teaches English. Ironically, though, these affairs make him realise what he really wants is a wife and children after all. He has always had a thing for Italian girls, ever since a boyhood crush on Gina Lollobrigida, so when he falls in love with Cinzia, an Italian student, he thinks he has found the love of his life and the wife of his dreams. But has he? Or will his quest lead him to a different continent entirely ..? Eugene Vesey was born and brought up in Manchester.
He was educated at a Catholic grammar school in Manchester, Catholic seminaries in the English Lake District and Midlands and the Universities of Manchester and Liverpool. He has lived and worked as a teacher in London for nearly forty years.
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