The book is a light-hearted view of life in a rural Italian village in the 1970s. It is a picture of an Italy that is long gone. Aged 22, Valerie left a comfortable life in Poole, Dorset, to follow her Italian fiance to his home in northern Italy. In 1977, Piussogno was a sleepy mountain village where nothing much happened apart from the occasional triple birth of lambs. Valerie's arrival was cause for gossip. The decision to build a disco meant she must be rich and it was also a foregone conclusion that she was pregnant. They were wrong on both fronts. Her new life involved living with her future in-laws, learning both the language and how to drive like an Italian and then the completion of the disco coincided with a visit from the local mafia...The language, the locals and lasagne - That's Amore!
Valerie Barona was born in 1955 in Poole, Dorset. She trained as a teacher and followed her husband to Piussogno, his village in northern Italy. After having two children, she returned to teaching and is currently on the staff at a local school, entertaining her grandchildren - and writing.