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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Head Over Heel: Seduced by Southern Italy - Chris Harrison

Released October 2010

Head Over Heel: Seduced by Southern Italy is Chris Harrison's book detailing how he ended up leaving his home country, Australia, for Southern Italy. In a nutshell, it was all for love. The book is part memoir, part relocation guide as he details the challenges he faced not only being allowed to remain in Italy but also getting a driver's license and getting necessary medical care when the average wait for care, due to national health care, is six months. For anyone considering packing up and moving to Italy or any other country for that matter, there is some solid information in this book.

As for the memoir aspect, there were times when I felt the book was a little too personal for my liking. I understand his passion for his girlfriend and know that's why he was in Italy, but I didn't really want to hear about their sex life. I also didn't care to read how his colored underwear supposedly stained a load of sheets or how he and his girlfriend's family didn't always see eye to eye. I understand it's very personal to the author and his new family, and if the author was family or a close friend, I would have that connection drawing me into the book.

That's what makes a memoir hit or miss. For me to want to know details, I really have to feel a connection to the author (i.e. celebrity memoirs) and in this case, the connection was lacking. I certainly can see Head Over Heel having great appeal with the author, his family and friends. For the average stranger that will pick up this book, details of life in Italy are great. The segment on veterinary care made me cringe.  However, the rest seemed hit or miss. If you want to learn about moving to Italy and the steps required to remain in the country, I say read it. If you are reading this thinking it's a whimsical romance,  you might want to look elsewhere.

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