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About the Book"'See Naples and die.' To Heddi those words ring true. There is nothing more heartbreakingly beautiful than this city built on Roman ruins and set against a sleeping volcano. Despite years of navigating the narrow, winding streets of Naples's Spanish Quarter, the city never fails to instill in her the pain of longing, a desire to belong. A place she wants to call home despite being l'americano or the American. For Heddi's group of university friends, Naples is either a refuge from their familial responsibilities or an entryway to a wider world. But for all of them, Naples is a place they'll never forget: the setting of their unrestrained youth. Heddi's days of shuttling between her classes and the crumbling apartment she shares with her rambunctious friends are interrupted when she unexpectedly meets a fellow student named Pietro. The two immediately fall into a whirlwind romance, moving in together, enjoying every minute of their precious present, and dreaming of their futures. Yet just as they're about to take the next step in their love story, the overwhelming pressure of tradition and familial obligation threatens to break them apart. In this coming-of-age tale about first love--love of a place, love of a person-- languages and cultures collide while dreams take off and crash in spectacular ways"--
As seen in the New York Times Book Review.
Set in the passionate, intense, and crumbling neighborhood known as the Spanish Quarter of Naples, comes a tale of two students searching for love and belonging in the city they so desperately want to call home.
Years after leaving Naples with a broken heart, Heddi receives an email from her first love. Although she now lives in New Zealand, just the thought of the Spanish Quarter's narrow, winding streets sparks the pain of longing. Heddi had found her place in that city built on Roman ruins and set against a sleeping volcano. A place she wants to call home despite being l'americana or the American. For Heddi's group of university friends, Naples is either a refuge from their familial responsibilities or an entryway to a wider world. But for all of them, Naples was their real university of life: the setting of their unrestrained youth.
When Heddi first met Pietro at a party hosted by her bohemian roommates, she was inexplicably drawn to the serious geology student. Despite coming from wildly different backgrounds--Heddi, a nomadic American; Pietro, an Italian farm boy--the two fell into a liberating romance. She was searching for the roots she never had, while he tried to escape his. Yet even after the two were doomed to part ways, their story isn't finished just yet.
Inspired by her own 10-year search for belonging in Naples, author Heddi Goodrich gives readers a passionate tale of a life caught between two worlds and a heartfelt ode to first love--of a place, of a person-- where languages and cultures collide while dreams soar and crash in unexpected ways.