'This isn't a mid-life crisis OK? For a start I'm not old enough yet to have one of those. I'm calling it a happiness project. I've stolen an entire summer from my life and by the time it's over I plan to leave this place with a list in my hand. The ten things that make me happy, that's all I want to know. How difficult can it be? They may be small things - a perfect cup of coffee, a day without rain - or bigger ones. It's still the beginning so how can I know?' Addolorata Martinelli knows she should be happy. She has everything she thought she wanted - her own business, a husband, a child. So why does she feel as if something is missing? Then when her restaurant, Little Italy, is slated by a reviewer, she realises that she's lost the one thing she thought she could always count on, her love of food. So Addolorata heads to Venice for a summer alone, aiming to find the ten things that make her happy. Once she's found them, she'll construct a new life around her ten things, but will they include her life in London?
When Nicky Pellegrino's Italian father came to England he fell in love with and married a Liverpool girl. He brought to his new family his passion for food and instilled in them what all Italians know - that you live to eat instead of eating to live. This Italian mantra is the inspiration behind Nicky's delicious novels. Every summer the family left their home in Merseyside and returned to her father's home town, near Naples, in southern Italy. When Nicky met and married a New Zealander she moved to Auckland where she works as a journalist and edits a woman's magazine. She hoards her annual leave so that she and her husband can return to Italy to meet up with her family and to eat the best mozzarella and research her books.