If You Could Go Anywhere…
About the Book:
How can you know where you’re going . . . if you don’t know where you’re from?
Angie has always wanted to travel, but at twenty-seven she has barely even stepped outside the Australian mining town where she was born. Instead, she discovers the world through stories told to her by passing travellers, dreaming that one day she’ll see it all for herself.
When her grandmother passes away, leaving Angie with no remaining family, she is ready to start her own adventures. Then she finds a letter revealing the address of the father she never knew, and realises instantly where her journey must begin: Italy.
As Angie sets out to find the truth – about her family, her past and who she really is – will mysterious and reckless Italian Alessandro help guide the way?
The heartbreaking, romantic and utterly compelling new novel from international bestselling author Paige Toon.
A new novel by Paige Toon is always a welcome treat. If You Could Go Anywhere is a romance/coming of age/travelogue that is based heavily on the author’s feelings of wanderlust, drawing on her own experiences travelling in Australia, Italy and Norway. It’s steeped in atmosphere, the places, the tastes, and the sensations – all coming to life on these pages. It’s a very enjoyable novel and I could really see it playing out as a movie.
‘Oh, Nan…I’m overwhelmed with grief at the thought of her and desperately sad that she kept this part of my family from me.’
What started as a coming of age/discover who you really are type of novel quickly veered into a contemporary romance though. This did bother me at times, particularly as this storyline overshadowed the father/daughter relationship which was, to my mind, the actual point of the novel. The romance plot was also quite predictable in its trajectory, lacking the uniqueness of Paige’s previous novel, Five Years from Now. All this aside though, I still really enjoyed this story, and that is largely due to the character of Angie, who was very well crafted and authentically realised throughout. She’s a fixer, a helper, a pleaser; she’s intrinsically good, but not in an annoying way. She’s the type of person who acts without artifice and genuinely deserves good fortune. Having such an endearing character to champion balanced out the other aspects of the story that niggled at me, so that by the time I had reached the end of this novel, I felt as though it had been a very satisfying read indeed. I tend to be a bit nitpicky about romances though, so my fussiness is often not a reflection of the story but more about my reading mood and general mindset at the time. There are some very heartfelt moments along the way for Angie and Alessandro, which go a long way towards bursting the romance bubbles and carving out a proper foundation for a relationship, which appealed to me far more.
‘It’s crazy. Frighteningly crazy. I have no experience with mental illness and the thought of trying to make Alessandro see sense scares the hell out of me. All I know is that I’ve got to try.’
Fans of contemporary romance and lovers of food fiction will relish within the pages of this novel. It really is a treat for the senses and if you long to travel to Italy but haven’t ever gotten there, then this is also an ideal read for you. A great one to pick up for the coming long weekend!
‘You’re like no one I’ve ever known. So open and honest and true and pure and good and loving and forgiving and so beautiful, inside and out. I thought maybe you really were an angel.’
Thanks is extended to Penguin Random House Australia for providing me with a copy of If You Could Go Anywhere for review.
About the Author:
Paige Toon grew up between England, Australia and America and has been writing books set in sun-drenched locations around the world since 2007. She has released eleven fiction novels and a three-part spin off series for young adults.
In 2014, Paige set up a club, The Hidden Paige, in order to share free short stories and extra content with her readers. Sign up at paigetoon.com or visit her website to find out more about the author and her characters.
If You Could Go Anywhere
Published by Penguin Random House Australia
Released on 1st May 2019