The Difference

Anxiety is a real thing and can be debilitating. Mix that with being a psychotherapist and you’re likely prone to even more self-analysis. Unfortunately, those very traits are playing havoc with Rachel Granza’s life. Not just with her job but with her boyfriend, Brian, and her family. Needing to discover herself and her roots, she and Brian set out on a trip to Italy. What she finds there changes her, her family history, and her relationships. Fortunately, all for the better.
A thoroughly entertaining debut novel, “The Difference” relies heavily on the beloved family stereotype: family, secrets, food, and for most of the novel, more food. As enticing as some of the recipe descriptions are, they overwhelm the story at times. More dialogue and less exposition would have added another level of interest to the story. Rachel’s character begins on the verge of being neurotic, but seeing her confidence and self-awareness develop is a nice bonus, as is the growth in her relationship with her boyfriend. Brian’s kindness and willingness to tag along as she finds herself makes him a very endearing character. The supporting characters are entertaining and well placed in the story. The discovery of family secrets added a nice, and somewhat ironic, twist. More of a conclusion to Rachel’s relationship with her family at home, especially her brother, and with Brian, would make the story even stronger. If one enjoys a well-written and exciting tale of self-discovery, “The Difference” is a book for you!
N.E. Kelley