|(cover art courtesy of Amazon.com)|
A trip to Italy suits Cat Crawford just fine for her birthday, but she is not happy about the huge sweet sixteen party her soon-to-be-stepmother wants to throw. A solitary afternoon of sight-seeing ends at a gypsy tent, where the fortune teller says, “A great adventure is in store for you. Keep your mind open to the lessons ahead.” When she leaves the tent, Cat finds she has traveled back in time to Renaissance Italy as Patience DiAngeli, a distant cousin of her family. Her one reminder of the present time is her backpack of makeup and gadgets. To avoid suspicion, she must be mindful of everything she says and does and keep the backpack out of sight. She finally shares the time travel secret with her younger cousin, Alessandra, who willingly accepts her story and who then tries to help Cat fit in as a proper young lady of Renaissance Italy. Lorenzo, a dashing young man and fellow artist, catches her eye, but as is customary for the time period, Cat finds herself betrothed to a much older, “creepy” guy. All turns out well in the end—Cat finds her way back to modern day Italy and along the way, learns to open her heart to others, including her future stepmother. Girls will like the romance of the story and all the gorgeous young men—past and present—Cat encounters. The details of the Renaissance costumes and art work, which add to the story’s historical setting, clash with Cat’s modern day slang terms, providing a good amount of humor. Cute, light and romantic, the story will appeal to those who want to leave the real world behind for a while.