Author: Irene Perali
Summary: Have you ever left everything behind to follow a dream…which is not yours?
The novel Followives is all about this: five intertwined stories of wives following their husbands who moved from Italy to California to pursue unique career opportunities.
Viola, Bianca, Luna, Giada, and Aurora have just started to discover their career paths in vibrant Milan. These five women don’t have a lot in common until the men in their lives decide to chase their dream jobs in the United States.
Weighing their sentiments more than their aspirations—because there are million perfect jobs, but only one perfect husband—the women leave their lives behind to undertake the Californian adventure.
Unemployed and lonely in a new country, the followives confront endless challenges. Impostor Syndrome, hectic jobs or no jobs at all, sky-high rents and home sickness are just a few of the troubles through which these women’s stories intersect.
The heroines will question everything, including the authenticity of their love, which they have traded for their lives in Italy.
Followives explores different aspects of the immigration flow of mostly male engineers from Italy to California in the 2010s.
The often-unspoken voices of their wives provide a unique point of view that demystifies the contemporary California Gold Rush.
At first, it may seem only a romance novel, but Followives invites the reader to reflect on some critical themes of our society:
Love and career: are we willing to take a step back in our careers in favor of our partners’ careers? Do women do that more often than men?
Living far from your country: can the advantages of living in a foreign country alleviate the nostalgia for your homeland?
Whether you are from Italy, California or any other country, if you enjoy reading about complex relationships, deep psychological characterization and vivid descriptions, Followives is your next book.
Notes from the author:
- The main theme of the book is life as an expat spouse. Many women are experiencing this situation and there are still not many fiction books about this topic. Several expat wives told me that they loved the book because they could relate to the characters. It’s reassuring to read that all expats have to go through similar challenges and readers feel motivated when they see how the characters succeed in their lives abroad. Americans liked it too because it’s set between Italy and California and they discovered the difference between the two countries from the point of view of people who have lived in both.