Elizabeth Adler shines again with this novel set on the beautiful Amalfi coast. Her descriptions are always so vivid that you feel like you are experiencing it yourself.
This story follows Lamour, a 30-something landscape designer from Chicago, who, when her life begins to unravel, decides to return to the place where she last felt happy. Her husband has recently been killed in a car accident, and while she is trying to deal with his death, she discovers that he had been having an affair and was about to leave her for this other woman. Devastated, she decides to leave Chicago behind and run to the little house along the cliffs of the Amalfi coast where she lived with her father, Jon-Boy, when she was a little girl. Life as a child wasn’t easy, either, because her father was a starving author who squandered every penny he made. But, he made her feel like the love of his life, and their time in Amalfi were the happiest moments of Lamour’s life. She had been a free child – living in a tattered red bathing suit, going barefoot, and swimming in the beautiful blue waters of the sea – without a care in the world. Her idyllic childhood had been shattered, though, when her father mysteriously died in Italy while she had been sent back to the United States to have a “normal” childhood with some good family friends.
Lamour is determined to go back to the house in Amalfi and discover everything she can about her father’s death. Once back, she meets people that she knew growing up and she begins to feel at home. She begins to unravel the pieces of the mystery, all the while fixing up her little safe haven precariously perched along the cliffs. She begins to feel happy again…even falling in love.
The descriptions of the places she visits and the food that she eats are mesmerizing. The plot moves along very quickly, albeit being a bit predictable. Nonetheless, it is an enjoyable easy read and a real pleasure.
This book was read as part of the Italy in Books Challenge 2011.