Elizabeth Adler has done it once more with her fun summer reading book, A Summer in Tuscany! Even though her stories are pretty predictable and the plot isn’t too complicated, this doesn’t detract one bit from their enjoyment! She is a master of portraying the scenery and “feeling” of the locations in which her books take place. She romanticizes the locations, but having been to many of them, she seems to be reading my inner thoughts and how they make me feel inside when I am there. She has the words that I don’t have to describe the locations – not only physically but emotionally.
A Summer in Tuscany follows the story of awkward Gemma Jericho, an emergency room physician from New York City and her journey to the small Tuscan town of Bella Piacere with her mother (Nonna) and her daughter after they find out that Nonna has become the heiress to the Villa Bella Piacere. Nonna had left the town when she was 13 but arrives back to find that many of her childhood friends still live there and remember her with great affection. Their meanderings into the town and the surrounding countryside are so typical of life in those tiny little towns.
Gemma meets handsome and rich Ben Rafael and sparks fly between them – both good and bad! At first, they are enemies because of the Villa Bella Piacere due to a “slight” question of ownership! Ben had bought the villa by a lawyer claiming to be the old Count’s lawyer after heirs could not be found, meanwhile Nonna was told the villa was left to her family by the Count himself. The quest to find the real will leads them all over Tuscany and Rome…and eventually to love between Gemma and Ben! Their travels also take them to the gorgeous cliff town of Positano where we are treated to beautiful visual sights through Elizabeth Adler’s words!
The book actually had me laughing out loud at Gemma’s clumsiness because we’ve all been there with her trips and falls and running into walls when trying to be “cool”! This book is truly fun through and through and I would highly recommend it for a read that touches you inside with the warmth that is Italy.
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.
I just finished reading Meet Me in Venice by the prolific author Elizabeth Adler. The story was exciting, even though at times a bit predictable. It took place in so many exotic locations: Shanghai, Paris, North Carolina, Monte Carlo….and Venice! It was filled with treachery, deceipt, murder, suspense…and, what else….LOVE! At the root of the story is a precious necklace, at one time belonging to one of China’s most famous empresses. It was stolen from her tomb and fell into the hands of a certain family. Of course, once its identity resurfaces, everyone wants to get their hands on it. What ensues is a complicated plot of intertwined relationships. Fortune seekers and innocent victims come face to face with each other. The locations described in the book are so vivid that surely the author must have spent some time in each of these places. Her depiction of Venice, complete with the names of real hotels and restaurants, palazzos and churches, are so accurate that you feel like you are walking the calles with her. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it!
This review is part of the Italy in Books Reading Challenge 2011.