There is always something so exciting when picking up a new Katherine Reay novel. I look forward to seeing the love of literature weaved throughout the story and the nod to C.S. Lewis. And y’all, once again, Reay delivers a novel that captivates and I fully enjoyed this reading experience!
Emily Price—fix-it girl extraordinaire and would-be artist—dreams of having a gallery show of her own. There is no time for distractions, especially not the ultimate distraction of falling in love.
But Chef Benito Vassallo’s relentless pursuit proves hard to resist. Visiting from Italy, Ben works to breathe new life into his aunt and uncle’s faded restaurant, Piccollo. Soon after their first meeting, he works to win Emily as well—inviting her into his world and into his heart.
Emily astonishes everyone when she accepts Ben’s proposal and follows him home. But instead of allowing the land, culture, and people of Monterello to transform her, Emily interferes with everyone and everything around her, alienating Ben’s tightly knit family. Only Ben’s father, Lucio, gives Emily the understanding she needs to lay down her guard. Soon, Emily’s life and art begin to blossom, and Italy’s beauty and rhythm take hold of her spirit.
Yet when she unearths long-buried family secrets, Emily wonders if she really fits into Ben’s world. Will the joys of Italy become just a memory, or will Emily share in the freedom and grace that her life with Ben has shown her are possible?
“It somehow reminds me that joy isn’t a feeling, it’s a truth.”
I thought this was another fabulous novel, especially for fans of women’s fiction. From the setting and beautiful descriptions (I’m coming for you Italy!) to the variety of characters to the journey many of them were on, I enjoyed every single page! A character-driven novel, it drew me from the very beginning. Of course there was Emily’s development and story, but Reay made the story so much more! I will say, a quick romance would usually turn me off, but the backstory, the characters, and with everything in between, Reay made it work!
If you enjoy stories with fantastic and delicious descriptions, journeys, unexpected romance and family, you must add this to your list!
Have you read one of Katherine’s novels? Do you have a favorite?
(Thank you to Thomas Nelson for a copy of the book. All views expressed are my own.)