My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I’ve never been to Italy but I have to say, having read this book, I have such a clear picture in my mind of the Amalfi Coast and the sights, sounds and smells that – if I ever did visit – it would feel like an old friend.
This book blew me away, the language used is so descriptive and evocative and paints such a vivid picture of the setting that Amalfi is almost a character in its own right.
And, speaking of characters, of Sébastien Osaki, I fell hard for him, a widower trying to find a path through his grief and retracing the steps of his dead husband Henry (a gentle character in the background, never overtaking the narrative but simply ushering it along in a quiet fashion) who was a travel writer for a tourist guide company (okay let’s name check Lonely Planet here 😉 )
Enter Andrea Sorrentino, part time chauffeur, part time vet, all round good guy and perhaps just the thing to pull Seb from his grieving, alongside three of the most wonderfully portrayed secondary characters I’ve seen in a book for a long time – the glorious cabal of Ceri, Maya and Kath, three friends/sisters from New Orleans staying in the same villa as Seb.
These three women were awesome, I would have loved to have joined them on one of their G&T fueled poker nights around the pool, laughing like drains at the day’s happenings and reminding Seb it was time to either do his Julia Roberts (Eat, Pray, Love) or get with the Angela Bassett (How Stella Got Her Groove Back) and rejoin the land of the truly living.
This books is all about finding yourself again after loss. Not necessarily by falling in love with a person, but with acceptance and understanding that you can always grieve their absence but that life can – and must – carry on.
And, if you do so happen to fall in love again, with both place and a person, well that’s just the icing on the cake.
I’ve never read Selina Kray before, but I will absolutely do so again. She’s a wordsmith of the finest order, able to craft sentences which bring a book to life before your eyes.
#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased (and in this case unashamedly glowing because I LOVED this book) review
PS: That cover! It’s not often I pick a book because of its cover but this one just spoke to me and it’s a stunning visualisation of the magic which happens inside it. So well done to the amazing artist Tiferet Design