From Publishers Weekly
Alone in a chilly loft in upstate New York, ruing the end of her affair with a two-timing sculptor, Anna Catalano, the heroine of this follow-up to Gaffney's bestselling The Saving Graces, can't resist an invitation to return home to Maryland's Eastern Shore. Her aunt Rose desperately needs a manager for her restaurant, the Bella Sorella, and it has to be family, says intermediary Aunt Iris. Rose and Anna haven't actually been on speaking terms since Anna caught Rose having an affair with Anna's father while her mother was dying. Still, telling herself it's only temporary, Anna signs on for the job. A host of clangorous, adrenaline-pumping kitchen scenes follow, and anyone who's worked in the restaurant business will especially enjoy the clash between the self-taught red-sauce chef and Anna's new hire, a culinary school grad who wants to put pesto in the minestrone. But Gaffney is unaccountably less apt in charting the romance between Anna and a bird-loving lawyer-turned-photographer named Mason Winograd, who must overcome his fear of flying as Anna overcomes her fear of nesting. Their e-mails, while blessedly free of emoticons and tech talk, are too long and too similar in voice. A delicious first kiss leads to a flat full monty: "He got her undressed and then went in the bathroom and came back nude, with condoms." In contrast, the affair between Rose and the dying Theo, Mason's stepfather, is richly nuanced, as are the relationships among the many women in the cast.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
After catching her boyfriend in bed with her boss, Anna Catalano decides to return to her childhood home. Ironically, an infidelity she witnessed between her aunt and her father 16 years earlier is exactly what drove her away in the first place. Once home, Anna begins the emotional metamorphosis from blame and alienation to forgiveness and acceptance. What results isn't exactly fast-paced, but readers will savor each well-written page and root for the sympathetic, authentic characters despite their flaws. Gaffney serves everything in double helpings: two acts of infidelity, two wounded heroes, two prodigal son stories. All of this is set against the microcosm of a small, family-owned Italian restaurant. Fans of Curtiss Ann Matlock's Driving Lessons, Kathleen Gilles Seidel's Till the Stars Fall, and Gaffney's other novels (e.g., The Saving Graces) will find this new work just as delectable. This is women's fiction at its finest, and public libraries of all sizes will want it for their collections. - Shelley Mosley, Glendale P.L., AZ
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.