From Publishers Weekly
With her 16th novel, Adler (Last Time I Saw Paris
, etc.) once again brings a far-flung locale to life with escapist flair, taking the reader—along with the questing heroine—on a trip to the coast of southern Italy. Two years after her husband's unexpected death, landscape architect Lamour Harrington suffers more heartbreak when she learns of his infidelity. So she sells her apartment and, along with her dear friend Jammy, leaves windswept Chicago for balmy Italy, where she hopes not only to alleviate her recent grief but also face other ghosts of her past. When she was 17, her father, a novelist, died in a mysterious boating accident while they were living on the Amalfi coast. Seeking to recover her spirit and understand her father's death, she returns to the house they shared. Near the azure waters of the Mediterranean, Lamour's grief begins to lift immediately, especially after she reacquaints herself with the area's charms, including men eager to woo her. But her neighbors seem to know something about her family's past, and she begins to unravel the events leading to her father's death. Despite clunky dialogue, the novel engages with a light story and luscious descriptions of food and scenery. (Aug.)
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Adler is known for her skill in describing place, and she exceeds all expectations in detailing of Rome and Amalfi in her newest novel. Alder captures villages, gardens, houses, and everyday life, all to the reader's vast enjoyment. And her language is deft and graceful as she tells the story of Lamour Harrington, a depressed and recently widowed landscape architect. Lamour journeys back to her childhood home in Italy to discover what led to her beloved father's death, and to try to regain some happiness. The magic in Adler's novels resides not only in place but also in the stories she weaves. And her romances are not just between men and women; they are between reader and landscape. Here the atmosphere is so lush, gardens grow from the page; her descriptions are so beautiful and clear that one could wander her cities with only this book as the map, and so evocative that the reader feels that he or she has also eaten pizza in a tiny cafe, and watched fishermen unload their catch. Neal WyattCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved