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Dating DaVinci Paperback – November 1, 2008
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The Amazon Book Review
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From Publishers Weekly
Linguist Ramona Elise Griffen, an Austin, Tex., widow in her mid-30s, is renting the studio out back (her late husband's) to a robust, 25-year-old Italian immigrant student named Leonardo da Vinci. Ramona, hoping to shake her grief and find a way back to Normal (The world is divided into two types of people: Grievers and Normals), begins by dating da Vinci. In the two years since her husband's unexpected death, Ramona has cared for their two preadolescent boys and taken comfort in junk food, but when da Vinci enters the picture, she finds herself reinvigorated. Soon, she's also unwittingly caught the eye of the debonair local doctor who's dating Ramona's pretentious younger sister. Lott cleverly includes passages from Ramona's doctoral thesis on the language of love and never falters in her depiction of Ramona's overwhelming grief, tackling honestly her guilt over newfound happiness. Pure romance escapism written smartly, this latest from Lott (The Stork Reality) is satisfying and uplifting. (Nov.)
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English teacher Ramona Elise, 36, has stopped fully living her life ever since her husband Joel died from a sudden heart attack two years ago. Despite pleas from her family and friends to get rid of Joel’s belongings and try dating again, Ramona can’t imagine erasing her late husband’s presence from her home. Until one day, Leonardo da Vinci, an attractive young Italian immigrant, lands in her classroom, lonely and unable to speak the language. Taking him under her wing, Ramona gives da Vinci a place to stay and, in return, he brings her back to life. Goofy, humble, and gratifyingly real, Ramona treads the fine line between lust and love, passion and reality, while still managing to dodge many of life’s roadblocks. Finding herself on a new path wildly different than the one she envisioned with Joel, Ramona Elise (or Mona Lisa, as da Vinci calls her) learns to open her heart to new possibilities in order to find la dolce vita in Lott’s delightfully life-affirming romance. --Annie McCormick
Top customer reviews
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When 25-year-old Italian immigrant, Leonardo da Vinci, walks into her classroom she knows she shouldn't take him home. But the lonely young foreigner needs a place to stay and she her husband's old studio would make a good place for him to get a start in America. Da Vinci in turn has something to offer Ramona, or Mona Lisa as he begins to call her. The handsome Italian has a youthful passion for life that begins to rub off on Ramona. But where does she draw the line between them? She might be a widow but she's not dead yet. Learning to live and to love again might be the scariest thing she's had to face since her husband's untimely death.
This was one of those books I read for someone else. When I heard about it I thought it would be a good read for someone I know who was recently divorced and struggling with finding a reason to "live". I honestly didn't think that I personally would get anything out of it. But I was wrong. Ramona's situation as a widow and a mother were very relatable because they could be any woman. I found myself wondering how I would cope if my husband died and I was left partnerless. It's kind of frightening how much it made me realize I shouldn't take the partnership I have with my husband for granted.
What made me actually not be able to put the book down was that while Ramona was the central character of the story, each person within her life was on a journey of their own too. Everyone grows as she grows and Ramona learns that she shouldn't feel guilty for wanting to be happy again. Her romance with da Vinci is a very good example of these two factors. He has growing to do as a person just as she does and I enjoyed that their relationship was realistic, not unbelievable as I worried it might be.
Overall Dating da Vinci was surprisingly moving and insightful but still had a good romance to keep it from being all about life lessons. I think this would be a great read for anyone who is looking for an entertaining bit of insight on getting the joy back in your everyday life.
I thought Dating da Vinci by Malena Lott was a great upbeat and refreshing novel. Here Leonardo was a guy who could barely speak English and knew very little about America; yet he was teaching Ramona how to let go and live again through the power of friendship and love. This Leonardo may not be the famous artist we all know but Ramona's Leonardo was a painter in his own way. He could paint you a picture and so you the good in everything and everybody. Ramona could have just given up when her husband passed away but instead she stayed strong for her sons as well as for herself. Marlena Lott is a first time author for me. She did a wonderful job with this book. I will read another book by Marlena again.
Most recent customer reviews
* Point 1: Leonardo da Vinci is hot. Really hot. I have to admit that his character was well-crafted to make the ladies (and possibly some men) drool.Read more
Dating da Vinci by Malena Lott is a well-written story that examines friendship, starting over, sibling...Read more
If you're a relatively recent widow or widower, and trying to learn how to live all over again . . .Read more