Title: To Tuscany with Love
Author: Gail Mencini
Publisher: Capriole Group
Source: Publisher Provided
Available: Barnes and Noble | Kobo | iBookstore | The Book Depository | Powell's
From the Publisher: Can one college semester abroad change the course of your life?
Bella Rossini, a vivacious college junior, lands in jail overnight with acquaintances whom she mistakes for friends. Shipped off to Tuscany by her mother, Bella is suddenly thrust into living with seven strangers during one life-altering summer.
Meet Hope, the sturdy and practical girl, steadfast in her loyalty to her boyfriend; Meghan and Karen, identical twins with an eye for fashion and beauty to match; Stillman, haunted by his hard past, and Phillip, an athlete, both fueled by competition; Lee, by family mandate in pre-med; and Rune, the Hollywood-bound wild child. All add sizzling chemistry and rebellious humor to the mix.
In one whirlwind summer, while uncovering the charms of Italy, they discover both friendship and love.
After their summer together, life – and loss – happens.
Returning to Tuscany 30 years later, their dreams, anger, secrets and disappointments create an emotional kaleidoscope. Their reunion sends them on a startling collision course that none of them could have predicted.
Set against the allure of Tuscany, with an irresistible fusion of heartbreak and humor, this debut novel, “To Tuscany with Love,” explores the fear of letting the past determine the future and the power of friendship.
I have to admit – when I finished this book and reflected on it, I was surprised by how much I liked it. Why? Because at its core, this book is about a love triangle!
Yeah, I know!
But it was so well done. And the book focused on the lives of the other folks on the trip too, so it didn’t get bogged down in that specific drama (though there was plenty of drama to go around don’t worry).
Bella was such a strong woman to go through everything she did. At first she annoyed me a little bit (I kept thinking just pick one!) but her character had such depth and strength that I couldn’t help but be drawn to her.
The rest of the cast had amazing stories as well, and they all had depth and growth so that I felt as if I knew each of them intimately. That’s not easy to do for a group of 8 people over the course of 30 years, but Mencini pulled it off flawlessly.
I want to see this book turned into a movie.
And the love triangle? The best thing about that is that even I couldn’t pick who I wanted her to be with. When she made her choice, I was happy for her, but I could have honestly been happy either way. THAT NEVER HAPPENS. What sorcery is this?
This is a debut.
It was beautifully written, full of confidence and grace. I can’t wait to see what else Mencini has in store for us.