A PORTRAIT OF EMILY PRICE
Art restorer Emily Price has never encountered anything she can't fix -- until she meets Ben, an Italian chef, who seems just right. But when Emily follows Ben home to Italy, she learns that his family is another matter...
Emily Price -- fix-it girl extraordinaire and would-be artist -- dreams of having a gallery show of her own. There is no time for distractions, especially not the ultimate distraction of falling in love.
But Chef Benito Vassallo's relentless pursuit proves hard to resist. Visiting from Italy, Ben works to breathe new life into his aunt and uncle's faded restaurant, Piccollo. Soon after their first meeting, he works to win Emily as well -- inviting her into his world and into his heart.
Emily astonishes everyone when she accepts Ben's proposal and follows him home. But instead of allowing the land, culture, and people of Monterello to transform her, Emily interferes with everyone and everything around her, alienating Ben's tightly knit family. Only Ben's father, Lucio, gives Emily the understanding she needs to lay down her guard. Soon, Emily's life and art begin to blossom, and Italy's beauty and rhythm take hold of her spirit.
Yet when she unearths long-buried family secrets, Emily wonders if she really fits into Ben's world. Will the joys of Italy become just a memory, or will Emily share in the freedom and grace that her life with Ben has show her are possible?
Rich. Decadent. Meant to be savored. A profoundly beautiful story! Reay brings the complexities of human relationship to life with such intriguing emotion!
A head-over-heels whirlwind romance anchors the story even as it sends the characters into a tailspin of discovery. As an art restorer, Emily spends her days painstakingly uncovering damaged layers to reveal the truth hidden beneath. Meeting Ben becomes the catalyst for discovering real life truths hidden beneath layers of pain and loss. Such an interesting career/life parallel brilliantly delivered through the author's exquisite word choice. There were times I just had to stop and sit with a scene a spell.
Best book quote ever comes from Papa Lucio who has a penchant for selecting books to teach a lesson. "Literature teaches us empathy." (p.245) And that's exactly what this story does on so many levels. High recommended.
If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of A Portrait of Emily Price please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoread AT yahoo DOT ca. If you post a comment and add your email address please use AT and DOT instead of @ and . to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email please remember to put the title in the subject line so it's easier for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday March 26 2017. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!