Thursday, May 1, 2014

Tell a Tale: Summer School

Lose yourself in Italy with this wonderful book...

Summary (from Love, rivalry, and writing in a Tuscan paradise.
Patricia Wilson's carefully composed ads for the writers' retreat she runs at her thirteenth-century Italian castle promise so much. But while the splendour of their surroundings and chef Aldo's melanzane never fail to wow the guests, huge maintenance bills and bad news from the bank threaten to close Patricia down. It's make or break time for the Castello.

Each of her seven aspiring authors arrives with the inevitable baggage alongside their unpublished manuscripts. But this August something is different, and soon lifelong spinster Mary is riding on the back of Aldo's vespa, and smouldering odd-job man Fabio has set more than one heart racing.

As temperatures rise, the writers gossip, flirt and gently polish their prose by the pool. But with ghosts, scorpions, and some unexpected visitors to contend with, one thing's for sure: neither the Castello, nor Patricia, has ever seen a summer like this.

A picture of the Tuscan countryside
Can you imagine spending 2 weeks here
learning how to become an author????

Review: This is one of those really lovely books that whisks you away to a gorgeous setting in the Tuscan countryside. By midway through chapter 2 I was already Googling holiday apartment rentals in San Gigminano.

I listed to the audio version which may be why I lost track of a couple of the characters and got a couple of them mixed up. There are quite a few personalities to remember, covering most of the stereotypes that you'll find in any holiday tour package. 

By the end though I found them all again and got them unmixed. There are few main characters you won't lose and you will fall in love with and root for throughout. Mary in particular gives me hope, that maybe even I, someday, will find that special someone. It just might be another 30 years from now. That's alright, patience is a virtue~

De Rosa has a couple of other books that look to be in a similar setting that I think I'll try to find.  I've been to Tuscany a couple of times and it really is a nice place to return to, even if it is only in my imagination.

Have you read any books from this author?  I think she also writes crime novels under the name Elly Griffiths.  Do you have any suggestions for other books that help you escape?  Leave a comment below~

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     Villa Serena

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