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REVIEW

"engaging relationship drama"

Thirty-eight year old divorcee Gemma Jericho works extremely hard as resident in charge of Bellevue Hospital Trauma Department as there is never a void of customers. She also feels like the sandwich generation struggling between her mom Nonna and her third generation American teen Livvie.

Nonna receives a letter from Bella Piacere, the village she grew up in Italy, but has not been back to in four decades. The priest informs Nonna that she has inherited property. Using guilt as a sharp sword, Nonna persuades her two descendants to come with her to Italy so she can see her home for the last time and to learn what has been bequeathed to her.

Though they kind of met in Rome, Gemma and Long Islander Ben Raphael formally meet in Tuscany. He claims to own the same villa that the priest insists has been bestowed on Nonna. Though Gemma and Ben are very attracted to one another, the villa more than the past failures in relationships stands in the way of anything permanent.

Fans of relationship dramas will want to read SUMMER IN TUSCANY as the tale contains strong characters representing three generations struggling to connect with one another. The story line is well written though the bias is clearly pointed towards the fresh rural countryside over the smoggy urban areas. However, the key that makes the plot succeed is the rotation of voices, though mostly Gemma, so that the audience understands what each of the protagonists feel and thus can discern why relationships are difficult to form and tougher to maintain.

Harriet Klausner

Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted June 2, 2002

SUMMARY

Gemma Jericho is an overworked New York doctor with a handful of a teenaged daughter and a mother who worries that Gemma has no life. So when her mother receives a mysterious letter telling her about an even more mysterious inheritance in Tuscany, Gemma sees her chance: the three of them throw caution and convention to the wind and leave for Italy. Gemma hopes that a change of scenery will bring back the closeness she used to share with her daughter. And perhaps the challenges of living in a foreign country will give her mother something to worry about beyond Gemma's social life.

But what they encounter there is far more distracting than Gemma expected: a crumbling old villa and a town divided. Half the residents believe that Ben Raphael, another American, is the rightful inheritor of the villa. As cultures clash, gossip soars, and intrigue unfolds, Gemma is caught up in the most disturbing and delicious trouble she's ever had. And her summer in Tuscany will change her outlook-and her life-forever.

 

Summer in Tuscany
by Elizabeth Adler

St. Martin's Press
July 2, 2002
ISBN #031226996X
304 pages
Hardcover
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