This was a story that I could totally relate to. It is definitely a love story with a lot of ups and downs but the underlying reason for the downs was an unusual one.
Lisa is a very young girl from urban Sydney. Like most young Australians she wants to do the tour of Europe, see the world a bit and come back to her career and settle down in her own home. Paolo gets in the way. She meets him in Florence, a budding doctor and the teenage romance which should have fizzled off did not. Their relationship becomes an on off one which stretches over a period of ten years because Lisa cannot get used to cultural differences between an Italian way of life and the in your face Australian way of life on the other side of the world.
The reason why I was able to relate to this book was because my three children live in Australia. They all went when they were 17 and 18. The eldest has been there almost ten years now - they are very Australian and I am personally very glad that they fitted in so well and that they adapted to their new home because home it is for them now. I flit over and come back often but Australia is not home for me and the differences are very apparent - in very much the way that our Lisa in this book faces.
I felt for Lisa and how much she was torn between her love for Paolo and her love for her own country and family. Lisa also loves Italy and particularly Florence and Paolo's family but she finds so many aspects of Italian life very difficult to handle and this was what kept the relationship on a simmer. It took ten years for Lisa to decide finally what she had to do.
I like it very much when the author is descriptive about the place in which the book was set and Lisa Clifford did Florence proud! It was almost like a travel memoir of places, people and sights. The only thing that let me down was the cover.