For some reason images do not copy and paste the way they should do from my IPad. Also this cover is so dull and unimaginative for what was a very good story. Pity about that. Covers do entrance one and with this kind of story I am sure something more positive could have been done. (Will edit and put image when I get back home).
Starting with the death of Francesco, Meryl decides to ruthlessly cut all ties to her Italian family and life by marriage, moving back to Pennsylvania hoping that a fresh start can erase the heartache of her loss. We then go back to Meryl's own family - her very difficult and unsupportive and racist father, her mother who blindly followed her father and Janie a much loved sister, who has turned out to be bitter and nasty.
Meryl's family history is convoluted. Neither sister got the love they longed for from their parents and when Meryl was betrayed by her bestest friend she felt that there was a conspiracy to hurt her in whatever way it could. Meeting Francesco, marrying him and moving to a village in Italy were decisions taken in the blink of an eye and repercussions noted later.
The story alternates between the vineyards of Northern Italy and Pennsylvania - so many strong characters contributing pieces to Meryl's journey. All of them relevant - Francesco's family in Italy, warm, welcoming and non judgemental, Janie and Bob her brother in law, loaded with financial problems of their own, but an integral part of Meryl's life , the physician who loved Meryl's husband and who lied in collusion with Francesco and who broke Meryl's heart and the boss at the barista who along with his daughter and her landlady who were able to pull Meryll from the abyss of her depression and make her live again. Also meeting up with her earlier lover and his wife (who was the best friend) put things in perspective for Meryl
How Meryl accepts Francesco along with his major shortcomings, his death and tries to live again is the story.
This was another read which highlighted pros and cons of living in another country, and adapting to a different way of life.
What I liked is that our characters are ever so human - all with major flaws which made for a realistic read.
I received this book from Netgalley through Gemelli Press.