Book Review, Contemporary

Book Review – A Portrait of Emily Price

A Portrait of Emily Price


Book Synopsis:

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 shown her are possible

My Thoughts

…I’ve heard nothing but good about this author, but had yet to try any of her books. I was pleased to find the audio version available at my local library, and decided to take a chance on it. It was a real treat to listen to this one! It took me a little bit to get into the story, but I didn’t want it to end!

This story left me feeling nostalgic, as though I had just come home from a sweet visit in the heart of Italy. It left me wishing I truly had been able to sample their pastas, breads, pastries, and the delightful little village and restaurant talked about in the story.

The first part of the story I struggled with a little bit…it involves a ‘love at first sight’ type of scenario. These always feel unrealistic to me, but I suspect it is due to my own personality. Anyhow, as the story progressed, it worked!

Family. Relationships. Forgiveness. Compassion. Finding one’s self. And so much more…

This author has a way of making the very setting come alive right before your eyes. What I found to be the icing on the cake was the way the narrator perfectly captured the Italian accent.

My stomach felt as though I was going up and over mountains, flying around curves as the story kept making twists and turns. There were all kinds of endings floating around in my mind as possibilities….and I was kept guessing the entire way. This story is very well written!

I found the book, the story as a whole, charming and captivating.

This book filled one of my reasons for why I love reading fiction–namely, the ability to visit other lands and experience other cultures without ever leaving my home.

(And I have already begun listening to a second audio version of a book by this author…)

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