In Dolci di Love, our lead Lily looks to have everything, a Manhattan apartment with a view, the most perfect husband and a powerhouse career but as we all know, nobody has everything. Lily’s veneer begins to crack when she discovers a photo hidden in Daniel’s, her husband, golf shoe.
You see Daniel is posing in the Italian countryside with what looks like this perfect other family, a curvy dark-haired woman with a baby boy on her hip and a young girl who is the spitting image of Daniel. Lily is flabbergasted, especially after all her and Daniel have been through, trying to have their own family.
Lily, in a moment of “tipsy tourism”, books a trip to the small Italian town where the picture was taken to confront her husband and his other family. Upon arrival, the beauty of Tuscany begins to have a different effect on Lily. She is momentarily distracted by the troubles of finding a place to stay and maneuvering her rental car around the quaint little villages but it does take long for her thoughts to turn back to Daniel and his other family. Lily hunkers down in little cafe after little cafe, to think about Daniel but mostly feel sorry for herself. After one too many glasses of the local wine and fully entrenched in self-pity, her GPS of all things, offers some perspective on her situation.
Meanwhile, a group of meddlesome widows have plans of their own and Lily is unknowingly and unwillingly instrumental to their end goal. The wealthy, handsome man that seems to always be exactly where Lily is, always rescuing her from one bad decision after the next, is no accident.
Lynch specializes in writing stories of women in far flung corners of the world and has clearly spend some time in Italy to capture the flavor of the small hilly towns and local foods and characters. Lily is supposed to be a Manhattanite, unfortunately the time in New York rings a little less true but the time spent there is so limited it does little to disrupt the flow.
Lily is a flawed woman who is busy pretending to be perfect and through the help of a colorful cast of townsfolk, she begins to stop pretending to be prefect and as a result starts living a perfect life. Daniel, the wayward husband is key to Lily’s story but barely makes an appearance until the end and for someone so instrumental, he has very little page time. However the other supporting characters like Luciana, Violetta, Alessandro and Francesca add depth to the story.
If you want to be transported to the hills of Tuscany, sipping a cool, shimmering glass of Prosecco and nibbling on a heart-shaped cookies, this book is for you. Really, who doesn’t want cookies and sparkling wine?
Dolci di Love by Sarah Kate Lynch was received for free by Boston Book Bums