In Italy, the best attractions are always off the beaten path . . .
Mamie Weber doesn’t know why she survived that terrible car accident five years ago. Physically, she has only a slight reminder—but emotionally, the pain is still fresh. Deep down she knows her husband would have wanted her to embrace life again. Now she has an opportunity to do just that, spending two weeks in Tuscany reviewing a tour company for her employer’s popular travel guide series. The warmth of the sun, the centuries-old art, a villa on the Umbrian border—it could be just the adventure she needs.
But with adventure comes the unexpected . . . like discovering that her entire tour group is made up of aging ex-hippies reminiscing about their Woodstock days. Or finding herself drawn to the guide, Julian, who is secretly haunted by a tragedy of his own, and seems to disapprove any time she tries something remotely risky—like an impromptu scooter ride with a local man.
As they explore the hilltop towns of Tuscany, Mamie knows that when this blissful excursion is over, she’ll have to return to reality. But when you let yourself wander, life can take some interesting detours . . .
A lovely, picturesque journey through Tuscany that brings together two lost souls in need of a change in life who find out that some of the best, most life filled adventures could be those that does not challenge you physically yet still scares you immensely.
When this book was first introduced to me, the blurb that accompanied the invitation reminded me of a movie 'Under the Tuscan Sun'. That movie touched my heart and was an inspirational experience to me, so I was eager to read this book to see if it could be as riveting and thought-provoking, even life-changing as the movie was to me.
The pleasant flow of the story with expressive writing makes it enjoyable to read the sweet story that is appropriate for all ages. The scenery from the tour in Italy opened up in my mind's eyes, and the beautiful, colorful landscapes were vividly clear in my mind. To visit Italy again, even via the story, was such a pleasure. The views, the attractions, the people, the lifestyle, the food, the smells, the chaos of traffic, and the joie de vivre of the locals filled my senses making me smile.
The cast of characters on this journey were jovial, genuine, and true individuals. They seemed to have left their worries behind, and were just enjoying the moment, the company and everything the trip would offer them.
Mamie Weber was escaping her past, the grief of losing her family and trying to learn to embrace life again, to challenge herself both physically and mentally, to be out there, be vulnerable, to be brave, and to learn to trust again, not only others but herself as well.
Julian is in mourning as well. His regrets from his past, adventure-filled life are hunting his sleep and mind. He leans on his new job's rules and regulations to have control in his life, a control that Mamie challenges with her own attempts to live fully again.
The journey is a sweet, delightful ride, filled with emotions from bliss and glee to angst and tears. The biggest challenge both Mamie and Julian have to face is their past and the fears that spring from the memories. After such an enjoyable expedition with the unique characters, the abrupt ending felt odd, leaving me wanting more in a sense of conclusion.
A pilgrimage to find your true self again, to learn to trust and embrace life fully, while enjoying the gorgeous scenery of Tuscany. An entertaining and charming tale with a smooth, easygoing flow
~ Four Spoons
Sharon Struth believes you’re never too old to pursue a dream. The Hourglass, her debut novel, is a finalist in the National Readers' Choice Awards for Best first Book, and her Blue Moon Lake Novels include the bestseller, Share the Moon.
When she’s not working, she and her husband happily sip their way through the scenic towns of the Connecticut Wine Trail, travel the world, and enjoy spending time with their precious pets and two grown daughters.
She writes from the friendliest place she’s ever lived, Bethel, Connecticut. For more information, including where to find her published essays, please visit sharonstruth.com or visit her blog, Musings from the Middle Ages & More at www.sharonstruth.wordpress.com.
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