Monday, October 31, 2016

Fiction Book Review: A Portrait of Emily Price by Katherine Reay

Book Description:
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:
A Portrait of Emily Price is absolutely beautiful. First I love that Emily can repair most things. She's quite the handy woman. She's also more interested in taking care of her sister than she is herself. Ben's pretty perfect, unusual for a novel, but exactly like we need him to be in this story. When they go to Italy the descriptions are lovely. I wanted to sit on a hill with Emily and take it all in. And the food. I think I gained five pounds just from reading the yummy descriptions of pasta and breads. I've read all of Katherine Reay's books and this one is my favorite. It's hard to put into words what makes it so special. But for me I think part of it is the huge role family plays in the characters' lives and the beauty of grace and self-forgiveness that twines through the story. They say to read is to escape—this is the perfect diversion. I read an interview Katherine Reay did for Library Journal. She targets a younger generation, but I'm older and I loved this story. I received this book for free.

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