When Gemma Jericho learns that her feisty Italian mother has inherited land in her Tuscan hometown, she reluctantly makes the pilgrimage to assess the new family compound. What awaits this over-worked single mother in the tiny, sun-baked village of Bella Piacere is the stuff of dreams: a band of friendly locals who unfurl their red-checked tablecloths for her welcome feast, a crumbling but stately villa that surpasses her expectations by a dozen rooms and even the possibility of knee-weakening romance. The audio version of Adler's dramatic tale breathes new life into the sumptuous backdrop and colorful cast of characters. Narrator Lawson is equally convincing whether she's channeling a cynical Manhattan teenager or a middle-aged Italian innkeeper-and this is no small feat given Adler's dialogue-heavy, regionally accented prose. The one weak spot in the performance is Lawson's depiction of Gemma Jericho's mother, Nonna, whose tired, gravelly voice hardly matches her spirited actions. Otherwise, this audio book will provide a delightful escape from the real world, where surprise inheritances rarely have the capacity to inspire such widespread excitement and transformation. Based on the St. Martin's hardcover (Forecasts, July 8, 2002). (July) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Forlorn ER doc learns to love again under Italy's sunny skies. Gemma Jericho works long hours at Bellevue when not fretting over her daughter Livvie. New York is a tough city to raise a teenager in, but fortunately Gemma's staunch little Italian mama is still around to help them both, dishing up pasta and advice. Gemma isn't looking for love, mind you-not since Cash Drummond, a gorgeous blond actor and great guy, isn't around anymore. No replacements for him? Take a trip to Tuscany with the Jerichos and find out. Nonna has inherited a villa, though the title is in dispute and there's some wrangling over a will. No matter. The Jerichos are charmed by all they see, soothed by the balmy breezes and relaxed life. Then Gemma meets Ben Raphael, handsome Bronx-born property developer and self-made man, also vacationing with his young daughter Muffie. Ben is intelligent, sexy, patient, and kind-with exactly the right amount of manly hair on his muscular forearms. Surely he'll melt Gemma's frozen heart and find out why she swore she would never love again. But, first, there are shopping, sightseeing, and cafe-visiting to be done. Will Nonna fall for the earthy wooing of the sturdy peasant who likes her so much? Perhaps, if she doesn't have a heart attack first and spoil Gemma's budding romance (Nonna has concealed a congenital heart defect so Gemma won't worry). Ben finally learns Gemma's secret: Cash was brought into the ER where she was then working, mortally wounded from a car crash. Had Cash been on his way to see her, and has she been eaten with guilt for years because of that? Ah, but the love of a good man will let her to move on at last. Another tame romance with a tax-deductible foreignlocale from Adler, who knocks them out industriously (Last Time I Saw Paris, 2001, etc.).