Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Summer at the lake by Erica James

This is one of the most entertaining books I've read in a long time - by no means classic literature, but a good intriguing read.  I think it was so enjoyable because the characters were flawed but really likeable.

The book starts when Floriana, a woman in her early thirties, gets a save the date card for her best friend Sebastian's wedding.  The problem is Floriana has not seen Seb in two years - ever since she accused his fiancee of cheating on him and then declared that she loved him as more than a friend.  He pulled away from her kiss and asked never to contact him again.  Then he makes the first move - sending this hand written note.

Floriana is so distracted by it that she steps out on the street without looking and is hit by a car that then leaves the scene.  The only witnesses to the scene are Adam, a property developer in his late 30s who has just purchased a house in the neighbourhood, and Esme, an eighty-two year old spinster who lives next door to the house Adam has just purchased.  At Esme's insistence, the two follow Floriana to the hospital to ensure she is okay which becomes just the start of a strong, though unlikely, friendship.

At first Adam, who is very serious and somewhat depressed due to a recent break up, does not know what to make of either Floriana, a free spirited, easy going tour guide in Oxford, or Esme, who he at first mistakenly believes to be just a bored busy body.  Over time he grows to respect both of them and they help him move on.  More importantly, when Sebastian insists Floriana attend his wedding at Lake Como Adam is invited as her plus one.  But the invitation is first proffered by Esme who anxious curious to return to Como where she went with her father as a teenager and fell in love for the first and only time with Marco, who as far as she knows followed his dream of becoming a priest.

Most of the interesting drama takes place in Como as Floriana must deal with her relationship with Sebastian, a verbal attack by his fiancee and her growing feelings for Adam, and all three search for Marco in the hopes that Esme will be able to see him one more time.  I don't want to give away the end as it is not necessarily predictable and it is worth the read to find out.

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