Food, wine, and romance abound in Costa’s debut novel.
Kit and Bridget are spending the summer in the beautiful town of Positano, situated on Italy’s Amalfi Coast. Determined to fit in with the locals, the two American teachers rent an apartment for the summer and invite all their friends to visit while they’re vacationing abroad. The women are immediately swept up in the Positano social scene, reuniting with friends and lovers from previous summers. Stunning, bubbly Kit attracts Italian men like flies to honey. Yet she finds herself sucked back into a hot-cold relationship with Lassino, a charismatic pizza chef. The more reserved Bridget is confused by her feelings for two local men who couldn’t be more different. She’s still interested in her fling from the previous summer, Paolo, but finds herself unexpectedly swept off her feet by Lorenzo, who’s both handsome and exceedingly kind. However, her insecurities and fixation on her weight and appearance (especially in comparison to Kit) put her whole love life at risk. In addition to matters of the heart, there’s constant drama unfolding in the apartment thanks to a stream of visitors with problems of their own. Digging into Costa’s frothy narrative is like going on an exotic vacation. Her dynamic duo is funny, frustrating, and entirely relatable. Bridget’s obsession with her Weight Watchers points is alternately amusing and annoying, while Kit’s sunny disposition and desire to please are both endearing and exasperating. The dialogue is timely, quick, and always natural, and the supporting cast of visitors and Positano locals are quirky and occasionally over-the-top; however, Positano’s glistening shores and winding streets take center stage. Costa’s descriptions of food, meanwhile, are positively mouthwatering; she captures the decadence of dining in Italy (“Crisp romaine, garnished with juicy tomatoes and olives...instead of croutons, it was garnished with bits of crispy, chopped-up pizza dough”) and courses with “melon and prosciutto, toasted bruschetta, creamy mushroom risotto,” and more.
Roll out a beach towel and
pour a glass of prosecco for this perfect read for a summer getaway.