It was dusk. My mother's arm lay warm and soft against mine; and there was the smell of bright red roses."" Yes, and in a glut of nacreous prose, also the fragrance of the past when Nicole, fifteen, sixteen, spending a summer on Kodachromatic Como and later in Turin, falls in love with Dario Ventura, a young man she also shares with her Mammina. Whom does he really love? It's sometimes hard to say for he leaves Mammina's bed to tuck her in with ""small burning kisses."" But although for a time Mammina is thinking of leaving her husband to marry Dario, she doesn't, and perhaps after all it is Nicole he loves since at the close he says to her ""When I kiss your lips, I always feel I am kissing your very soul."" . . . This takes place in pre-Mussolini Italy; it also seems a very long time ago, abandoned with a quivering Arrivederci rather than a casual Ciao.