Her life already upended by her mother’s short illness and death, Lina, 16, moves to Tuscany to live with the father she’s never met.
Lina’s repulsed to discover that her father, Howard, is the caretaker of a World War II cemetery in Italy. She’s had enough of death, thanks, and doesn’t need to see all those crosses outside her bedroom window. Determined not to stay, Lina secures a promise from her best friend, Addie, to help her return to Seattle. But as readers probably know by now, Tuscany is irresistible. Soon Lina’s seduced by its rolling hills and Florence’s myriad beauties and attractions. Gelato and a guy play their parts. Lorenzo, known as Ren, a handsome, half-Italian, half-American neighbor, attends the school she’ll be enrolled in if she stays. He introduces her to classmates who welcome her into their close-knit posse, including a wealthy—and hot—Brit, Thomas. Howard proves both likable and an ideal parent—caring but not hovering. Why her mother never mentioned him until she became ill, and why Lina looks nothing like him, remain mysteries she’s determined to solve. The journal her mother mailed to Italy—detailing her own year in Florence as a photography student—holds some but not all the answers. Lina narrates in a breezy style, her mother’s journal entries interwoven to provide revelations at carefully paced intervals.
Seasoned with luscious descriptions of Renaissance architecture and Italian food, a sure bet for fans of romance fiction and armchair travel. (Fiction. 12-16)