An epic love story set under the vivid backdrop of the Calabrian coast in the early 1900s.
From birth, Lorenzo and Caterina were destined to be together. Although Lorenzo is the son of a wealthy businessman and Caterina was born into a family of servants, Anna, Lorenzo’s angelic and sensitive mother, raises the two children in their idyllic villa on the Italian seaside. With help from a colorful cast of characters, including a priest with a dark past and a lively chef, Anna nurtures Lorenzo’s artistic side and educates Caterina on subjects she wouldn’t ordinarily learn about as a servant. Cleverly using Lorenzo’s artistic endeavors to describe the scenery, Perry subtly paints a peaceful yet foreboding setting. After Anna suffers a devastating stroke, Lorenzo’s father and brothers decide it’s time to force him into the family’s nefarious business affairs, thus ending his romance with Caterina in exchange for someone more suitable. As the world crumbles around Lorenzo and Caterina, they devise ill-fated plans to be with each other and keep their loosely constructed family together despite the odds stacking against them. Like a classic star-crossed love story, the novel is written with lush detail enriched with both likable and loathsome characters. In particular, Perry builds strong and decisive female characters. Although the key action doesn’t occur until the final chapters, Perry’s exquisite descriptions will transport readers back to the time and place of Lorenzo and Caterina’s romance—the brilliant colors in villa gardens, the smells and tastes of decadent food, and the menacing sounds of the ocean during an earthquake. After the engrossing storylines come to an abrupt end, a cliff-hanger will leave readers anxious for a sequel to continue Lorenzo and Caterina’s tragic story.
Solid characters and vivid imagery capture the mood, traditions and uncertainty of the time.