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I was a little skeptical when I picked this book up. I never read anything by Meissner before and the backcover blurp appeared almost a little too simple, cliché, and childish for a young adult/adult book. Not to mention a bit weird. I mean, seriously, no one can talk to someone of the past through paintings and sculptures. You can imagine how surprised and pleased I was to find it a most refreshing read!
Meissner uses fresh phrasing, to-the-point dialogue, a description that enchants as much as it sucks you into her world. Her story, revolving around book editor, Marguerite (Meg) Pomeroy, is one of mystery and history (definitely endearing for me). Meg has had one dream her whole life: to visit the ancient city of Florence. Ever since her Italian grandmother passed away, her father promised to take her as a graduation present. But she has long since passed high school, and then college, and still they have never taken the promised trip, and now she has a life immersed in the publication business. Life goes on day to day, and though she still dreams of going to Florence, reminisces about her past longings and memories of her grandmother,
Probably the thing that singles this novel out the most is Meissner’s powerful way with words. Not only do you believe with every ounce of your being that Meg wants to go to Florence, that she should go to Florence, but you want to go too, to see the things she pictures, the settings she paints, the artwork she describes... Not only do you believe Sophia’s claim of hearing Nora, but you hear her too. And you want to tell the world. There is something almost magical in the way Meissner speaks, like a beautiful lilt of poetry, a last spec of color dancing on the horizon of a dark world. It is captivating.
There was only one drawback to the book. Meg is needy, in many ways, all relatable and understandable, but throughout the books she struggles between “picking” one of three men. By the end of the book, the reader is more or less tired about her wishy-washy desires for love, yet inability to just sit down and choose.
Still, it is a beautiful story about restoration, relationships, and learning to keep your imagination and reality in two places.
"What does one do with a heart that has been broken? One might look for a bonding agent that will fuse all the pieces back together. Or one might learn to live among the shards.
Or one might be tempted to sweep up the bits and toss them and be done with hearts." ~ Nora
1 member(s) found this review helpful.
I traveled to Florence, Italy and came home too soon. This novel is painted in hues or red and bronze and vibrant colors of romance and discovering self in the place God dreams of for you.
From the minute I started reading Meg’s story I fell in love with her. I actually much preferred her story over the sections of Sophia’s novel. Meg’s story had a pull on me I couldn’t fully explain. Perhaps it was her longing to know where she was meant to be. Perhaps it was her dream to visit a place so magical it almost couldn’t be true. Or perhaps it was her longing to connect with someone who wouldn’t let her down, even if she fully didn’t realize it at first. I think she found a little bit of everything she was looking for…and in turn, so did I. Her ending breathes hope and joy and content.
The novel is almost like a dessert disappearing on the tongue, leaving a lingering sweetness too quickly washed away. Meg is definitely a character that will live on in her Italian countryside and in my dreams.
Sophia’s and Nonia’s stories certainly contributed to the book, but I didn’t become as invested in them, again it was Meg and finally Lorenzo that drew me.
I was blissful at the closing of the book…and a bit sad too. But in the deepest part of my reader’s heart where beloved character’s live, I know she will live on in happiness.
This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the Amazon Vine program and the publishers for my copy to review.