Format: Trade Paperback
Fiction - Contemporary Women
Summary Meg's father promised to take her to Florence after she graduated from high school. Nearly 10 years later, he hadn't done so. Finally, her father sends her a ticket and bids her to go. Meg thinks he will be there, but he is not. So, Meg spends the time with authors to discover the meanings of beauty, shades of grey, love, and hope.
Meg is the main character of the novel. She works hard at her job as an editor for a travel book company, and is quiet in life. She's a hopeful sort of person, but also a realist after a fashion. As a character, she's very fleshed out, and very real to me.
Sofia is potentially the crazy lady in the book. She was lied to, and she believed it through her life. She let it define her, and she hid behind the lies her father told. She also believes that Nora, a ghost, talks to her through the art of Florence. It was because of this that Meg began to see that belief and hope can pull one through hard times, but can't be over done. Sofia was an excellently written character, and you couldn't tell if she was invented for this purpose of the story line, or if it just happened naturally. It made it very easy to read and get caught up in.
Lorenzo was the token found love. The only thing he brought to the book was that element of hope, love, and romance. However, it wasn't lust or anything like that. It was very tastefully done, and some of the conversations that were written between Lorenzo and Meg were insightful and skilfully woven to give the extra dimension of hope and feeling of being loved completely. It was a nice message.
The rest of the characters played secondary, supporting roles. They drove the story nicely, and provided extra structure and motivation. They also lent to the message of hope and helping to note that there are shades of grey, not just a black and white world.
Notes There were times that I was very confused, though, about whose's story I was reading, and trying to keep Nora, Sofia, and Meg straight from one another. Towards the middle of the book it became a lot easier to keep the three ladies' lives straight, but not at the beginning.
The messages that the author may have wished to deliver were skilfully and artfully done. I noticed and absorbed them, but they did not detract from the story at all.
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