Book Review

Women in Sunlight


Want to explore Italy through the eyes of an eloquent guide?  WOMEN IN SUNLIGHT takes you there in a thoroughly delightful way, thanks to the knowledge and artful prose of Frances Mayes.

Some of you may have read Mayes’s UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN.  I had not, but I’d heard so much about it that when the author’s new book came out last month, I indulged.

Indulged.  Good word.  This book is luscious, not only regarding food, but scenery and characters as well.

The plot in a nutshell?  Three women meet as each explores moving to an over-55 community – with their determination NOT to move there cementing their bond.  They hit it off so well that, within months, they’ve agreed to co-rent a villa in Tuscany.  Once there, their lives take off in directions none expected – all of it narrated by a neighbor of theirs, a woman who, at 44, is a poet whose life is likewise in flux.

WOMEN IN SUNLIGHT is a strong women’s book.  There are wonderful secondary characters, both female and male, but our four stars shine.  Occasionally I felt the author was long-winded, but the fact that the action moved well beyond Tuscany to other major Italian regions was a plus.

At its heart, WOMEN IN SUNLIGHT is about the community of women, the support they give one another, the ways they can grow when tradition says they cannot.  This book is about women reaching for their finest form, emerging into the sunlight, in the best possible sense.

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