Women in Sunlight

Women in Sunlight

by Frances Mayes

Overview: She watches from her terrazza as the three American women carry their luggage into the stone villa down the hill. Who are they, and what brings them to this Tuscan village so far from home? An expat herself and with her own unfinished story, she can’t help but question: will they find what they came for?

Kit Raine, an American writer living in Tuscany, is working on a biography of her close friend, a complex woman who continues to cast a shadow on Kit’s own life. Her work is waylaid by the arrival of three women—Julia, Camille, and Susan—all of whom have launched a recent and spontaneous friendship that will uproot them completely and redirect their lives. Susan, the most adventurous of the three, has enticed them to subvert expectations of staid retirement by taking a lease on a big, beautiful house in Tuscany. Though novices in a foreign culture, their renewed sense of adventure imbues each of them with a bright sense of bravery, a gusto for life, and a fierce determination to thrive. But how? With Kit’s friendship and guidance, the three friends launch themselves into Italian life, pursuing passions long-forgotten—and with drastic and unforeseeable results.

Carole Zwicker (12/16/18): Very rarely do I reach the end of a novel and wish it would go on for hundreds of pages. Frances Mayes, the author of Under the Tuscan Sun, captures the imagination of the reader through exquisite language and with obvious love to describe the landscape, the history, the food, the wines, the architecture and the people of Tuscany. This is the story of three American older single women, Camille, Julia and Susan. They are in the process of assessing retirement communities in the US when, on a whim, they lease a villa in Tuscany for a year and move in together. They become friends with Kit, also an American expat, who happens to be their neighbor. The four women, while getting acquainted and becoming good friends, encourage each other to make the best of what Tuscany can teach them. The year will prove to be life-changing for all of them. By the end of the book, you will be in love with Tuscany and see it through the eyes of Kit, Camille, Julia and Susan. What a joy this book is. Women in Sunlight is a treasure to be re-read more than once and savoured over and over again.
Rating: *****

Faith Bowers (06/11/18): What is not to like in a story about Italy, friendships of mature women, food art and love.The writing is good and she uses new words for me so it is not a simple read but well described. The characters are pretty well developed and you get her love of Italy. The newly single women get a second chance in Italy and we read about their blossoming with out the marriages of decades. There are enough twists to keep you reading and wanting more.
Rating: ***

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