Fiction set in USA and EUROPE: the life of Maria Callas
Novel set in Lake Como and in Oxford (a proper #holidayread)
12th July 2014
Summer at the Lake by Erica James – romance novel set in Lake Como and Oxford.
A delightful novel to take on a trip to take with you to the Italian Lakes, which, of course is what we did! Such an enjoyable experience, sitting by the lapping waters, surrounded by oleander shrubs, the gentle fragrance of lime trees wafting past, the hot breeze coming in off the Lake and a ristretto to hand. A great way to while away the afternoon: Lake Como as I look up, Lake Como in my novel. It was a pure sensaround experience. And we had such fun posing the book against the beautiful background of the Lakes, much to the amusement of passers-by.
An old romance blended with a modern love affair, moving from the glittering spires of Oxford to the balmy shores of Lake Como. Both locations are beautifully captured. Imagine Oxford: “…its velvet green lawns and ivy-clad walls, its architecture, its ethos, its tradition and its sense of place in time and history.” And find out too where Tolkien and C S Lewis used to hang out.
Floriana (what a wonderful name) is living in Oxford. She is impecunious, and cobbles together her bohemian life by working as a tour guide. Seb, her long term friend has fled into the arms of wealthy Imogen, when Floriana declared her undying love to him. Since his abrupt departure, Floriana’s heart has never really repaired. Out of the blue, she receives an invitation to attend his marriage to Imogen, and as she struggles with the shock of this missive, she is literally knocked over by a passing motorist. Two people come to her aid and pursue her into the hospital to establish that she is ok. Property developer Adam accompanies elderly Esme to Floriana’s bedside and from that point a delightful friendship builds between the three of them and sets the tone for the novel. Adam and Esme are determined to support Floriana’s attendance at the wedding…
So it is off to beautiful Lake Como, where the wedding is due to take place and the trio settles into a beautiful villa, where they while away a few days in the build up to the big day. Esme has already described her trip as a young woman in the 1950s to the Lake, both to her companions and to the reader, and it is a delightful juxtaposition of Italy both past and the present. Floriana braces herself for her encounter with Seb, as his big day approaches and she feels less and less positive about attending.
Add some trips across the Lake and a quick sojourn in Venice and you have all the ingredients for a top #holidayread. Enjoy!