Talking Location With… Fiona Valpy – Casablanca
Novel set on Sardinia (Porto Cervo)
19th April 2019
Emerald Coast by Anita Hughes, novel set on Sardinia (Porto Cervo).
In Sardinia, love is more important than wealth or fame….
The Costa Smeralda (Emerald Coast) on Sardinia is still a lure for the super-yachts, with beautiful beaches, wonderful food and an array of interesting places to visit. This is where Anita Hughes has set her novel, eponymously titled Emerald Coast.
In her novels the author sumptuously brings her settings to colourful life, whether detail of the interior decor (there aren’t just any cushions for her heroine to sink into, there are silk cushions of the most exquisite design, with marble floors, alabaster walls, a luxury yacht or two – including the Aga Khan’s yacht – all adding to the chic feel of the environs). She revels in detailing the fashion and delights in sharing the delicious wonders of local eateries that really do exist! This novel is a good choice for literary wanderlust, with fashion, luxury and some hot tips along the way for readers to savour.
Lily Bristol runs a successful interior furnishing conglomerate and is in Porto Cervo for the opening of her latest store. She is separated from her husband Oliver Bristol and they are both well on the way to an “amicable” divorce for the sake of their young, six year old daughter Louisa.
Lily checks into her suite and is taken aback to find that Oliver – with a woman, Angela, in tow – has also checked in and has been given the very same suite! Horror of horrors! Having none of this, Lily is fortunate to find another room in the height of the Summer Season but unfortunately it is adjacent to the original suite.
Both Lily and Oliver start reflecting on how they met when they first went to Italy (and where they ate.. try Caffè Spaccanapoli (great breakfast pastries apparently!) when you are next in Naples; the Cala di Volpe or Renato Pedrinelli on the island; Caffè Gili in Florence…). 10 years plus is a long time to have been together so it isn’t surprising they are now reminiscing. They each ponder the ups and downs in their lives to date, the vagaries of marriage, the pleasure of making a success of their joint life; until this point, that is, as they are on the cusp of going their separate ways! Here, now on Sardinia, they are both sharply aware of the other’s presence, despite respective burgeoning relationships with Angela and local millionaire Ricky (who has a fabulous yacht, just saying)…
The novel is dripping in glorious descriptions of food and if the characters ate everything on offer they would no longer be the svelte and elegant people that the author creates for maximum, luxurious effect! Oliver is in fact the restaurant critic for the New York Times so the food focus is not a surprise.
Overall there is a pleasing balance of luxe and lifestyle, with an alluring backdrop. A good, light beach read, ESPECIALLY if you are heading to Sardinia.
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