Tom Drummond is joint runner of a restaurant in the south of England, with aspirations to be a writer, while his wife Pippa runs a herb garden. One summer they decide to go on holiday to Tuscany, taking their 16-year-old daughter Natalie (Tally). Everything is fine, until one morning Tom and Tally are shattered to wake up and find Pippa, who always enjoyed the best of health, has died from a sudden heart attack.
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They return home to rebuild their shattered lives. Tally has two devoted male admirers, though she regards one as only a friend. When invited to go on holiday with one of them, she has to make a choice between going, and leaving her grieving father on his own. Tom has important personal and business decisions to make as well. He is unsure how much to resist the advances of Janie, an unmarried close family friend for many years, and whether to sell out his share of the restaurant, a matter which threatens his friendship with business partner Peter Jago and, more particularly, Peter's marriage to the domineering Rachel.
The review of this Book prepared by John Van der Kiste