Ballantine, Jun 2003, 12.95, 304 pp.
In St. Louis, Marlena lives alone having been divorced and her two adult children out from the roost. She is a successful chef and food writer, but has little to show in her recent personal life. Marlena travels to Venice where the Stranger stares at her as if she is Miss Italy. Banker Fernando believes that he has found his soul mate. They talk and share a romantic interlude before she returns to Missouri.
Surprisingly, he travels to the States to persuade Marlena that this is love. She agrees to go to Venice because this may be love. Neither understands the desires of the other except for the passion between them, yet a warm relationship forms as love, indeed, flourishes. However, will her spontaneity and her love for cooking die or will she bring her beloved into the world of the gourmand.
Marlena de Blasi provides uses the novel format to explain how she and her beloved met, fell in love, and forged a relationship. The true story simmers slowly so that those who demand instant gratification will want to pass. Those readers who relish a tasteful morsel (and a few recipes) will appreciate this true eternal love story found during the author's middle age when society catalogues folks as part of the over the hill gang.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner