The Italian Lesson

Janice Elliott, Author Beaufort Books $14.95 (173p) ISBN 978-0-8253-0391-3
In this new novel by the author of Secret Places, we find scenes bright as beach umbrellas, dialogue delighting the ear, characters rounded in a line or twoall this, plus a humdinger of a plot by an author as prolific as she is proficient. Transported to Pisa via a hijacked jet, Fanny and William Farmer and two friends drive to the idyllic village of San Salvatore, above Fiesole, where they will take part in the revels celebrating the Virgin of the Castello. They give a lift to Perdita, a waif of a girl whose baby, Mario, enchants them all and whose husband, Sergio, hasn't shown up at the airport. Having dropped mother and child in Florence, they read the next day about Sergio's involvement in the hijacking. Fanny sets out to find Perdita and especially Mario, who embodies her own unseen baby, born dead. By chance they meet, exchange addresses, and on the day before the festival Perdita turns up in Fanny's room. Soon, however, she slips away, leaving the baby and a note saying that she has gone to find Sergio and hopes that they will be good to Mario. For a brief time, then, Fanny has a baby. The bare bones of the story do not hint at its immediacy. Here is a delight for the senses, a feast of tears and laughter. (January 26)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
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