To Tuscany with Love

Fiction - General
398 Pages
Reviewed on 01/06/2014
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Gail Mencini makes her literary debut with To Tuscany with Love, an adult coming-of-age novel. She was born and raised in rural Nebraska, where everyone knew their neighbors and summers were spent outdoors—working, playing, or watching fireflies. Her love for reading books and imagining characters and their stories germinated during those days of creating her own world.

Gail was raised to be independent. College and grad school brought her training in tax law, and for many years she used that knowledge in her CPA practice to help clients across the country.

One hot July summer in Key West, Gail and her husband toured Ernest Hemingway’s house. Smacked in the face with the master writer’s ghost and palpable presence, she confessed her secret desire to write books. Unlike her, Gail’s husband felt only the heat and humidity and not a trace of Ernest. Her confession led to her writing a novel that won contests and landed a New York literary agent, but otherwise never saw the light of day. After years of writing, improving her craft, and working harder, the kernel of an idea and several trips to Italy inspired Gail to write To Tuscany with Love, the first book in her Tuscany series. The years following her childhood of imagining far-away places and the people there have only intensified her love for creating stories.

Gail is thankful every day and knows she is abundantly blessed to be a wife, mother, and writer.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Karen Pirnot for Readers' Favorite

What a wonderful story about love, lost love, and taking the thumps of life and daring to bounce back! To Tuscany with Love by debut novelist Gail Mencini is an absolute gem for those wanting to guess at the intricate ins and outs of love. Bella Rossini is sent to Italy for the summer where she will spend a semester studying and, hopefully, staying away from political tangles that got her into trouble in the USA. She, along with three other young women and four young men, learn the ins and outs of Italian culture while exploring the ins and outs of their own desires and goals. Hope is a delightful woman who is pledged to her man at home. Twins Karen and Meghan are seemingly practical women who have the goal of starting a clothing boutique. They dare to get to know Lee, Stillman, Phillip, and Rune, each men with personalities that simply beg to be explored in depth. In the confines of a summer together, they form lasting memories which take them through nearly three decades of personal growth. As they approach fifty, the eight individuals are all invited to a reunion in Florence. They all harbor secrets, needs, and angers about how life has betrayed them and yet, they are eager to explore what they left behind so many years before.

To Tuscany with Love is a captivating story and one so well written that readers will want more of Mencini's unique way of telling a tale. The Italian setting is magnificent and one which stimulates the reader's imagination. The characters are wonderful, the plot intriguing, and the flow of the novel is just right to engross readers from beginning to end.