Thursday, November 17, 2016

Book Review: The Portrait of Emily Price by Katherine Reay

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this ebook, free of charge,from Thomas Nelson Publishing, via Netgalley, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it,  all opinions are my own.



This book deals not only with family, but art and the love of class books, 
making it perfect for including today!


The Portrait of Emily Price cover

Synopsis:

Art restorer Emily Price has never encountered anything she can't fix—until she meets Ben, an Italian chef, who seems just right. When Emily follows Ben home to Italy, she learns that his family, however, is another matter . . .
Emily Price—fix-it girl extraordinaire and would-be artist—finds herself in Atlanta, repairing objects damaged in a house fire. As she works to restore the home and dreams of one family, she strives to keep the pieces of her own life in perfect order and secure her own happy ending—a gallery show of her own. There is no time for distractions, especially not the ultimate distraction of falling in love.
But Chef Benito Vassallo's relentless pursuit proves hard to resist. Visiting from Italy, Ben works to reconnect with his brother and breathe new life into his aunt and uncle's faded restaurant, Piccolo. And soon after their first meeting, he works to win Emily as well—inviting her into his world and into his heart.
Emily astonishes everyone when she accepts Ben's proposal and follows him home. Upon landing in Rome, she is enchanted with Italy. But instead of allowing the land, culture and people to transform her, Emily imposes her will upon everyone and everything around her, alienating Ben's tightly knit family. Only Ben's father, Lucio, gives Emily the understanding she needs to lay down her guard. Soon, Emily's life and art begin to blossom, and Italy's beauty and rhythm take hold of her spirit.
Yet when she unearths long-buried family secrets, Emily wonders if she really fits into Ben's world. Will the joys of Italy become just a memory, or will Emily share in the freedom and grace that her life with Ben has shown her are possible?

Review:
It is hard to peg this book- it's fiction yes, but it's romantic, it's chick lit, it's about classical art and novels, it's about family dysfunction and drama, but it's also about finding yourself in the unlikeliest of places. If you think it sounds like a movie in the making, you might be right. While it sounds like a Lifetime movie special, it's so much more than that. I don;t think any movie could truly do all the nuances justice, especially the religious ones!
This book is such a joy to read- it will have you turning the pages, smiling, laughing out loud, and then groaning when the story takes an unexpected turn. In fact, my biggest groan came at the end. It was too abrupt! I wanted MORE, I wanted a chapter that took place 6 months later, to see what happened AFTER- would Emily continue as an artist, would Ben's changes at the restaurant take hold and make it amazing, would Donata teach Emily every day about making pasta, would there be babies on the way, would Joseph and his mother find everlasting peace.... You see what I mean- there is definitely a book 2 in there!
This is a charming, light read, perfect for reading on the plane home for Thanksgiving, and stealing away with when the family gets to be too much (we've all been there, we KNOW), and I can't recommend it enough!

About the Author:
Katherine Reay has enjoyed a life-long affair with the works of Jane Austen and her contemporaries—who provide constant inspiration both for writing and for life. She is the author of three previous novels, and her debut, Dear Mr. Knightley, was a 2014 Christy Award Finalist, winner of the 2014 INSPY Award for Best Debut, and winner of two Carol Awards for Best Debut and Best Contemporary. Katherine holds a BA and MS from Northwestern University and is a wife, mother, runner, and tae kwon do black belt. After living all across the country and a few stops in Europe, Katherine and her family recently moved back to Chicago. Visit her on line at katherinereay.com Facebook: katherinereaybooks Twitter: @Katherine_Reay



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