Back of the book :
Something close to happiness …
Hal takes it, turns it over in his hand, studies the gold lettering.
Why not accept, what, after all, does he have to lose … ?
Rome : 1950’s. One fateful night, Hal Jacobs meets Stella, a beautiful society darling from New York. To Hal, failing in the post-war darkness, she’s a point of light. They’re from different worlds, but both trying and failing to carve out a new life.
Stella vanishes all to quickly, until a curious invitation from an Italian Contessa reels her back to Hal’s world. They join the Contessa’s collection of luminaries on a yacht head for the Cannes film Festival.
The scene on board is fiction – scars from the war can be hidden yet not healed. Everyone is hiding a dark history, But Stella’s secrets run the deepest. Compelled by her fragile beauty, Hal is determined to bring back the girl she once was, the girl that has been confined to history.
What I think :
The year is 1951. The place is Rome. Hal is a journalist, he’s got a dead end job at a small publication, it barely pays his bills. So when a friend of his offers him an invitation to a party thrown by a Contessa, Hal thinks ‘why not’ ? you never know what contacts you might meet at things like this. Then he meets Stella, they have one very lovely night together then she is gone … He knows nothing about her, not even her second name.
Two years later, in 1953, he meets the Contessa once more, she remembered him from the party she threw and offers him a job, to write an article about the film she has just written/funded. He jumps at the chance because in the last two years, sadly, his finances haven’t really changed that much. He will also get to go to the ‘Cannes Film Festival’. Its whilst on his way there on his first night at the Contessa’s house that he sees stella again. However, its also then that he finds out who she really is …
I was over the moon to receive a review copy of this fabulous book from the publishers, it arrived in a little box with a bottle of Prosecco. I couldn’t wait to start it and I wasn’t disappointed. This is another excellent book from Lucy. I really loved her first one and really thought that she couldn’t top it, but she did with this one.
This excellent read is about how a split seconds chance meeting can change the course of your life forever. Its such a wonderfully atmospheric book that takes you from 1950’s Rome to France, and give you a wonderful snap shot in time . Told from the main characters points of view, Hal’s is pretty much in the 1950’s onwards, but Stella’s also takes you back to her childhood and explains how she got to where she is now.
Yes, I really loved this brilliant book and give it a very well earned 10/10. (5 Stars)
Published by Harper Collins 0n 14/07/16.
A huge Thank you to Ann Bissell at Harper Collins and Lucy Foley for the review copy of the book in exchange for a honest review.