|Vernazza with boats 'parked' in the street!|
It focuses on Chiara, who is fifty-nine and who inherited the hotel from her parents who opened it to save the buildings of an old convent which had been left in a state of disrepair; her daughter, Elene, who is in charge of the kitchen, and her daughter, Isabella, who has been to business school and helps her grandma with running the rest of the hotel.
There is also Aunt Giovanna who's in her eighties. She's not really an aunt, but was saved by Chiara's parents when the convent closed and now lives in a cottage in the grounds.
Life is going smoothly (although there is a widening rift between Chiara and Elene about how to run the hotel!) until the day that two new guests, Dante and Ferdinand, arrive separately and shake up everyone's lives.
Giuseppe, the mayor, who has invited them to Sicily, lets them stay in his family's farmhouse surrounded by lemon groves for the time being, but the group is not made welcome in the town.
So on one side, there is Zelda and Lennie; Tabitha, a wannabe journalist; Barry, an ex-postman, Ralph, an ex-city banker and Sherise and Billy, ex-dairy farmers, and on the other: Romeo, who has the town under his control, and his brother, Matteo, the builder.
Although, Giuseppe, their cousin, is trying to make things work, what the town needs is something to pull it together, and will Romeo's son, Luca, the gorgeous restauranteur, be the one to help the hapless Brits?
And what about the wedding that tradition in the town says is needed to appease the rumbling Mount Etna? Are Zelda and Lennie ready for it?
These are wonderful stories of romance, sunshine and lemons in Italy. The cast of characters in both are perfect, and each book really explores life in its own region and, the loves and relationships of the people who live there.
So if books give you lemons, I say read and enjoy both of them! Perhaps with a glass of limoncello?