The insightful, audacious, and deeply romantic story of a woman whose life turns upside down after she meets an enigmatic chef on vacation in Italy
“Delicious.”—People (Best New Books) • “Smart, sexy and funny, full of joy in simple pleasures”—MinneapolisStar Tribune
What if falling in love means breaking someone’s heart?
On the heels of a difficult break-up and a devastating diagnosis, Shakespeare scholar Lizzie Delford decides to take one last lavish vacation on Elba, the sun-kissed island off the Italian coast, with her best friend and his movie-star boyfriend. Once settled into a luxurious seaside resort, Lizzie has to make big decisions about her future, and she needs the one thing she may be running out of: time.
She leaves the yacht owners and celebrities behind and sneaks off to the public beach, where she meets a sardonic chef named Dante, his battered dog, Lily, and his wry daughter, Etta, a twelve-year-old desperate for a mother. While Dante shows Lizzie the island’s secrets, and Etta dazzles with her irreverent humor, Lizzie is confronted with a dilemma. Is it right to fall in love if time is short? Is it better to find a mother briefly, or to have no mother at all? And most pressingly, are the delicacies of life worth tasting, even if you will get to savor them only for a short while?
A luscious story of love, courage, and Italian wine, Lizzie & Dante demands to know how far we should travel to find a future worth fighting for.
About the Author
Mary Bly is a New York Times bestselling author under the name Eloisa James, and chair of the English department at Fordham University. She lives with her family in New York City, but can sometimes be found in Paris or Italy. She is the mother of two and, in a particularly delicious irony for a romance writer, is married to a genuine Italian knight.
“Poignant . . . thrilling . . . a moving modern-day love story laced with poetry.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune
“I so enjoyed Lizzie and Dante—funny, joyful, bittersweet, full of beautiful lines about what it means to be alive, with a perfect ending. It brought me to tears! It’s the ultimate summer read.”—#1 New York Times bestselling author Christina Baker Kline
“Mary Bly has written a glorious novel about the power of love. Lizzie Delford is a scholar whose life will soon rival the twists and turns of a Shakespeare play. On the heels of a dire diagnosis, she decides to take a final vacation to Italy with her best friend and his movie star lover. When she meets Dante, a delicious chef who guards the secrets of Elba as his own, she finds her bliss. You will bask under Bly’s Italian sun with relish and root for Lizzie, who finds happiness before it’s too late. Brava!”—Adriana Trigiani, author of Lucia, Lucia
“Prepare to be swept away on an Italian holiday—one that sizzles with romance, intrigue, and mouthwatering cuisine. Mary Bly captures every woman’s fantasy—to travel to a remote Italian island and fall in love. Bella! This is the perfect choice for book clubs, a smart, complex, highly affecting novel that swept me away from the very first image of Elba Island.”—Lori Nelson Spielman, author of One Italian Summer
“I fell in love with Lizzie and Dante—and the whole cast of characters. And Elba. This is such a heartbreakingly beautiful story, full of smiles and tears. I could see and smell Napoleon’s little island, taste Dante’s food, and hear Lizzie sing. Wow.”—Karen White, author of Dreams of Falling
“Lizzie & Dante is a feast of a novel: for the senses, the mind, and the emotions. The story unfolds in a whirl of Italian landscape, food, passion, and philosophy. No subject is too big for this book, no detail too small. It is a joyful, escapist, wise, and satisfying story that answers the questions we didn’t even know we wanted to ask.”—Sophie Kinsella, author of Love Your Life “An emotional roller coaster of a novel that candidly explores such complicated subjects as sex and desire, love and loss, and family and friendship . . . Whether toothsomely describing Italian dishes, celebrating the natural beauty of Elba, or performing some literary dissection of Romeo and Juliet, Bly writes with a Prosecco-fizzy wit that is simply irresistible, but what will equally resonate with readers is her richly nuanced characters and their embrace of life in all its glorious messiness.”—Booklist (starred review)
“A poignant, character-driven novel about living, loving, and looking mortality in the eye. . . . Bly doesn’t spare the tears, breathing life into each of her genuine, passionate characters. . . . Fans of emotional tearjerkers, of romance, or of authors Kristin Hannah and Elin Hilderbrand will not be able to put this down.”—Library Journal (starred review)