The Florentine Bridge…
Young Australian artist Mia Moretti has been cancer free for nine months. But her battle with the illness has taken its toll, leaving her depressed and tormented by overwhelming fears. What’s more, she can’t seem to paint anymore. Mia needs a fresh start so when a surprise opportunity to travel to Tuscany presents itself, she takes it. With any luck, this trip will help her find whatever it is she needs to open her heart and start painting again.
What she doesn’t count on is meeting Luca, a handsome Italian mechanic. With his smile, his warmth and his inspirational outlook on all the good things life has to offer, he sweeps her off her feet. As Mia slowly lets down her walls and allows Luca in, her passion for life is reignited and her new perspective begins to inspire her art. But just when she’s ready to let go of her past, will a tragedy threaten her new life with Luca?
Full of heart and hope, a love story about la dolce vita in Tuscany.
Part romance and part coming of age, The Florentine Bridge delights right from the start. Vanessa Carnevale has an easy writing style that sweeps you up and immerses you, not only into the lives of her characters, but into the surrounds and the setting of the story as well. It was a real treat to get such a vivid sense of Tuscany through Mia’s tourist gaze and I particularly appreciated the more anecdotal references and local conviviality sprinkled throughout.
The true highlight for me with this novel was the artistic angle of the story, but as what usually happens to me when reading a book about art, I found myself desperately wishing I could see Mia’s paintings in a place other than my mind. Vanessa’s depictions were quite vivid though and rather impressive, leaving me with a true sense of what Mia had created each and every time.
There were many emotional moments throughout this story, plenty of highs and possibly more lows, yet I felt that this was overwhelming a book about joy. The joy of loving, the joy of living, the joy of discovering who you are and what you mean to those around you. The Florentine Bridge is a beautiful novel and I look forward reading many more books by Vanessa Carnevale. Her talent is a most welcome addition to Australia’s literary landscape.
The Florentine Bridge is book 6 of my 2017 Australian Women Writers Challenge.