Women of a certain age become near invisible, expected to settle down and live quietly. Julia, Susan, and Camille meet at a get together for folks interested in purchasing a condo in a retirement complex. Different reasons brought them; but what they realize is that retirement complex would be an ending when what they want is a new beginning. Italy becomes that new beginning, an adventure that infuses them with all sorts of new interests and passions. They rent a lovely old home surrounded by a lush garden in Tuscany. One of their first new friends, Kit Raine, is an American author who lives across the way with Colin, an architect. This is a lovely story about three women finding new inspiration and life in a gorgeous setting. A treat to read.— Deon Stonehouse
The story of four American strangers who bond in Italy and change their lives over the course of an exceptional year, from the bestselling author of Under the Tuscan Sun.
Don’t miss Frances Mayes in PBS’s Dream of Italy: Tuscan Sun Special!
She watches from her terrazza as the three American women carry their luggage into the stone villa down the hill. Who are they, and what brings them to this Tuscan village so far from home? An expat herself and with her own unfinished story, she can’t help but question: will they find what they came for?
Kit Raine, an American writer living in Tuscany, is working on a biography of her close friend, a complex woman who continues to cast a shadow on Kit’s own life. Her work is waylaid by the arrival of three women—Julia, Camille, and Susan—all of whom have launched a recent and spontaneous friendship that will uproot them completely and redirect their lives. Susan, the most adventurous of the three, has enticed them to subvert expectations of staid retirement by taking a lease on a big, beautiful house in Tuscany. Though novices in a foreign culture, their renewed sense of adventure imbues each of them with a bright sense of bravery, a gusto for life, and a fierce determination to thrive. But how? With Kit’s friendship and guidance, the three friends launch themselves into Italian life, pursuing passions long-forgotten—and with drastic and unforeseeable results.
About the Author
Frances Mayes is the author of the now-classic Under the Tuscan Sun, which was a New York Times bestseller for more than two and a half years and became a Touchstone movie starring Diane Lane. Other international bestsellers include: Bella Tuscany, Everyday in Tuscany, A Year in the World, and three illustrated books: In Tuscany, Bringing Tuscany Home, and The Tuscan Sun Cookbook. She is also the author of two novels, Swan and Women in Sunlight. She has written six books of poetry and The Discovery of Poetry. The most recent books are See You in the Piazza and Always Italy. Her books have been translated into more than fifty languages.
“Mayes once again paints a vivid portrait of her beloved Tuscany. I defy you to read her descriptions of blackberry crostata, rotisserie chicken or semolina gnocchi without wondering what’s on your own dinner menu tonight.” -- Washington Post
“Frances Mayes is back under the Tuscan sun, and the forecast for readers is bright. . . Italy isn’t the only place where the sun shines, but here it illuminates what’s truly important for these appealing characters, as they ‘va & torna,’ go and return.” -- USA Today
“Mayes’s writing about Italy is the next best thing to a plane ticket.” -- People Magazine
“The pleasurable descriptions of colors and tastes and various Italian tourist destinations, plus the poetry written by the writer character, the gardens planted by the gardening character, and the handmade paper made by the paper-making character, etc., are enough to keep this party going all year long.” -- Kirkus
"Whether in the South or in Italy, Frances Mayes takes us home to a lush, vivid landscape where all senses are engaged. Women in Sunlight, her compelling new novel, transports us emotionally as well, as we watch a cast of memorable women maneuver their lives through many transitions. This novel is a great exploration of process: of writing, of cooking, and most importantly, of living." -- Jill McCorkle, author of Life After Life
"Frances Mayes’s novel about the feasts and friendships of four American women in the Tuscan countryside is a joy for the senses and an awakening for us all to the possibilities in our lives. Women in Sunlight is one of those novels you’ll want to linger in, to leave open on your bedside table, to read each page again and again." -- Nancy Thayer, author of A Nantucket Wedding
“Frances Mayes has outdone herself. The writing is gorgeous, the structure grand and formidable, just like the architecture she writes about so well. I feel like I have lived in Italy. But most of all, I feel like these women—and their men, and children—are still walking around in my mind.” -- Lee Smith, author of Dimestore
“The beloved Frances Mayes seems to own the Italian sun. Her first Italian-set novel is a lovely and intimate journey of friendship, loss, and hope set in the eternal beauty of Tuscan countryside. All of Ms. Mayes signature insights are here…there is healing and forgiveness that only a sojourn to Italy can provide. Che bella!” -- Adriana Trigiani, author of Kiss Carlo
“Women in Sunlight is an illuminating novel that reveals the exotic charms of Italy, this time through the fresh eyes of three American women who must learn to let go of the past so they can embrace a new culture, new relationships and a second chance at life. Utterly delicious!” -- Mary Alice Monroe, author of Beach House For Rent
“Fans will be delighted that Mayes again puts them Under the Tuscan Sun, where American writer Kit Raine is now living….Sun and fun, food and friendship—you can’t go wrong.” -- Library Journal