Thursday, March 6, 2008

Love Falls by Esther Freud

In Love Falls, Lambert invites his daughter, Lara, to holiday with him in Tuscany. He is going to visit an old friend, Carolyn who is not well. Even though Lara is not close with her father, she accepts his invitation. While there, Lara meets some of Lambert’s old friends and their children and enjoys the company of one particular young man, Kip. She doesn’t realize that danger is right around the corner and she could lose more than her heart.

I really enjoyed this book. It was well written and a good escape for a dreary February. The story is written from Lara’s point of view so we see the story, the countryside and the other characters through her eyes. What a different story this would be had it been written from Lambert’s or Kip’s. After reading Freud’s description of the Palio, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen it on TV. [We used to get an Italian TV station with our cable package.] I can see why Caroline was so excited about it. It provided some excitement and contrast to the sightseeing trips, picnics and walks in Tuscany.

While Lara was the typical teenager and was very likeable, I didn’t care much for Lara’s father. He was so distant and I had a hard time understanding why he even asked Lara to accompany him to Italy. He paid so little attention to her on the journey there and once they arrived. The author hinted at his past with many of the characters, but she didn’t get into anything concrete. That left me with tons of questions and wanting more information. I’m left to conclude that the author purposely left Lambert’s past as vague as possible to put the emphasis on Lara’s life.

My one complaint is the use of Italian. I love being exposed to other languages, but almost always need some help from the author to understand what’s being said. Freud didn’t always provide a translation and I couldn’t decipher what was being said from the context. I felt like I was missing part of the story. I finally looked up a few on the Internet, but it just wasn’t the same.

I’d definitely recommend this book. I’m looking forward to reading more works by this author.

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