Lizzie & Dante: A Novel (Hardcover)
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”—Minneapolis Star 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, Lulu, 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
“When friends sweep Lizzie away to the Italian isle of Elba, she isn’t looking for romance. It’s a trip of a lifetime for the Shakespeare professor: She has cancer and is preparing her goodbyes. But then Lizzie falls for Dante, a local chef, and his motherless daughter Etta and wonders if it’s okay to love if you’re dying. Delicious.”—People (“The Best New Books of the Week”)
“Falling in love with an Italian chef who loves you. Lots of sweet love-making. A 12-year-old who wants a mother desperately. Talk of Shakespeare, James Wright and Romeo and Juliet. A group of people who create a family. Also food and wine and the heat of the Italian sun. All of this comes together in Mary Bly’s tender [and] delightful ‘Lizzie & Dante.”—St. Paul Pioneer Press
“This is the sweeping magnificent romance of the summer! This book channels Love Story and Me Before You. Set in glorious Italy, Lizzie & Dante is an unforgettable gem!”—Frolic (“Ten Hot Reads for June”)
“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. 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!”—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 . . . ”—Booklist (starred review)
“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)