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THE MERMAID GARDEN
Genre: Mainstream, General Mainstream Fiction
This is a readable if slightly clichéd English countryside story. It tracks the youthful romantic tragedy and the current financial struggles of a woman who must remake herself. Only if she can love and forgive both of her identities will she be able to keep the life she wants.
Floriana is a free spirit in Tuscany in the 1960s, whose only relative, her father, is a hopeless drunk. While peeping over the wall at a villa nearby, she meets Dante, heir to a fortune. Their friendship blossoms into a love that cannot be.
Decades later, Marina is turning an English country house into a hotel. She decides an artist in residence might help draw patrons for a painting holiday. A handsome young Argentinean answers the ad. Rafa is after more than a summer job, however. He wants answers. Is Marina who he thinks she is? (TOUCHSTONE, May, 432 pp., $24.99)
Reviewed By: Bunny Callahan
Published: May 2011