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A Portrait of Emily Price ~ Review

A Portrait of Emily Price
By Katherine Reay

Emily Price has been sent to Atlanta for an emergency restoration - a house and a family have been affected by a fire that resulted in water and smoke damage.  But while she's in Atlanta Emily learns her own life is in need of restoration, but when she meets Benito (Ben) Vassallo her life takes a totally unexpected turn.

Within two weeks of their first meeting Emily and Ben have married and are on their way to his family's home in Italy. But life isn't how Emily envisioned it ~ happily ever after isn't the immediate result of saying I do.

Fixing things gives Emily a feeling of satisfaction but in Italy she has come across something she can't fix - herself.  But when the Vassallo family confronts a long hidden secret that finds Emily center stage she determines that before she can go further she must first find herself.  But will finding herself force her to leave what she has come to hold dear behind or will she embrace it more fully?

A Portrait of Emily Price is another delightful exploration of life and personal discovery from Katherine Reay. Everything is seen through Emily's eyes and her transformation as a person is seen through her artistic endeavors. But as Emily (along with the reader) discovers life can't restored to the original, the pains and joys make us who we are and as one character says they must be endured.

THe one thing I like with Katherine Reay's books is that they all are standalone books so when one reads one the story is complete. Though I have to be honest I would love to have the stories continue on just to see what happens next. The setting is contemporary though there are references to classical literature and art that help Emily discover herself. This is a book that ends on an up-note so that the reader is left satisfied and looking forward to the sunset (reference to several scenes in the book).  

I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher through the Fiction Guild, no expectation of a review positive or otherwise was expected.  All opinions expressed are my own.

About the Book:
Art restorer Emily Price has never encountered anything she can’t fix—until she meets Ben, an Italian chef, who seems just right. When Emily follows Ben home to Italy, she learns that his family, however, is another matter . . .

Emily Price—fix-it girl extraordinaire and would-be artist—finds herself in Atlanta, repairing objects damaged in a house fire. As she works to restore the home and dreams of one family, she strives to keep the pieces of her own life in perfect order and secure her own happy ending—a gallery show of her own. There is no time for distractions, especially not the ultimate distraction of falling in love.

But Chef Benito Vassallo’s relentless pursuit proves hard to resist. Visiting from Italy, Ben works to reconnect with his brother and breathe new life into his aunt and uncle’s faded restaurant, Piccolo. And soon after their first meeting, he works to win Emily as well—inviting her into his world and into his heart.

Emily astonishes everyone when she accepts Ben’s proposal and follows him home. Upon landing in Rome, she is enchanted with Italy. But instead of allowing the land, culture and people to transform her, Emily imposes her will upon everyone and everything around her, alienating Ben’s tightly knit family. Only Ben’s father, Lucio, gives Emily the understanding she needs to lay down her guard. Soon, Emily’s life and art begin to blossom, and Italy’s beauty and rhythm take hold of her spirit.

Yet when she unearths long-buried family secrets, Emily wonders if she really fits into Ben’s world. Will the joys of Italy become just a memory, or will Emily share in the freedom and grace that her life with Ben has shown her are possible?