Friday, 6 November 2015
Juliet's Journey by Kathy Gates (book review)
Juliet is thirty, her mother has just died and she has decided on a whim to leave Australia to volunteer at an art school in Baiardo, Italy, against her brother's advice.
Juliet doesn't expect that her first task will be to weed and clear up along the boundary with the neighbouring property, nor does she expect the rage that this induces in the neighbour, Luca. This is only one of the several intrigues and mysteries that Juliet encounters in her first few weeks at the art school.
Juliet is starting to fall for Luca, when her ex-fiance, Stuart, a dodgy property deceloper turns up.
Can Juliet help the villagers to stop Stuart's plans to turn the art school into holiday homes? Can she convince Luca that everything is over between her and Stuart and that she isn't connected to his property development plans?
(Stuart's plans for the art school reminded me of some of the less than appropriate development proposals hanging over Edinburgh at the moment, including the proposed demolition of the Blue Goose Pub with its beer garden overlooking the Water of Leith to make way for student flats.
I was also instinctively drawn to a story set in an area of Italy I've visited with a heroine called Juliet. Though my parents didn't meet while acting in a school production of Romeo and Juliet.)
This is an engaging, romantic novella in the wonderful setting of northern Italy with a light touch but with the serious issue of inappropriate property development at its heart. Well worth a read.
Juliet's Journey by Kathy Gates is available here.