Revenge fantasies begin to fade when an American divorcee finds sanctuary and adventure in Italy. While recovering from her losses she enjoys the intimacy of small town life, ponders the future from her window on a lake, and revels in a succession of both comedic and serious lovers.
Her memoir is about the islands one finds on a map - others, places where she says arrivederci to her former existence and embraces life Italian style: high heels on motorcycles, prosecco toasts atop a castle in Rome, sensual nights which end when the sky grows light - exhilarating moments provided by the highly romantic and sometimes volatile Italian male. Yet like an Italian opera, her story not only celebrates voluptuous characters and settings: it's also perforated by shocking deaths.
On a November night in Rome, a gifted but alarmingly young man appears and leaves an indelible impression. On his island, he and the writer explore their obsession with each other during the year she almost abandons hope, but instead succeeds like the Romans: simply by enduring.
". when he is an old man - and I no longer walk this planet - his grandsons will learn about the American woman he loved, the daring things we did in order to be together. He'll show them a book called L'Isola di Simone, and they'll believe that the old man once had the power to change a lady's mind, to create an island of faith where passion prevails and the poetry of love is written."