Reviewed by Christina M. Hinke
"Dating da Vinci." Malena Lott. Sourcebooks Casablanca, $12.95 paper (288p) ISBN 978-1-4022-1393-9
Sept. 8, 2008
Linguist Ramona Elise Griffen, an Austin, Tex., widow in her mid-30s, is renting the studio out back (her late husband's) to a robust, 25-year-old Italian immigrant student named Leonardo da Vinci. Ramona, hoping to shake her grief and find a way back to “Normal” (“The world is divided into two types of people: Grievers and Normals”), begins by dating da Vinci. In the two years since her husband's unexpected death, Ramona has cared for their two preadolescent boys and taken comfort in junk food, but when da Vinci enters the picture, she finds herself reinvigorated. Soon, she's also unwittingly caught the eye of the debonair local doctor who's dating Ramona's pretentious younger sister. Lott cleverly includes passages from Ramona's doctoral thesis on the language of love and never falters in her depiction of Ramona's overwhelming grief, tackling honestly her guilt over newfound happiness. Pure romance escapism written smartly, this latest from Lott (The Stork Reality) is satisfying and uplifting. (Nov.)
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