The story of four American strangers who bond in Italy and change their lives over the course of an exceptional year, from the bestselling author of Under the Tuscan Sun.
Don’t miss Frances Mayes in PBS’s Dream of Italy: Tuscan Sun Special!
She watches from her terrazza as the three American women carry their luggage into the stone villa down the hill. Who are they, and what brings them to this Tuscan village so far from home? An expat herself and with her own unfinished story, she can’t help but question: will they find what they came for?
Kit Raine, an American writer living in Tuscany, is working on a biography of her close friend, a complex woman who continues to cast a shadow on Kit’s own life. Her work is waylaid by the arrival of three women—Julia, Camille, and Susan—all of whom have launched a recent and spontaneous friendship that will uproot them completely and redirect their lives. Susan, the most adventurous of the three, has enticed them to subvert expectations of staid retirement by taking a lease on a big, beautiful house in Tuscany. Though novices in a foreign culture, their renewed sense of adventure imbues each of them with a bright sense of bravery, a gusto for life, and a fierce determination to thrive. But how? With Kit’s friendship and guidance, the three friends launch themselves into Italian life, pursuing passions long-forgotten—and with drastic and unforeseeable results.
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Whether in the South or in Italy, Frances Mayes takes us home to a lush, vivid landscape where all senses are engaged. Women in Sunlight, her compelling new novel, transports us emotionally as well, as we watch a cast of memorable women maneuver their lives through many transitions. This novel is a great exploration of process: of writing, of cooking, and most importantly, of living.
Jill McCorkle, author of Life After Life
Mayes once again paints a vivid portrait of her beloved Tuscany. I defy you to read her descriptions of blackberry crostata, rotisserie chicken or semolina gnocchi without wondering what’s on your own dinner menu tonight.
— Washington Post
Frances Mayes is back under the Tuscan sun, and the forecast for readers is bright. . . Italy isn’t the only place where the sun shines, but here it illuminates what’s truly important for these appealing characters, as they ‘va & torna,’ go and return.
— USA Today
Mayes’s writing about Italy is the next best thing to a plane ticket.
— People Magazine
The pleasurable descriptions of colors and tastes and various Italian tourist destinations, plus the poetry written by the writer character, the gardens planted by the gardening character, and the handmade paper made by the paper-making character, etc., are enough to keep this party going all year long.
Frances Mayes’s novel about the feasts and friendships of four American women in the Tuscan countryside is a joy for the senses and an awakening for us all to the possibilities in our lives. Women in Sunlight is one of those novels you’ll want to linger in, to leave open on your bedside table, to read each page again and again.
— Nancy Thayer, author of A Nantucket Wedding
Frances Mayes has outdone herself. The writing is gorgeous, the structure grand and formidable, just like the architecture she writes about so well. I feel like I have lived in Italy. But most of all, I feel like these women—and their men, and children—are still walking around in my mind.
— Lee Smith, author of Dimestore
“The beloved Frances Mayes seems to own the Italian sun. Her first Italian-set novel is a lovely and intimate journey of friendship, loss, and hope set in the eternal beauty of Tuscan countryside. All of Ms. Mayes signature insights are here…there is healing and forgiveness that only a sojourn to Italy can provide. Che bella!
— Adriana Trigiani, author of Kiss Carlo“Women in Sunlight is an illuminating novel that reveals the exotic charms of Italy, this time through the fresh eyes of three American women who must learn to let go of the past so they can embrace a new culture, new relationships and a second chance at life. Utterly delicious!
“Fans will be delighted that Mayes again puts them Under the Tuscan Sun, where American writer Kit Raine is now living….Sun and fun, food and friendship—you can’t go wrong.
— Library Journal
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About Frances Mayes
Frances Mayes is the author of
four books about Tuscany. The now-classic Under
the Tuscan Sun–which was a New York Times bestseller for more than two and
a half years and became a Touchstone movie starring Diane Lane—was followed by Bella Tuscany and two illustrated books,
In Tuscany and Bringing Tuscany Home. She is also the author of the novel, Swan, several books of poetry, and The Discovery of Poetry. A native of Georgia, she now divides her time
between San Francisco and Cortona, Italy.
About Kimberly Farr
Kimberly Farr is an actress and winner of numerous AudioFile Earphones Awards for narration. She has appeared on Broadway and at the New York Shakespeare Festival, the Roundabout Theatre, Playwright’s Horizons, and the American Place. She created the role of “Eve” in Arthur Miller’s first and only musical, Up from Paradise, which was directed by the author. She appeared with Vanessa Redgrave in the Broadway production of The Lady from the Sea and has acted in regional theaters across the country, including a performance in the original production of The 1940’s Radio Hour at Washington, DC’s Arena Stage.