When Lucy Parker’s eccentric grandmother dies, Lucy must return a beloved painting to a mysterious man in Italy, leading her on a journey to discover family secrets, secrets buried in the chaotic aftermath of World War II.
Lucy’s childhood best friend, estate lawyer Jack Hamilton, agrees to accompany her, opening up a opportunity for them to find their second chance at love. Will they find it? From a tiny town in Massachusetts to the rolling hills of Tuscany, never-told family secrets unfurl in The Lost Art of Second Chances.
For most people, there are key choices in our past that severely altered our lives. Sometimes these are for the better, sometimes for the worst. This particular book shows how two couples take every curve ball life throws at them and make new lives for themselves.
For Lucy, the opportunity arises after the death of her grandmother. Armed with a beloved painting and a letter, she finds herself on the road to discovering what her grandmother knew all along: there was still a chance for love left for her. While Lucy is rediscovering herself, you get the opportunity to learn of her grandmother’s past in Italy during World War II. It’s a tragic love story that winds up helping her granddaughter find the happiness she deserves in the long road.
I feel it is Belladonna’s story that truly adds that magic touch to this story. I’ve always been a fan of stories from that era and I found it intriguing to see the world change for her in light of Italy’s stance in the war changes. Surprisingly, I also found myself drawn to the love story of it, not only that of a man and a woman, but also that of a grandmother and granddaughter who were very similar. After all, it’s her grandmother’s dying wish for her granddaughter to finally give in to her own feelings and be happy, instead of constantly hiding behind her fear. In regards to Lucy, I couldn’t help but feel a bit of kinship with the character. Though I’m a decade younger, I find myself wondering where to go from here, much like she does at the beginning of the book. It’s this ability to connect with her as well as her grandmother’s story, that helps me enjoy her journey so much.
I have to admit I am impressed by how well the author handled the two story lines. Both work well together and yet, either could have worked well on its own. They left me with a wide range of emotions from sadness of the lost love between Belladonna and Paolo to happiness for Lucy finally discovering herself and allowing herself to love Jack (even though, in truth, she had loved him all along). I can’t imagine it’s easy to right a historical fiction, especially for one based in World War II. But I think Courtney Hunt did a great job of keeping the realism to Belladonna’s experiences, while being able to propel the love story.
This is the kind of book that can really be enjoyed by a wide range of readers. But I would highly recommend it to anyone who is a sucker for a good love story or for someone who enjoys the kinds of books in which you see the characters grow and find themselves. After all, one of the things most of us want to achieve is the ability to find our place in this world as well as our own little piece of happiness.
Reviewer’s note: I received this book in exchange for an honest review.
Pick up your copy on Amazon: The Lost Art of Second Chances by Courtney Hunt