a portrait of italy

Emily Price is a young woman used to fixing things. She is an art restorer with a knack for fixing water damaged paintings, broken trinkets, chipped photo frames, non-working small electronics, and just about anything else that needs a little tlc. She's always been the sensible one in the family, helping her sister Amy find good jobs and making sure all her ducks are in a row. And then Emily goes to Atlanta. 

Sent from Chicago to help restore some walls, art pieces, and a mural for a family whose house was damaged by a fire, Emily immediately meets Joseph, who owns the restoration company where her employer rented her some space while she's in Atlanta. And Joseph takes her for dinner at his uncle's restaurant, where she meet's Joseph's brother Ben. Ben is a chef visiting from Italy, where he works at their parents' restaurant. And from the moment Ben and Emily meet, they are inseparable. 

In just a couple of weeks, Emily manages to restore her clients' artwork and to help Ben redecorate the restaurant. And after those two whirlwind weeks, when Ben proposes marriage, Emily can't help but say yes. Within days, she is a married woman living in Italy with her new family, trying to figure out what's next for her. She can fix the cracks in paint, but can she fix the cracks she finds in her new family? 

This novel has some ups and downs. Clearly, a lot happens quickly, and it's hard to get to know the characters under those circumstances. But the descriptions of the art, of the architecture, and especially of Italy sparkle with a brightness that make you want to get on a plane immediately and head to Rome. If you're looking for an easy read with Christian values, then give Katherine Reay a try. She can paint quite a picture with her words. 


Galleys were provided by the publisher through NetGalley.com.