Dating da Vinci, by Malena Lott
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: November 1, 2008
Format: Trade Paperback, 288 pages
Ok. Play along with me now. Look at this cover, and now listen to what I have to say.
No one was more surprised than me by the depth and consideration of this thoughtful novel about love, loss and rediscovering life after going through very difficult times.
Ramona Elise Griffen is the widowed 36-year-old mother of two young boys who has been grieving the death of her husband, Joel, for the last two years. While working part-time teaching English to newly arrived immigrants, Ramona meets the beautiful Leonardo, who has come to the US to study at the nearby university, and then she surprises herself and offers to rent him her husband’s studio that sits in just steps away in her backyard, untouched since the day he died. With the help of the young Italian, Ramona’s love of life slowly returns and propels her out of grief and back into life.
I really enjoyed this book. I loved the warm and wonderful characters, and funny interactions lend humor and levity to the thoughtful conversations that Ramona has about faith, love and what happens when the love of your life dies. Ramona decides to finish dissertation for her doctorate, and as a linguist she researches love in all it stages and forms and deals with her own issues of marital trust, fidelity and the meaning of soulmates as she grapples to accept another love into her life, and accept that Joel may have had more than one love in his. I was thoroughly engaged throughout this book as Lott charmingly presents a balance of light-hearted fare tempered with ruminations of heavy issues. Truly a delightful read.