"Dolci di Love" by Sarah-Kate Lynch is a novel that takes the reader from the boardrooms of Manhattan to the streets of Italy. Lily Turner, the main character is a woman who has become highly successful in business and believes that she also has a loyal husband - at least until she finds a photo of him with another woman and children in their closet.
Lily is very distraught and decides that instead of trying to confront her husband who is in Italy on business, that she will travel there. That way she can try to determine exactly who the individuals are and how she could have missed the fact that he had built another family without her knowledge.
From the time that she arrives in Italy, however, strange things begin to occur. She finds the country very different from New York. The roads are narrow and the town is laid out in a manner that confuses her. She ends up trying to book into a hotel but circumstances lead her to a small bakery where two very old sisters offer to rent her a room. Although the place is not appealing to her at first, Lily decides to take the room not knowing that the sisters also actually house a room where the "Secret League of Widowed Darners" meet. Their role is to try to create happy endings for individuals who they feel need their help.
The widows have been trying to find a new partner for Alessandro, an attractive man from the are, and attempts are made to match him with Lily.
Before Lily meets with her husband she encounters the little girl from the photo that he had found and the two individuals begin building an interesting relationship. Lily continues to search for her husband and as she does so, begins to recognize the beauty of the area in which she is living. She also is both annoyed and fascinated with the two sisters who claim that they have a good recipe for cantucci but do not have many customers to purchase it.
The story takes many twists and turns. Lily samples the wine, food and customs of the area and tries to deal with the fact that she is now facing her husband's child knowing that they lost a child of their own. Emotions run high and she seeks solace with Alessandro for a short period of time.
I'll admit that by the time I reached the end of the book, I was feeling a little frustrated with all the almost "magical" turns that were not very realistic. Also, the main character was portrayed as being quite immature and made choices that often resulted in further problems for her.
The ending achieves the goal of the Secret League of Widowed Darners in that there is happiness in the lives of everyone involved although it is probably not the way that the reader might have predicted.
A Readers' Guide for this book is available at the publisher's website.
Lynch is also the author of the novel entitled "House of Daughters".