Recipe & A Book Review: A Portrait of Emily Price
I had the privilege of meeting Katherine Reay this past summer at the ACFW conference, and I've been kicking myself ever since for not getting a picture with her! I first fell in love with her writing several years ago when I read her debut novel, Dear Mr. Knightley.
Recently, I had the opportunity to be part of Katherine's launch team for her latest novel, A Portrait of Emily Price, which just released this week! The majority of the book takes place in Italy, with the hero being a chef. Reay's food descriptions had me salivating throughout the entire book- you can practically smell the yeasty scent of dough rising and taste the tangy richness of tomato sauce. You know an author has done a fabulous job creating the setting when you can't get it out of your head! By the time I finished her book I was craving a huge bowl of comforting pasta. So I whipped up one of my favorite dishes-Basil & Balsamic Chicken Pasta. (Recipe at the end of post!)
Reay's characters are rich, complex, and subtly layered like a fine tiramisu. As always, she does a great job of exploring family dynamics. Her writing is timeless, transporting readers to the Italian countryside and sweeping them into a moving tale filled with romance, love, family, and the joy found in letting go of one's fears to embrace the future. A Portrait of Emily Price is peppered with references to classic literature, renowned art, and great food-if any of those things pique your interest then I highly recommend picking up a copy!
From The Back Cover:
Emily Price—fix-it girl extraordinaire and would-be artist—dreams of having a gallery show of her own. There is no time for distractions, especially not the ultimate distraction of falling in love.
But Chef Benito Vassallo’s relentless pursuit proves hard to resist. Visiting from Italy, Ben works to breathe new life into his aunt and uncle’s faded restaurant, Piccollo. Soon after their first meeting, he works to win Emily as well—inviting her into his world and into his heart.
Emily astonishes everyone when she accepts Ben’s proposal and follows him home. But instead of allowing the land, culture, and people of Monterello to transform her, Emily interferes with everyone and everything around her, alienating Ben’s tightly knit family. Only Ben’s father, Lucio, gives Emily the understanding she needs to lay down her guard. Soon, Emily’s life and art begin to blossom, and Italy’s beauty and rhythm take hold of her spirit.
Yet when she unearths long-buried family secrets, Emily wonders if she really fits into Ben’s world. Will the joys of Italy become just a memory, or will Emily share in the freedom and grace that her life with Ben has shown her are possible?
You can get a behind the scenes look at the inspiration for A Portrait of Emily Price, here.
Basil & Balsamic Chicken Pasta
* I received a copy of this book for free.