The Tuscan dream holiday turns into a nightmare, before a romantically satisfying - and surprising - resolution. An evocative and contemporary comedy of delights.
When Polly and Theo Noble book the Casa Luna, near Cortona, for their summer holiday they plan a civilised Anglo-American house-party with Theo's brother Daniel, Daniel's girlfriend Ellen, and Polly's old schoolfriend Hemani in an idyllic Tuscan setting. Their children Tania and Robbie will have Hemani's son Bron to play with, and Theo's mother, Betty is expected keep her grandchildren under control by force of a personality that can curdle mayonnaise at a hundred paces. Even Ivo Sponge, the notorious journalist with whom Ellen was once entangled, should do little to spoil their pleasure. But the Casa Luna is a place where strange things happen, and anyone who lives there risks unexpected joys and sorrows. As both children and adults find it increasingly difficult to tell what is fantasy and what is reality, the tiny winged creatures who have persuaded Tania to brew a love potion start to take over ... The result is that of the four couples who have begun the holiday together, all have swapped partners by the end (and one has swapped sex of partner!). This is a subtle and delectable comedy of manners about love, lies and the dangers of a strong imagination ...
This is a life-affirming read - take it on holiday, but leave the rest of the party at home - Bel Mooney, THE TIMES
[the] romantic complications, comic set pieces and heart-warming conclusion make this the most accomplished reinvention of Shakespeare's Dream since Peter Brook's influential RSC production in 1970 - Michael Arditti, DAILY MAIL
The novel works brilliantly as a sharp and funny analysis of modern mores, a magical story of transformation - and only after that a clever literary joke - Suzi Feay, INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY
An intelligent and satisfying romantic comedy. - WOMAN AND HOME
Amanda Craig is a British novelist, short-story writer and critic. Born in South Africa in 1959, she grew up in Italy, where her parents worked for the UN, and was educated at Bedales School and Clare College Cambridge.
After a brief time in advertising and PR, she became a journalist for newspapers such as the Sunday Times, Observer, Daily Telegraph and Independent, winning both the Young Journalist of the Year and the Catherine Pakenham Award. She was the children's critic for the Independent on Sunday and The Times. She still reviews children's books for the New Statesman, and literary fiction for the Observer, but is mostly a full-time novelist. Her novel Hearts and Minds was longlisted for the Bailey's Prize for Women's Fiction, and her most recent novel, The Lie of the Land, was chosen as a book of the year by the Guardian, Observer, Telegraph, New Statesman, Evening Standard, Sunday Times and Irish Times.