The Italian phrase Mai due senza tre–“never two without three”–forms the basis of Andrea Lee’s spellbinding novel of betrayal. Sophisticated and richly told, Lost Hearts in Italy reveals a trio caught in the grip of desire, deception, and remorse.
When Mira Ward, an American, relocates to Rome with her husband, Nick, she looks forward to a time of exploration and awakening. Young, beautiful, and in love, Mira is on the verge of a writing career, and giddy with the prospect of living abroad.
On the trip over, Mira meets Zenin, an older Italian billionaire, who intrigues Mira with his coolness and worldly mystique. A few weeks later, feeling idle and adrift in her new life, Mira agrees to a seemingly innocent lunch with Zenin and is soon catapulted into an intense affair, which moves beyond her control more quickly than she intends. Her job as a travel writer allows clandestine trysts and opulent getaways with Zenin to Paris, Monte Carlo, London, and Venice, and over the next few years, now the mother of a baby daughter, she struggles between resisting and relenting to this man who has such a hold on her. As her marriage erodes, so too does Mira’s sense of self, until she no longer resembles the free spirit she was on her arrival in the
on her arrival in the Eternal City.
Years later, Mira and Nick, now divorced and remarried to others, look back in an attempt to understand their history, while a detached Zenin assesses his own life and his role in the unlikely love triangle. Each recounts the past, aided by those witness to their failure and fallout.
An elegant, raw, and emotionally charged read, Lost Hearts in Italy is a classic coming-of-age story in which cultures collide, innocence dissolves, and those we know most intimately remain foreign to us.
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of eBook: Lost Hearts in Italy|
|Release Date: 05-22-2007|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
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|Parent title||Lost Hearts in Italy|
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Lost Hearts in Italy
Chapter 1 1
2004 • telephone
The call comes three or four times a year. Always in the morning, when Mira’s husband and children have left the house, and she is at work in her study, in the dangerous company of words—words that are sometimes docile companions and at other times bolt off like schizophrenic lovers and leave you stranded on a street corner somewhere. There are moments when Mira, abandoned in the middle of a paragraph, sits glaring furiously out past the computer at the chestnut trees in her hillside garden and the industrial smudge of Turin below in the distance and the Alps beyond. Then the phone rings, and she breaks her own rule to grab it like a lifeline. And eerily enough, as if from hundreds of miles away he has sensed her bafflement, her moment of weakness, it is often Zenin, a man who once wrecked part of her life.
Oh, not Zenin himself, not at first. His billionaire’s paranoia is too strong for that. He never calls her on a cell phone, always from his office, never from one of his houses, from his yacht, from his jet. The call is placed by any one of a bevy of young Italian secretaries, the kind who announce their names in bright telemarketers’ voices. Pronto, it’s Sabrina. Marilena. Or Veronica. It’s different each time, but always the kind of aspirational Hollywood-style moniker that in Italian sounds slightly whorish.
È la dottoressa Ward? È proprio lei? The secretaries insist on asking twice if it is Mira. And they love her title, which is Italian grandiosity for a simple college degree. Zenin,