Love, Lies and Linguine 

Reviewed By  Janet Mawdesley       March 9, 2017


Author  Hilary Spiers

Distributor:       Booktopia/Amazon 
ISBN:                 9781760294441
Publisher:         Allen and Unwin
Release Date:   February 2017  

Website:    http:/ 

We meet up with sisters Hester and Harriet as they are about to set off to Italy for their summer holidays. At the airport, Hester is regretting the greasy meal eaten and Harriet is deep in a story on her Kindle. On the surface it would seem that is well between the two as they are about to embarked on a week away in the sunny, romantic location of Moldova, but it is not!

There is some serious tension between the two which is worrying Hester, as it is not like Harriet to be so remote and aggressive for so long; but what is behind the distress is yet to be discovered; she is just hoping things settle down and not have such acrimony spoil this much anticipated holiday.

Little do the sisters know that this holiday will bring challenges neither had anticipated; a possible romance for Harriet and throw Hester into something that becomes far larger than anything she has ever had to undertake, with ramifications that will follow both of them back to England at the end of their Italian sojourn.

Meanwhile, their nephew Ben has managed to get himself into a siltation rapidly growing out of control, as he is talked into holding a party at his Aunt’s house while they are away. Although he realises this is not one of the brightest things he has ever done, there seems to be no way out of the mess in which he has landed.

And so we are introduced to a wonderfully loveable cast of characters, in Daria and Milo, mysterious Hungarian refugees Harriet and Hester have befriended, her brother  Artem, the wonderfully erudite Finbar and the interesting, intelligent Nat, who all find themselves coming to the rescue of Ben, when his party turns into more than an absolute disaster.

But meanwhile in Italy, things are changing and shaping by the day, as Harriet is undertaking a cooking course hosted by renowned chef and TV personality Franco Riccardi and Hester has commenced her art course. Harriet has still not divulged what is bothering her, with the tension between the two sisters continuing to grow, until it comes to a head when Hester and one of the other students falls off a pathway and down the side of the cliff.

This incident sets of a train off events which, while largely unsought, brings life into sharp focus for all involved.

Written with a lovely warm touch, and a considerable understanding of people, the characters of Harriet and Hester, as well as the other old friends, family and new made friends, come to life until you discover that somehow, you are now part of the ‘family’ and are left wondering just what is in store next for this delightful cast of characters.