Thursday, December 22, 2016

My take on: Gaining Visibility

Ending my year of reviews with an uplifting read, Gaining Visibility by Pamela Hearon.

Julia Berkwith is at a crossroads. Her daughter, Melissa, has moved to Alaska to be with her boyfriend. Her ex-husband, Frank, has moved to Hawaii to be with a much younger woman. Everyone has moved on except Julia. She deserves a life of her own. She has a lot to celebrate. She's a breast cancer survivor. But in a twisted way, surviving cancer also led to the end of her marriage. Frank couldn't or wouldn't play the part of the supportive husband. In a way, Julia became invisible to Frank. He no longer saw the woman he married. All he could see were the scars of cancer.

However, Julia's mother-in-law and close confidant, Hettie, is determined to get her daughter-in-law back into the dating game. Maybe more than dating....just straight sex works too. Yes, Hettie wants Julia to forget about her no-good son, Frank. Hettie wants Julia to get back into the saddle. Yes, Hettie is one sassy lady. But Julia has other ideas. Rather than wallow at the loss of her marriage, Julia is taking a dream trip to Italy. She's going to eat, she's going to hike a famous trail, and just take in the beauty of Italy. Love is the last thing on Julia's mind. But fate and love are about to enter Julia's life.

While in Italy, a freak injury lands Julia literally in the hands of a handsome Italian god named Vitale. Yes, he's drop dead gorgeous. But he can't possibly be interested in Julia. Can he? Maybe there is a physical attraction, but it's probably just lust. At least that's what Julia keeps telling herself. Vitale is in his thirties and Julia is in her forties. He speaks in broken English, there's often a lot lost in translation between them. He even gives her a new name, Julietta. Yet these two find they have a lot in common. They both have a love of art, and Vitale just happens to be a talented artist. Both have suffered great losses. At times, both of them suffer from a lack of confidence. Julia refuses to believe or to see that a younger man could love her and her scars. Vitale refuses to believe or to see that he doesn't have to fix everything and everyone. Both of them need to open their eyes and show just a hint of vulnerability.

Julia and Vitale both had a lot of ups and downs, but there is still hope out there. There is still hope for love and happiness, but only if they both see it. Julia and Vitale believe the world sees them one way, but in fact they've closed their eyes to the world. Their own perceptions are blinding Julia and Vitale to what's right in front of them -- each other. For me, this endearing romance was the perfect read to end the year.

Rating: Superb

Note: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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