A Portrait of Emily Price was the second novel I have read by Katherine Reay, and I loved every minute of it!
Emily Price loves to fix things, specifically restoring art and broken objects. Her job in Chicago has flown her to Atlanta, where she gets the chance to work in the studio of Joseph Vassallo—the kind of studio with fancy gadgets and everything—and help restore a mural in a home. She also finds the time to tinker with her own art while working in Joseph’s studio.
When she meets Italian Chef Benito Vassallo, he is immediately captivated. Ben is only in Atlanta for a few more weeks, working to help his aunt and uncle’s restaurant come to life again. He soon becomes determined to win her heart. At the end of his stay, Emily surprises everyone by accepting his proposal and joining him in Italy. She tries desperately to fit into his family but soon finds herself in the way of everything and everyone. Only Ben’s father, Lucio, remains welcoming to Emily and gives her the chance to be who she is. Soon her art and her life are becoming better. But when she delves into old family secrets, Emily begins to wonder if she really can fit into Ben’s world.
I liked how mellow this story was. Yes, there was conflict, but the conflicts were much more realistic and less daunting than others I have read. That is one thing I love about Katherine Reay’s books: the conflicts and storylines are very plausible. Poor Emily only wanted to fit into Ben’s family, to meet the people who loved him as much as she does, but the harder she tried to help, the messier things got.
The conclusion of A Portrait of Emily Price was very satisfying. Overall, I felt like this book was just a breath of fresh air. If you like adventurous, family-drama-driven books, you have to read A Portrait of Emily Price.