The Year in Books : July

The House in Amalfi by Elizabeth Adler

As it looks like we won't be able to have a summer holiday this year due to house move madness, I thought I'd spend July reading a typical holiday-read so that I could at least daydream about a summer escape.  The House in Amalfi  by Elizabeth Adler was perfect for this!  It's been sat on my bookshelf for 2 years after my friend Paula sent me the book as a reminder of our own holiday in Amalfi back in 2011.  (The Year In Books project has been great for encouraging me to read what's on my bookshelves first - no more new purchases or clutter!)  

Anyway, back to the book, which follows Lamour Harrington, a widowed landscape gardener from Chicago who decides to head back to the Amalfi coast, where she grew-up, to try and find out the truth about her father's death alongside trying to find a new life for herself.  Throughout the book, Adler describes the Amalfi coastline beautifully and brought back lots of memories from my trip, especially Lamour's day trip to Positano which is one of the most beautiful places I've ever been.  I loved the fact that Lamour's character was also a landscape gardener as she is constantly in awe of the landscape...

Stuccoed wings and annexes had been added over the decades, as had the gardens. A grand terrace lined with tubs of lemon trees was fronted with a dozen massive sphinx heads, brought from Egypt in the early nineteen hundreds. Now they looked with disapproving expressions over the breath-taking panoramic view of the jagged Amalfi coastline.
— The House In Amalfi by Elizabeth Adler

Slowing down with a good book...

I have to say, that whilst the plot was predictable The House In Amalfi was the perfect escapism for a wet July in Lancaster.  So, to bring some of the Amalfi coast to a dreary Sunday afternoon, I thought I'd include some of the photos from my trip...

Photos from top:

  1. My friend Paula ~ walking back to our little B&B called Nido degli Dei.  It was a family-run B&B in Agerola, the rural hilltops overlooking the Amalfi coastline.  We had to get the bus from the village (San Lazzaro) down to Amalfi.  It was a lovely place to stay, away from the tourists with breathtaking views of the mountains and cliffs below.
  2. Our B&B was also a little farm.  ~ We got woken up every morning by the Cockerel which reminded me of the chickens and rooster that Lamour buys for herself.  The owners also grew their own veg which they would use to cook traditional Italian suppers for guests staying with them.
  3. Being so high up, we had breathtaking views of the Amalfi coastline.  I'm looking over to the right (Amalfi, Ravello, Maiori).  To the left was Positano, the island of Capri and further round the coast, Sorrento).  We spent a lot of time on the buses that would go along the coastline.  One day, to be different, we took the boat from Amalfi for our day trip to Positano.    
  4. The evening sunlight framing a magnificent lavender bush with gold ~  If you love flowers, landscapes and natural beauty then Amalfi is most definitely for you!  The place was bursting with life!
  5. The little terrace where we would sit and read our books after breakfast ~ the sea and sky are so blue they merge into one!  The flower boxes filled with red begonias were dazzling.
  6. We'd spend our days on the coast, soaking up the sun, eating gelato (the days when I ate dairy!) and would return every evening to our little B&B in the mountains... it was a lovely holiday!

Summer reading...

If you want to play along with #TheYearinBooks project you can find out more here.  I can't rave enough about this online book-club from Laura over at Circle of Pine Trees.  It's been so lovely to read more, go through my neglected bookshelves and share my experiences in a fun little group once a month.  It would be great to see you there!

In the meantime, happy reading! xox