The House in Amalfi by Elizabeth Adler

February 17, 2012

Plot summary (from the publisher): Lamour Harrington’s husband died two years ago. Since then, she has immersed herself in her landscape architecture, but even creating beautiful outdoor “rooms” can’t bring back her sense of peace. When she’s faced with a devastating truth about the husband she adored, Lamour needs a place to recharge. She returns to the house on the Amalfi coast where she’d lived with her father during the happiest years of her childhood.

But the house of her memories has secrets all its own, forcing her to face new truths about another man she once loved. Was her father’s death truly accidental? Or was he hiding something that caused his early demise? Torn between two mysterious and compelling men, Lamour discovers that the past has a way of returning when you least expect it. And someone wants to ensure that Lamour doesn’t uncover the secrets of this idyllic, dreamy coastal getaway. As the past and the present collide in a shattering and suspenseful climax, Lamour must face the things she fears the most, in order to find the courage to live life to the fullest.

Warning: Spoilers below!

Liked:

  • The descriptions of Amalfi and Lamour’s daily life in that place sounded rather idyllic. It made me want to live a similarly simple existence — or at the very least, visit the coast at some point.
  • I enjoyed reading about Lamour’s job as a landscape architect. I think it was cool that she designed wood pergolas, outdoor rooms, and other interesting features, and wish the author had spent more time showing this competent side of the protagonist instead of focusing almost entirely on the fish-out-of-water stuff.

Disliked:

  • Lamour acted like such a spoiled brat most of the time that I couldn’t believe she was supposed to be 38 years old. I mean, she was so damn naive and simple-minded! What ADULT would just assume a childhood home from 30 years ago still legally belonged to her via her deceased father? Ever heard of a will? Or property taxes? Houses don’t just sit unoccupied for decades like that unless someone is paying the government. If Lamour wasn’t doing it, then why would she think the house was hers? And when Lorenzo said he owned it, her response was typical of a child: “It’s mine and you can’t make me leave no matter how many lawyers you get!” Oh, really? Want to test that theory in the real world???
  • The names in this book were beyond ridiculous. Lamour. Jon-Boy (the MOST ANNOYING). Jammy. Good lord.
  • The stuff with Aurora and Lamour at the end of the book was laughable. I mean, Aurora tries to KILL Lamour, but Lamour suddenly flares up with sisterly “loyalty” for this young woman and refuses to tell Lorenzo that Aurora intentionally tried to kill her? Yeah, right. Regardless of how much “medication” Aurora gets after that incident, how could Lamour ever really trust her again? I mean, why even add such a dumb angle to the already transparent “twist” of having Aurora turn out to be Jon-Boy’s long-lost daughter. There was no suspense in that scene on the boat; just stupidity.
  • Lamour made it a point to say that she wasn’t interested in the playboy Nico because she didn’t want to end up with a man like her father. And then she ends up with….Nico’s 62-year-old dad. Allllll riiiiighty, then.

Rating:

I’ve read one other Elizabeth Adler title before, so I kind of knew not to expect anything great. However, The House in Amalfi didn’t even manage to reach that low bar. It is a boring story with a bratty, unlikable heroine and an uninteresting outcome. The only thing that surprised me about this book was that I was able to finish it. I give it 1 star out of 5.

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