Woman’s Day, April 18, 2011
A marvellous mix of mayhem, action, charm and love as Lily and William, brought together thanks to The Book of Love, look forward to a new life in Rome. Before they leave Australia, there’s a family reunion with an unknown uncle of Lily’s that is wrecked when cousin Andy accuses William of trying to kill his fatherand steal a precious ancient frieze fragment. Fast forward to Italy, when Lily, trying to avoid Andy’s attentions, works desperately to save not just William but herself.
Phillipa Fioretti captures the imagination with this book saturated in action, romance, picturesque landscapes and intrigue.
The Fragment of Dreams follows on from Fiorettiâ€™s debut offering The Book of Love, which is a book I have not yet had the pleasure of reading. Being introduced to Fioretti’s work with her second novel, The Fragment of Dreams, is not going to leave you lacking anything essential to the story; though it may have you scrambling to go back and experience the meeting of the lead characters and enjoy some more of Fioretti’s writing style.
The romance is inherent from the opening words and the love is new and fresh and bursting from the page but just how long can that last in a brand new relationship? Stick around and you’ll be sure to find out what happens to that depth of love when faced with hurdles like most people could never imagine.
There is a little bit of everything in this book so you are sure to be captivated. Action and intrigue abound in the world of fine arts, drugs and organised crime and all because Poppy found a letter that led her and Lily to a long lost uncle, and a whole side of the family the girls never knew existed.
Set against a vividly written background of Sydney Lily and William have begun their life together, begun to get to know one another and decided to move to Rome and follow William’s career. It isn’t long before the cast head out, one after the other, to romantic and picturesque Naples, Rome and Amalfi.
The course of true love never did run smooth but I don’t think it ran into quite so much international underworld dealing either. If faced with major accusations against your love in the first 6 months of a relationship how much could you withstand, how strong would your faith remain? These are tests thrown at William and Lily that they have to fight to overcome.
All of this while Lily is trying to discover the ties to a past that had been all but forgotten. The tribulations of a family now met, and preferably forgotten, and on to deeper revelations.
Travel with Lily and William on a journey of discovery where they learn a lot about each other and just what they would weather for the one they truly love, regardless of what they think is going on with their relationship. Travel with them as they realise what reserves of ingenuity and courage they carry to help save the one they love.
A tale of love that is surrounded by fine food, fine art, deep feeling and finding a family you’re not altogether sure you want.
Fioretti has left me with a complete picture of the way things are, nevertheless I still thirst for the beginning!
Cushla McKinney, Otago Daily Times, June 25, 2011
Although Phillipa Fioretti’s novel The Fragment of Dreams (Hachette) falls squarely into the category of chick-lit – a genre with which I have limited patience – it is a cut above most of its fellows.
Having escaped a miserable relationship and potential financial ruin, Lily Trevennen is preparing to start a new life in Italy with William Isyanov, an antiquities expert she met in Fioretti’s previous novel The Book of Love.
Then her sister Poppy discovers a long-lost paternal uncle and they decide to pay him a visit, hoping to learn more about their family history. While at his house they meet a dashing young cousin, Adam, and William recognises a potentially valuable fragment of Italian marble-work in the garden. When the stone is stolen on the same day William leaves for Rome, he immediately becomes the prime suspect.
Left behind in London, Lily begins to question how well she knows him and whether he really loves her, while William is determined not to drag her into his troubles and believes she has turned to her newly-found cousin for comfort. Will their relationship survive? Can they find the missing fragment and clear William’s name? And what is the secret that led to her uncle’s estrangement from her parents?
These questions are solved in a rollicking adventure, spiced with danger, peppered with details of Australian and Italian life that lend three-dimensionality without becoming boring or banal, and refreshingly free of gratuitous sex. It even contains a recipe for Lily’s famous lemon vanilla marmalade. If you are looking for a good light read, The Fragment of Dreams may be the perfect antidote to a cold Dunedin winter.
Sam Bond, InDaily, June 30, 2011
THOSE of you bogged down by the Adelaide winter blues should grab a copy of Phillipa Fioretti’s The Fragment of Dreams and escape to Italy for a hot summer fling.
In this sequel to Fioretti’s debut novel, The Book of Love, we again meet Lilly and William, the romantic duo who trekked across Sydney and Italy in search of a stolen historic book of art. Life should be roses for them now, but of course, in the tradition of romance fiction, the course of true love never did run smooth.
Lilly, alone in the world apart from her older sister, Poppy, suddenly discovers a long lost uncle and cousin. At first delighted, she soon wishes she’d remained a relative orphan.
William identifies a rare ancient Roman stone work, part of a 3rd-century frieze, in Uncle Steven’s backyard. Just as Lilly and William are packing up to move to Italy together, the fragment is stolen, and the elderly uncle left for dead.
The prime suspect appears to all, including Lilly, to be William. Has he led her on all this time? Does she really have such lousy taste in men as to go from a womaniser to a scoundrel thief? And poor William, is his ladylove so fickle as to run off with her rouge cousin who, for all intents and purposes, must have set him up?
While genre fiction of this type is, to a degree, predictable, it is the journey of discovering just how the star-crossed lovers will again end up in one another’s arms that provides the enjoyment readers expect. What I liked most about Lilly is that she’s not your typical chic-lit heroine. And by that I mean that recent trends (for the last decade or so) have dictated that female leads are to be street-smart, Lara Croft-type wannabes. No girly-girls allowed. Lilly shows it’s cool to be a girly-girl who loves her vintage fashion, Hollywood glamour movies and home-made jams. And she can kick butt when absolutely required to.
It’s good to see a shake-up in women’s fiction, and a heroine who is a bit more girl than grrrl. William is typically dark and brooding, but you can’t help but feel for the poor chap, and he really does love his girl.
Adelaide-based Fioretti excels at setting and food. Don’t read this if you are trying to diet, but do read it if you’d like a taste of Italy for the price of a novel rather than an airplane ticket. This is not literature, but its not pretending to be. Its great fun, and if you liked The Book of Love, you’ll love The Fragment of Dreams.