I loved this book, as I do all of Maeve Binchy books. Nora (who calls herslef Signora) lived in Italy for many years, so she could be closer to her lover, Mario. When Mario is killed, his wife and family request Signora return to her native Ireland. She does, and meets Aiden Dunn, who is trying to start an evening class in his beloved Italian language. Signora eagerly agrees to teach it, and a motley collection of people join up, each with his or her own reasons. Signora assigns them all new names in Italian. Bill, a banker (called Guglielmo) and his airhead girlfriend Lizzie (Elizabetta) take the course to hopefully become a banker in Italy. Connie (called Constanza) is going through a public breakup, and wants to take Italian in the hopes that her first boyfriend is in the class. She is extremely wealthy. Laddy (Lorenzo) is a simple man with learning challenges, who works as a hotel porter. He finds a great deal of money a wealthy Italian family drop, and he tracks them down and returns it. He believes they invite him to spend time in Italy. Lou (Luigi) is a gangster, who is instructed to take the class and finds himself enjoying it greatly. Fiona doesn't take the class, but is figured highly in the story. Her boyfriend, Barry (Bartolomeo) is in the class. The class plans a trip to Italy as a group.
Hearing everyone's story, and seeing how they all interrelate, is wonderful. It's a great book, I've read it several times.