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Publisher's Summary

The insightful, audacious, and deeply romantic story of a woman whose life turns upside down after she meets an enigmatic chef on vacation in Italy from a New York Times best-selling author

"Delicious." (People, Best New Books) 

"Smart, sexy and funny, full of joy in simple pleasures." (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

What if falling in love means breaking someone’s heart?

On the heels of a difficult break-up and a devastating diagnosis, Shakespeare scholar Lizzie Delford decides to take one last lavish vacation on Elba, the sun-kissed island off the Italian coast, with her best friend and his movie-star boyfriend. Once settled into a luxurious seaside resort, Lizzie has to make big decisions about her future, and she needs the one thing she may be running out of: time

She leaves the yacht owners and celebrities behind and sneaks off to the public beach, where she meets a sardonic chef named Dante, his battered dog, Lulu, and his wry daughter, Etta, a 12-year-old desperate for a mother. While Dante shows Lizzie the island’s secrets, and Etta dazzles with her irreverent humor, Lizzie is confronted with a dilemma. Is it right to fall in love if time is short? Is it better to find a mother briefly, or to have no mother at all? And most pressingly, are the delicacies of life worth tasting, even if you will get to savor them only for a short while? 

A luscious story of love, courage, and Italian wine, Lizzie & Dante demands to know how far we should travel to find a future worth fighting for.

©2021 Mary Bly (P)2021 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Poignant...thrilling...a moving modern-day love story laced with poetry.” (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

"When friends sweep Lizzie away to the Italian isle of Elba, she isn’t looking for romance. It’s a trip of a lifetime for the Shakespeare professor: She has cancer and is preparing her goodbyes. But then Lizzie falls for Dante, a local chef, and his motherless daughter Etta and wonders if it’s okay to love if you’re dying. Delicious.” (People, “The Best New Books of the Week”) 

“I so enjoyed Lizzie and Dante - funny, joyful, bittersweet, full of beautiful lines about what it means to be alive, with a perfect ending. It brought me to tears! It’s the ultimate summer read.” (Number one New York Times best-selling author Christina Baker Kline)

“An emotional roller coaster of a novel that candidly explores such complicated subjects as sex and desire, love and loss, and family and friendship.” (Booklist, starred review)
 

What listeners say about Lizzie & Dante

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  • Overall
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Modern, Romantic, Moving, Exquisite writing.

No spoilers included. I fell deeply into this book by Mary Bly, listening straight through with a brief night’s sleep. Elba is a place the author knows intimately and her descriptions of the place and the life there resonate with love and understanding.
The story occurs during a magical summer that seems suspended in time. A group of friends who are gathered to work on a new film version of Romeo and Juliet also spend time learning more about themselves and allowing love to enter their lives. Because Lizzie ( and Bly herself) is a Shakespeare professor, the book has plenty of views about the two young lovers.
Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing academical about the story of Lizzie and Dante, as Eloisa James, Bly has over 30 best selling Regency Romances on her resume. Her story telling skills shine because she is an expert in accessible language that is moving, funny, and very alive.
The food is so genuinely Italian that it is also a love letter to the joys of local, fresh ingredients made perfect by simple and tasty preparation.
Give yourself this book and spend some truly beautiful time with Lizzie & Dante on Elba.

5 people found this helpful

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Heart wrenching but beautiful story

Love the story and narration! The descriptions of the island and the food made me want to go to Elba!

4 people found this helpful

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Elba, Food and Love.

All the ingredients for a romantic, fun story well narrated (the first time I’ve heard a foreign language pronounced correctly.) (Elba is a wonderful place - had I been Napoleon I never would have left.)
Brava Mary and brava Carlotta!

4 people found this helpful

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Took me back to Italy

I loved all the Italian references in this book. Even the narrator nailed the Italian accents.

It is a charming book that will have you in tears, no doubt.

4 people found this helpful

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Brilliant!

Lizzie & Dante, the debut novel by Mary Bly is beyond brilliant! I don’t usually like female narrators, but Carlotta Brenton does an excellent job!

I absolutely fell in love with the characters. Lizzie Delford, a Shakespeare professor, her best friend Grey and his partner, Rohan, a Hollywood actor looking to direct a production of Romeo and Juliet. There they meet famous chef Dante, his twelve year old daughter Etta, and make-up artist Ruby, who happens to be a childhood friend of Roh’s. From the very beginning Lizzie is attracted to Dante, and Etta is looking for a mother in Lizzie. This group of people, friends and lovers, form a family, all while navigating the ups and downs of life, when facing mortality, so keep your tissues handy!

Bly’s writing portrays Elba in such a way that the island becomes a character in the novel as well. It comes to life as does the food, a veritable feast! I couldn’t put it down!

4 people found this helpful

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Heartwarming and a tear jerker

Beautiful story! I don’t usually read this type of book but it was beautiful and heartwarming. Have tissues in hand.

4 people found this helpful

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I felt like I was in Elba with great friends

This book contains wonderful characters that are fleshed out so as you feel you really know them and would want to be friends with them. When they are sad or hurt, you want to reach out and comfort them. The descriptions of Elba and the food are so well written you feel like you are smelling the sea air and aroma of the food. The the heart of this story, as I see it, is about growth and learning to enjoy the time you have. And that love in all forms is wonderful and messy. I enjoyed getting to know the characters. I was happy/sad to say goodbye to them at the end.

3 people found this helpful

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MUST READ.

Family has less than nothing to do with blood. There's so much more to Lizzie & Dante, but that's the message that most resonated with me. It took me a couple of chapters to adjust to Mary Bly's voice, since my ridiculous expectation had been Eloisa James, time-traveled to the present. As much as I love Eloisa James, I'm thrilled that's not what I received. 5 stars are insufficient, but it's all I have available. MUST READ.

3 people found this helpful

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Beautiful story

I thoroughly enjoyed Lizzie and Dante. The story was a beautiful celebration of life, love, family and friendship. The details of the island of Elba were so vivid and delicious. Keep the tissues handy. There's so much sweet to go along with the bitter, it's totally worth it!

2 people found this helpful

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Beautiful story and characters

Such a beautiful story with fantastic characters! I feel like I just got back from Italy. I highly recommend.

1 person found this helpful