Sara Donati, the pen name of Rosina Lippi, is the bestselling author of the Wilderness series. A native of Chicago, she lives with her husband, daughter, and various pets between Bellingham Bay and the Cascade Mountains in the Pacific Northwest.
When documentary filmmaker Angelina Mangiamele's production company, Tied to the Tracks, is contacted by Ogilvie College in Georgia to produce a movie about prominent faculty member and literary celebrity Zula Bragg, she jumps at the chance even though her ex-lover, John Grant, has recently accepted a position as chair of the college's English department. Angie's arrival in Ogilvie sets in motion a series of events that affect the lives of the townspeople, each of whom including the secretive Zula has something to hide. As Angie and John slowly come to terms with their shared past, John finds his relationship with his fianc?e, a fellow faculty member, falling apart. Lippi's (Homestead) Ogilvie is a quirky and picturesque Deep South town populated by characters both believable and outlandish. The writing is solid and the pace pleasantly leisurely, though the abrupt ending is a bit unsatisfying. Readers accustomed to Lippi's faster-paced historical fiction, written under the pseudonym Sara Donati, may be disappointed by this mannered slice of college-town life. Recommended for most fiction collections. Nanette Wargo Donohue, Champaign P.L., IL Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Despite earnest attempts to tweak modern romance cliches, historical novelist Lippi (1999 Pen/Hemingway winner for Homestead) falls victim to the predictable plotting of contemporary chick lit in her first present-day excursion, a story of love in a small Southern town. When a struggling New Jersey film company, Tied to the Tracks, gets invited to Ogilvie, Ga., to make a documentary about renowned writer-in-residence Zula Bragg, Tied to the Tracks' owner, Angie Mangiamele, is thrilled to get the work-but not so thrilled to see old flame John Grant, chair of Ogilvie College's English department. John is brilliant, handsome, well-connected and about to marry Caroline Rose, youngest daughter of a prominent local family. Angie and John, under the gaze of prying Ogilvie eyes, try, and fail, to convince themselves there is nothing left between them. The more interesting story of Zula's secret past plays second fiddle to the ho-hum reunion of the star-crossed lovers. Several amusing secondary characters, including Angie's wisecracking business partners and the oh-so-Southern Ogilvie denizens, add to the story's charm, but the novel makes no real emotional demands. (June) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.