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Women in Sunlight

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  5,332 ratings  ·  858 reviews
The story of four American strangers who bond in Italy and change their lives over the course of an exceptional year, from the bestselling author of Under the Tuscan Sun.

Don't miss Frances Mayes in PBS's Dream of Italy: Tuscan Sun Special!

She watches from her terrazza as the three American women carry their luggage into the stone villa down the hill. Who are they, and wha
Audio CD
Published April 3rd 2018 by Books on Tape (first published April 2nd 2018)
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Liz H I'm pretty sure he was Julia's old professor, whose house she stayed in (in Chapel Hill NC) when she left Savannah (he was on sabbatical or something …moreI'm pretty sure he was Julia's old professor, whose house she stayed in (in Chapel Hill NC) when she left Savannah (he was on sabbatical or something at the time).(less)

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Average rating 3.63  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,332 ratings  ·  858 reviews

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Susan Johnson
I really wanted to like this book better than I did. It has its elements. It's about three women in their 60's who decide against retirement home living and decide to rent a villa in Tuscan. What a wonderful idea. They are all healthy, talented and have money. They are not dependent on their Social Security checks. They drop $1000 on old books without a blink of an eye, They cart home cases of wine and armloads of flowers. They are not worried about money at all.

They fall into unique employmen
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
☀️ 3.5 sunlit stars to Women in Sunlight, a novel of Tuscany! ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️.5

Frances Mayes is back with a new novel of Tuscany. This time, there are three American friends who have leased a mansion. An expat is living next door, and her quiet life is completely disrupted by the arrival of these women.

The backstory is that each of these friends were about to begin living in a retirement home (shoutout to Chapel Hill, NC!), but instead, decided together to spend a year in Tuscany, almost like a “last
Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews
3.5 stars
If you can’t get to Italy in a hurry, the next best thing to a plane ticket to one of Europe’s most culturally rich locales is to pick up a Frances Mayes novel. The bestselling author of Under the Tuscan Sun fame returns with a fictional tale of Kit, a writer and expat, who has lived in the quaint Italian town of San Rocco for over a decade. Her life is disrupted in a gratuitous manner when three retirees from the US arrive and take up residence in
Apr 26, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Whose voice is it?

This story boggled me. Never was sure who was telling the story and what on earth Margaret had to do with anything. Sorry I wasted my time reading this.

Brooke — brooklynnnnereads
After reading the summary of this novel, I thought that I would like it but I never expected to love it as much as I did.

This novel is the stories of these four (technically five if you include Margaret) women and their own personal journeys---both physical in location as well as emotional.

If you want to potentially give yourself an existential crisis, this would be the read to pick up. That isn't necessairily a bad thing. Even though the women in this novel are aged 40-60+, their dilemmas are
Joan Austen
May 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
I slugged through this book out of respect for the author who wrote the marvelous Under the Tuscan Sun, as it is her first novel set in Italy, but I really think she should stick to travel memoirs or poetry. Three older (in their sixties) women rent a villa in Tuscany for a year instead of moving to a retirement home – such a promising premise, such a disappointing execution. (Isn't 60 a little young to be in a retirement home anyway, wasn't this the original hippy generation?) There were so man ...more
Leigh Kramer
Jan 26, 2018 rated it liked it
2.5/3 stars

What I liked: the focus on older characters (Camille is 69, Julia is 59, and Susan is 64), the way the three start fresh in Italy, one part of Kit's storyline (this may be a spoiler but it happens somewhat early on: (view spoiler).)

Where I struggled:
The structure was really confusing. This is written in first person and third person present tense. But it's also on the meta side in that Kit, a writer, abandons
Jun 30, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Way over-written, especially for a light read. I'm a firm believer in write less and say more. There were too many boring details that added nothing to the story. I skimmed much of it, so unless you have a lot of time to waste, choose a book with more substance.
Aug 17, 2018 rated it did not like it
This was a book club read and oh my god, I was not the target audience for it. Women in Sunlight followed three white women in their 60s who were at a turning point in their lives. They were being urged to join a senior citizen community and weren't ready for that step in life, instead, they dropped everything and moved to a villa in Italy. Everyone in this book was the worst. Life was fairly easy for them in Italy, they had money, and when they ran out of money, they found jobs quite easily as ...more
Nov 19, 2020 rated it liked it
Are you unable to take that trip to Tuscany? Reading Women in Sunlight is the next best thing to actually being in this beautiful region of central Italy. The story is about three lucky American women who rent an old stone house in the town of San Rocco. How fortunate one of the women is a gourmet cook who creates many savory Italian dishes. Of course, only the freshest ingredients are used, and the meals are always accompanied by the perfect wine -in vast quantities. The women make many new f
Bonnye Reed
Dec 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
GNAB It took me about twice as long as normal to finish this novel because I had to stop and cook and eat so many times! This is one of those books that awake you to the extraordinary friends you need to touch base with, the pasta you haven't made lately, the clothes you don't have yet and the travel you need to erase from your bucket list and just order tickets. And if you paid attention you will know to leave the return trip date open.

Three middle aged, currently alone ladies meet at the open
Apr 18, 2018 rated it it was ok
This book could have been very good as some of the storylines had me invested in the characters and wanting to turn the page; however there were too many storylines and characters. The author also tends to over-describe the scenes, I found myself skimming some of the paragraphs.
Barbara Bryant
Jul 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
I kept thinking of "Enchanted April,"as I read this, although "Women in Sunlight" is nothing like that delightful movie. Instead of 30-something women at crossroads with their lives and loves, most of these women are 60-something. But it doesn't matter what your age is. When you have the opportunity to leap, it's unexpected and magical what can happen.

Kit's story is first person, Camille and Susan and Julia and Margaret's stories are not. The different points of view add depth and complexity, be
The Candid Cover (Olivia & Lori)
Women in Sunlight by Frances Mayes is a book that will appeal to those who enjoy travel and learning about other cultures. The story has some wonderful elements that describe life in Tuscany and the concept is quite interesting. Unfortunately, there are just too many characters to keep track of in the novel, which distracts the reader from the main plot.

Full review on The Candid Cover
Apr 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 / 5 stars
Review coming soon, but add this to your summer reading list now!
Apr 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Women In Sunlight
Frances Mayes

What it's all about...

Three women meet at an open house for an over 55 village and based on their compatibility and other interests...decide to rent a house together in Italy. They arrive, they fall in love with Italy and most of its people and they learn, they grow, they expand their lives. They actually make their lives better. They travel all over Italy. They cook. They eat. They taste wines. They either renew their life purpose or come up with a new life purp
Aug 21, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: audiobooks, abandoned
I tried to listen to this book and on Disc 1, Track 9 it said "Part Two" and I thought nope. I can't sit through this for 14 CDs. You have to grab me from the beginning or I won't continue. I have WAY too many books to read to try and trudge through one that just isn't exciting me with Disc 1.
Brent Soderstrum
Sep 03, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-read
I won this book through GoodReads First Read program.

I made it halfway through this book I couldn't take it anymore and threw in the towel. This is a travel log for those who are going to Italy. The reader is misled to believe there is a story coming but that proves to be a lie. You learn about books, art, food, tourist attractions and other things Italian in this book that is about three older ladies who decide to postpone the retirement village and rent a home in Tuscany, Italy for a year. The
Neil Plakcy
Apr 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a lovely, lyrical book! I admire the way Mayes is able to differentiate between the poetic first person voice (Poet Kit Raines) and the more prosaic third person which follows the three Americans. It was tough to keep Susan, Julia and Camille separate at first, though after a while they gelled as unique individuals. At first the author's tendency to jump in and out of characters' points of view was confusing, but eventually I gave in and let the voices mingle.
Kasa Cotugno
Apr 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: loc-europe-italy, arc, dnf
While I've loved Frances Mayes's memoirs about her life in her dream house in Tuscany, I find her fiction a little too chick-lit for me. I know all that wine and olive oil plays a big part in her actual life and would love to read more about that, but when translated into a fictional setting, ironically does not work for me.
Mar 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I actually finished this book a few weeks ago. First, let me say how thrilled I was when I saw that Frances Mayes had a new book coming out, and then to request and receive a free copy of it electronically? I was thrilled!

I fell in love with the book almost from the start. The characters are all at about the same point in life; women of a certain age and stage, all contemplating settling into life at a facility that makes life easier for seniors. They meet as they tour the place. All agree it is
Gina *loves sunshine*
This one starts out pretty slow, jumps around a bit, set ups up the lives of women settling down in Italy - you would think it could really produce a good story........maybe it does!?!?! DNF @ 10%, it just did not grab me at all. Maybe I wasn't quite drawn to this group of women in their 60's navigating retirement..I thought I could - I'm still into YA and NA romance, LOL. It has its audience, early reviews show 3-4 stars, try this out if it's calling you! my guess is it's a decent read if you h ...more
Mar 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley-books
Thank you to Crown Publishing and NetGalley for providing an e-galley of Women in Sunlight by Frances Mayes in exchange for an honest review. Very rarely do I reach the end of a novel and wish it would go on for hundreds of pages. Frances Mayes, the author of Under the Tuscan Sun, captures the imagination of the reader through exquisite language and with obvious love to describe the landscape, the history, the food, the wines, the architecture and the people of Tuscany. This is the story of thre ...more
Jamie Jones Hullinger
I was a Goodreads Giveaway Winner! Here is my honest review:

I found this to be a lovely story revolving around the power of female friendship.  Camille, Susan and Julia decide to take charge of their lives after being widowed and experiencing a upheaval in the family.  Each lady is contemplating purchasing space at a senior living complex but instead decide to become friends and reside in Italy for a year.  Clearly they made the right decision.  Neither woman would ever think that this experienc
I am one of author Frances Mayes many fans, at least I thought I was. And she writes of places/topics close to my heart: the SF Bay Area, North Carolina, seasonal cooking, and replacement families forged from heartache. WOMEN IN SUNLIGHT touches all of those topics, dutifully. Therein lies the problem with this book. It lacks cohesion. There is always a problem when the narrator is required to explain the connective tissue of the various strands of the book to herself and the reader because it i ...more
May 27, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I expected to like this book much more than I actually did. It’s probably more of a 3.5 rating, but it’s so long that by the time the book started to get better in the end, I was almost over it. It’s very Italian, in that it felt like the author was working for the tourism authority in her laborious descriptions of just how beautiful everything is, and that those descriptions were excessively ornate without a ton of substance. There were so many characters that it really took me a while to remem ...more
Apr 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 rounding up. For chic lit this hits all my buttons, I listened to the audio while gardening for two days, I was in bliss, how could I not love creating an Italian garden, the lush talk of Italian food, travel, new experiences surrounded with friends. Of course there is female dreams, trauma and loss, but the whole ambiance of Italy dripped off the pages. Loved women in sunlight as I too was under that same sun enjoying that warm book of friendship.
Aug 06, 2018 rated it it was ok
hardcover/library audio/OD

First, this audiobook narrator is one that I generally don't like. She is sloooooow (and yes, I know I can speed up the audio) and usually her inflections of tone irritate me. For this book she seemed a little better, if still SO. SLOW. Still not my favorite, but I did listen when I was in the car or doing chores.

Next. I should have followed my instinct and not picked up this book after I read the blurb. It just isn't really my sort of book at all, I can see where some
Christine Lussier
I received a digital copy of Women In Sunlight from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I like some of Frances Mayes work, others, not so much. Women in Sunlight was a nice escape from the crazy February weather. Three random women meet at a senior living housing presentation, become unlikely friends & move to Italy. Kit & Colin are already living there, also from the States.

The book jumps around depending on how the story is being told, which was a bit distracting at times. Kit is the ma
Oct 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Escapist chic lit reading for baby boomers. The novel is crammed with descriptions of landscape, art, food, gardens, and Italian villages. The single older women each find a handsome available man or dance partner, and the younger woman is rewarded with an unexpected baby. All the men are gentle and supportive. An entertaining summer read that verges on fantasy.
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Frances Mayes's new book is See You in the Piazza: New Places to Discover in Italy published by Crown. Her most recent novel is Women in Sunlight, published by Crown and available in paperback in spring 2019. With her husband, Edward Mayes she recently published The Tuscan Sun Cookbook. Every Day in Tuscany is the third volume in her bestselling Tuscany memoir series.

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