Queue My Review

October 6, 2008

Review: Dating da Vinci by Malena Lott

Filed under: Review — Tags: , , , , , , — jjmachshev @ 2:37 pm
Dating da Vinci by Malena Lott

What do you do when your soul mate dies? Do you crawl into the grave with them? Live only for your children? How do you go on? How can you ever find the strength and courage to love romantically again? I must say that I’m not a chicklit reader. The few I have read were just a little too shallow for me. But that’s certainly not the case with “Dating da Vinci” by Malena Lott. In this book she takes on the life shattering experience of widowhood, and even if you don’t agree with the way her heroine deals with her circumstances, it’s a very pleasant and entertaining read.

Ramona is an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher. Over the years she’s taught more than 600 new immigrants enough English to stay alive, get a job, and procure the necessities of life. She considered herself a lucky woman. She found her soulmate, they married, they had two boys…then he dropped dead of a heart attack at 36. In the two years since then, she hasn’t been able to feel any joy in life. She gets through by concentrating on caring for her children and existing. She still can’t throw away the remnants of her life with her dead husband. His clothes are in the closet, she still sleeps on their lumpy bed, and his office is just as he left it. Then one night, into her new ESL class comes Leonardo daVinci, a 25 year old Italian Adonis of an immigrant. His joy in living calls to her and she ends up spontaneously offering to rent her husband’s office in the backyard. The rest of the book is the story of her ‘recovery’ and how she learns to live instead of just exist, to open her heart again, and to let go of the past.

I could be flippant and say this is a shallow story of a widow with a boy toy for a rebound lover. And I guess in some respects it is…but as I’ve never lost a husband, I don’t quite feel comfortable passing such harsh judgment. I don’t know what I would do, and I pray I never find myself having to find out! I don’t know if this book is written to be pure entertainment or a guide for widows or an explanation for those of us who don’t quite know how to react around widows.

Ramona has some serious issues and is obviously very depressed at the beginning of the book. The story of her continuing recovery is by no means linear; often it is one step forward and two steps back. But once she makes the decision to recover, she struggles to keep going forward…and that’s a lesson we can all learn from.

Until next time…


Reviewed by Julie


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