The novel begins in Ithos, Greece in April 2009. Ariana Theodosis is returning home to the family villa to see her dying grandmother Elana. Ariana is 26 and has been living in Los Angeles trying to make it as an actress.
Our second main character, Gabriel du Lac, is then introduced. It’s August 1987 – Cannes, France – and twelve-year-old Gabriel is at the funeral of his father Alain.
Then we go forward in time to Portofino, Italy, 2009. Now Gabriel du Lac is 34, good-looking, drives a Ferrari and lives in the Hotel del Mare (a luxury boutique hotel).
The main story is about the Hotel du Soleil where Gabriel’s mother Madeleine (65) lives. It has been in the family for decades, but then Ariana inherits it and there is conflict between her and Gabriel over the ownership.
The story develops with many long-held family secrets and scandals coming to the fore.
If you like exotic locations and glamorous settings, this is the novel for you. The characters often have lots of money and of course, there are the gorgeous big houses. Personally I prefer a novel where I can relate to the characters and the settings and all this seemed a bit beyond my experiences – but it’s perfect for a good bit of escapism!