Book Review: A Portrait of Emily Price

December 2, 2016

A Portrait of Emily Price
Katherine Reay
368 pages
kindle edition

From the Publisher:

Art restorer Emily Price has never encountered anything she can’t fix—until she meets Ben, an Italian chef, who seems just right. But when Emily follows Ben home to Italy, she learns that his family is another matter . . .

Emily Price—fix-it girl extraordinaire and would-be artist—dreams of having a gallery show of her own. There is no time for distractions, especially not the ultimate distraction of falling in love.

But Chef Benito Vassallo’s relentless pursuit proves hard to resist. Visiting from Italy, Ben works to breathe new life into his aunt and uncle’s faded restaurant, Piccollo. Soon after their first meeting, he works to win Emily as well—inviting her into his world and into his heart.

Emily astonishes everyone when she accepts Ben’s proposal and follows him home. But instead of allowing the land, culture, and people of Monterello to transform her, Emily interferes with everyone and everything around her, alienating Ben’s tightly knit family. Only Ben’s father, Lucio, gives Emily the understanding she needs to lay down her guard. Soon, Emily’s life and art begin to blossom, and Italy’s beauty and rhythm take hold of her spirit.

Yet when she unearths long-buried family secrets, Emily wonders if she really fits into Ben’s world. Will the joys of Italy become just a memory, or will Emily share in the freedom and grace that her life with Ben has shown her are possible?


I am a huge fan of Katherine Reay.  I have always enjoyed her books. A Portrait of Emily Price, is her newest release and one that I had been anticipating for a while.  I’ll be completely upfront and admit, this wasn’t my favorite of her books.  I am not sure if the characters didn’t click with me, or what it was, but it just didn’t hit the spot that I hoped that it would.  Emily was an interesting character, but I felt her relationship with Ben was just SO rushed and everything moved so fast.  The book did discuss a lot about art, and I found it really interesting and enjoyed learning a little more about some of the paintings and techniques.   If I were a bigger art history person I probably would have really enjoyed more of the references.

Honestly, I cannot pin point exactly what is is – but I just had a hard time loving this story.  Maybe I was just comparing it to Reay’s other books, and I shouldn’t do that.  This book is a fun, book with some redeeming lessons and amazing settings.  But it just wasn’t Dear Mr. Knightly, or Lizzy and Jane.  And I loved those two books.

Will I continue to read Reay’s future books?  YES!  I hope she continues writing and I will look forward to any new books she releases.  She is a talented writer and is able to give us stories with plots and lessons we can learn from.  This one just wasn’t my favorite.

If you haven’t read any of Reay’s book – make sure you check them out.  I really do lover her writing.  She is a talented author!

Final Score:

4 stars

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