Lost Hearts in Italy by Andrea Lee
A Novel

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The Italian phrase Mai due senza tre–“never two without three”–forms the basis of Andrea Lee’s spellbinding novel of betrayal. Sophisticated and richly told, Lost Hearts in Italy reveals a trio caught in the grip of desire, deception, and remorse.

When Mira Ward, an American, relocates to Rome with her husband, Nick, she looks forward to a time of exploration and awakening. Young, beautiful, and in love, Mira is on the verge of a writing career, and giddy with the prospect of living abroad.

On the trip over, Mira meets Zenin, an older Italian billionaire, who intrigues Mira with his coolness and worldly mystique. A few weeks later, feeling idle and adrift in her new life, Mira agrees to a seemingly innocent lunch with Zenin and is soon catapulted into an intense affair, which moves beyond her control more quickly than she intends. Her job as a travel writer allows clandestine trysts and opulent getaways with Zenin to Paris, Monte Carlo, London, and Venice, and over the next few years, now the mother of a baby daughter, she struggles between resisting and relenting to this man who has such a hold on her. As her marriage erodes, so too does Mira’s sense of self, until she no longer resembles the free spirit she was on her arrival in the
on her arrival in the Eternal City.

Years later, Mira and Nick, now divorced and remarried to others, look back in an attempt to understand their history, while a detached Zenin assesses his own life and his role in the unlikely love triangle. Each recounts the past, aided by those witness to their failure and fallout.
An elegant, raw, and emotionally charged read, Lost Hearts in Italy is a classic coming-of-age story in which cultures collide, innocence dissolves, and those we know most intimately remain foreign to us.

From the Hardcover edition.

About Andrea Lee

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Andrea Lee was born in Philadelphia and received her bachelor's and master's degrees from Harvard University. She is a former staff writer for "The New Yorker," and her fiction and nonfiction writing has also appeared in "The New York Times Magazine" and "The New York Times Book Review," She is the author of "Russian Journal," the novel Sarah Phillips, and the short story collection "Interesting Women," She lives with her husband and two children in Turin, Italy. "From the Hardcover edition.
Published May 22, 2007 by Random House. 272 pages
Genres: Romance, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Lost Hearts in Italy

The New York Times

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Andrea Lee's novel follows a young American woman to Rome, and into a destructive affair.

Jul 02 2006 | Read Full Review of Lost Hearts in Italy: A Novel

The Guardian

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Even when Mira is finally ditching her rich lover (whose charms - never satisfactorily elucidated - have caused her to end a marriage and a pregnancy), Lee's approach is dry and tentative, with shades of the more effulgent Rough Guides.

Sep 23 2006 | Read Full Review of Lost Hearts in Italy: A Novel

The Guardian

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Lost Hearts in Italy by Andrea Lee Fourth Estate £10.99, pp288 Andrea Lee is a wise and graceful writer whose few faults should be overlooked.

Aug 13 2006 | Read Full Review of Lost Hearts in Italy: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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Lee's elegantly structured novel about a love affair that destroys a young couple's marriage unfolds through the individual perspectives of the wife, the husband, and the interloper, shifting back in forth between the mid-1980s and two decades later.

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Entertainment Weekly

''People fall in love in an instant, but it takes longer to fall out of love,'' Andrea Lee writes of the three hearts ''hagridden by lust and jealousy'' that swoon and crumble in Lost Hearts in Italy, a mildly engrossing un-love story.

Jun 16 2006 | Read Full Review of Lost Hearts in Italy: A Novel

USA Today

Mira, an ambitious black writer, is joining her high-born, blond, banker husband, Nick, in Rome.

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