The Invitation

The Invitation

by Lucy Foley


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An evocative love story set along the Italian Riviera about a group of charismatic stars who all have secrets and pasts they try desperately—and dangerously—to hide.

Rome, 1953: Hal, an itinerant journalist flailing in the post-war darkness, has come to the Eternal City to lose himself and to seek absolution for the thing that haunts him. One evening he finds himself on the steps of a palazzo, walking into a world of privilege and light. Here, on a rooftop above the city, he meets the mysterious Stella. Hal and Stella are from different worlds, but their connection is magnetic. Together, they escape the crowded party and imagine a different life, even if it's just for a night. Yet Stella vanishes all too quickly, and Hal is certain their paths won't cross again.

But a year later they are unexpectedly thrown together, after Hal receives an invitation he cannot resist. An Italian Contessa asks him to assist on a trip of a lifetime—acting as a reporter on a tremendous yacht, skimming its way along the Italian coast toward Cannes film festival, the most famous artists and movie stars of the day gathered to promote a new film.

Of all the luminaries aboard—an Italian ingenue, an American star, a reclusive director—only one holds Hal in thrall: Stella. And while each has a past that belies the gilded surface, Stella has the most to hide. As Hal's obsession with Stella grows, he becomes determined to bring back the girl she once was, the girl who's been confined to history.

An irresistibly entertaining and atmospheric novel set in some of the world's most glamorous locales, THE INVITATION is a sultry love story about the ways in which the secrets of the past stay with us—no matter how much we try to escape them.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316272902
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 08/01/2017
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 521,902
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 7.60(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Lucy Foley studied English literature at Durham University and University College London. She then worked for several years as a fiction editor, during which time she wrote her first novel, The Book of Lost and Found. Lucy now writes full-time and is busy traveling (for research, naturally!), painting, and working on her next novel.

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The Invitation 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Thebooktrail-com More than 1 year ago
If I ever go on a cruise around the Italian Riviera, this is both the journey and the boat I’d like to go on. What a woman Stella was! I loved the multi layers of this tale – from Hal and Stella’s present day yearnings to their past troubles, the various characters on board the boat, and the story which was told in the film, this was a Gastby-esque tale of how glitz and glamour can hide so many secrets and so much pain. Stella’s story was the most developed given her flashbacks to her life in Spain. Hers was an intriguing story and I would have loved to know more about her time in Spain. I think there was even more to this story that the author let on and that in itself got me interested in finding Stella particularly interesting. The tension and attraction between Hal and Stella was nicely done and I liked the way that as the boat sailed into a new destination, there was even more baggage to offload. The locations are evoked with sun and panache and you would be recommended to read it with your shades on and a lime slice and margarita nearby. As the boat sails on, the view becomes ever more unchartered waters and it’s a treat to find out what happens to them all and how the film reflects the relationships playing out on board.