Sardinian Seachange

Bendigo Weekly | Bendigo Weekly | 07-Dec-2017

The Little Theatre by the Sea, Rosanna Ley, Quercus, $19.99

Newly graduated from design college but with no immediate job prospects, Faye Forrester is both surprised and delighted to receive an invitation to housesit for an old school friend and her Italian husband in Sardinia.

Perhaps a few days of visiting Charolotte and Fabio’s tiny fishing port on the west coast of the island is exactly what Faye needs as a buffer between three years of intense study in London and returning to the real world of working non-stop. 

The possibility of collaborating on a minor theatre restoration during her break in Deriu is an added lure.

Naturally, Faye assumes, there will be tall, dark and handsome locals whose mission is to charm the visiting Englishwoman; she is determined to brush aside all such advances as nothing more than mere Latin opportunism.

What she does not expect, however, is to meet a boatbuilder who captures her interest. 

The moody Alessandro Rinaldi may be a co-owner of Deriu’s derelict entertainment centrepiece with his sister, Marisa, but that’s as much as Faye wants to know about this apparently complicated man.

What she really needs is some straightforward rest and relaxation and a professional credit on her as-yet-blank résumé.

The building itself is magnificent, if severely neglected: a once-grand focal point of the village dating from the early 1800s and beloved by residents. 

Abandoned after the deaths of the Rinaldis’ mother, actress Sofia, and father, businessman Bruno, it is desperately run-down – exactly the type of rejuvenation project any newly qualified interior designer would eagerly embrace.

Back home in England, meanwhile, Faye’s parents, Adrian and Molly, are facing challenges of their own as they struggle to accept that over the decades they have drifted away from each other and now have few interests in common.

Which relationships will founder, and which will go from strength to strength?

 – Rosalea Ryan


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