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Description - Love in Idleness by Amanda Craig

When Polly and Theo Noble book the Casa Luna, near Cortona, for their summer holiday they plan a civilised Anglo-American house-party with Theo's brother Daniel, Daniel's girlfriend Ellen, and Polly's old schoolfriend Hemani in an idyllic Tuscan setting. Their children Tania and Robbie will have Hemani's son Bron to play with, and Theo's mother, Betty is expected keep her grandchildren under control by force of a personality that can curdle mayonnaise at a hundred paces. Even Ivo Sponge, the notorious journalist with whom Ellen was once entangled, should do little to spoil their pleasure. But the Casa Luna is a place where strange things happen, and anyone who lives there risks unexpected joys and sorrows. As both children and adults find it increasingly difficult to tell what is fantasy and what is reality, the tiny winged creatures who have persuaded Tania to brew a love potion start to take over ...The result is that of the four couples who have begun the holiday together, all have swapped partners by the end (and one has swapped sex of partner!). This is a subtle and delectable comedy of manners about love, lies and the dangers of a strong imagination ...

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780349115856
ISBN-10: 0349115850
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 126mm x 22mm)
Pages: 352
Imprint: Abacus
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Publish Date: 29-Apr-2004
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Other Editions - Love in Idleness by Amanda Craig

Book Reviews - Love in Idleness by Amanda Craig

UK Kirkus Review » Amanda Craig's latest excursion into the realms of romance is a sparkling, delicious novel, ripe with sensual descriptions of the Italian countryside, buzzing with heat and throbbing with suppressed sexuality, yet vibrant and warm in the true tradition of Shakespearean comedy. For this is what lies at the heart of Craig's latest delectable confection - a wonderful reworking of A Midsummer Night's Dream, which will delight lovers of the Bard and lure those who have not yet dipped their toes into Shakespearean comedy to come on in and test the waters. Holidaying with friends and relatives - surely a recipe for disaster? Yet the ever-optimistic Polly and her husband Theo are determined that their fortnight in Tuscany will be a success. The magical setting of the Casa Luna, sheltered amidst the Tuscan hills, will surely encourage the longed-for romance between Theo's brother Daniel and the cool, elegant Ellen; and will Polly's friend, Hemani, find herself drawn to the louche yet magnetic character of Ivo? But there are magical elements at work - Polly and Theo's two children, wild, abandoned and trembling on the verge of adolescence, are acutely aware of the sexual tension which is bristling in the Tuscan air, and with the help of Hemani's son, Bron, they are determined to use their magical powers to ensure that all the grown ups find true happiness with the one they love. But as in the original play, despite a little interference from the well-intentioned little people, things don't quite go according to plan.... Love in Idleness is a brilliant combination of romantic frivolity and acid observations of the holidaying adult at play. Polly thrives on martyring herself with regular mealtimes and constant laundry, while the others are blissfully unaware of her boiling resentment at their selfishness. Jealousy flares up between the women as they lock horns in their desire for the same man; the men strut and pose by the pool, acutely aware of their female audience, and the rampant children observe all the adult antics with scarcely disguised glee. Shakespeare lovers will relish spotting the parallels with the original; Theo and Polly are clearly a thinly disguised Theseus and Hippolyta, while the frosty Ellen (Helena) and the more emotional Hemani (Hermia) are perfectly cast. Tania and Bron take on the roles of king and queen of the fairies while Robbie is a delightful Puck, leaving gardener Guy to take on the mantle of Bottom. Deliciously entertaining, this is a wonderful story for warm midsummer nights, when the sound of cicadas fills the night sky, the scent of warm tomatoes and crushed basil overpowers the senses and love is in the air. Sensual and evocative, hilarious and witty, this utterly charming novel is guaranteed to win a captivated audience. (Kirkus UK)

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Author Biography - Amanda Craig

Amanda Craig is a well-known journalist and broadcaster. She is the author of A VICIOUS CIRCLE and IN A DARK WOOD. You can visit her website a

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