A novel brimming with mystery, confessions, food and philosophy An older man and a young woman meet quite by accident – a freak gust of wind – at a restaurant in the great Piazza Unita in Trieste and find themselves dining together. He is an Australian engineer living in Paris, in Italy for a round of meetings; she is a translator, normally resident in Turin. The food and wine are delicious, the spring evening wonderful, and as perhaps can only happen between perfect strangers aware that they will never meet again, the conversation becomes intimate and intense, full of thoughts and stories, risk, speculation and wonder. She has questions of a kind she can ask of no one else. He finds, as the wine flows, delicious dishes come and go, and the velvet night deepens, that he doesn’t have as many answers as he might have thought he had.
As the conversation unfolds, the reader is treated to Brooks’ effortless reflections on culture, philosophy, language, history, art, desire and, most importantly, love. Not to mention his evocative and mouth-watering descriptions of Italian food! Together, Brooks’ whimsy, the romantic exotica of the Italian setting and the protagonists’ intimate stories and confessions make for a wonderfully entertaining read that effortlessly balances substance with style. ‘The idea of the novel had me salivating long before I held the pages in my hand … This is a book for lovers of ideas, of good conversation, of impossible loves — and for those intellectuals who enjoy having heated arguments in cafes.’ Bookseller + Publisher