Review: Gaining Visibility by Pamela Hearon

Gaining Visibility by Pamela Hearon

Gaining Visibility is a beautiful story of recovery after breast cancer, of following dreams, and of falling in love with an Italian hottie. Julia is 48-years old and has just completed reconstructive surgery after a double mastectomy 2 years earlier. Her husband left her because he couldn’t stand to look at her changed body, and her only daughter has moved to Alaska with her boyfriend. Julia has decided to travel to Italy along for a 3 week celebratory adventure. She will hike the first week and then find artwork for her interior decorating business for the later half of the trip. But when a falling rock breaks her toe, her plans are ruined, and she must spend the rest of the trip with Vitale, a 34-year old Italian artist who makes her feel things she didn’t think she could feel.

Pamela Hearon is a romance writer, but this book is her first women’s lit title. She has combined the best of both worlds in this story. Julia is a very sympathetic character. I felt for her right away, and I enjoyed reading about her growth as an individual. She feels invisible because of her age and her illness, but Vitale and Italy change that for her. She struggles with letting herself enjoy life again. Vitale is also dealing with his own issues, and he also grows a lot during this story. Add to that Pamela’s experience with writing lusty sex scenes, and you won’t want to put this book down.

Sadly, I read it on my phone in stolen moments here and there, and I think a little of the magic was lost in the prolonged duration of my reading this book. But I still think it’s a great read for anyone wanting a lighter romance or a feel good overcoming adversity kind of tale. The plot is predictable, but very fun nonetheless.

Rating: 4 Stars

Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This fact does not in any way impact my thoughts/feelings about the book.

Gaining Visibility
Pamela Hearon
September 27, 2016

Julia Berkwith’s daughter has moved to Alaska, her beloved mother-in-law is in a nursing home, and her ex-husband is in Hawaii—with a younger woman. In her late forties, Julia is now used to being invisible. But even if she has to do it alone, she’s determined to celebrate her victory over breast cancer by hiking Italy’s Cinque Terre. And while she’s there, she can scout out treasures for her interior design business back in Kentucky.

Invigorated by the beauty of the Italian countryside, Julia seems unstoppable, until she’s injured by a rock—one that happens to belong to thirty-something stone mason Vitale DeLuca. Reluctantly, Julia accepts Vitale’s insistent offer of lodging while she recovers. But in his home, amid his exquisite sculptures, Julia sees beyond his charm and looks to something special: a talent she must bring to the world’s attention. And once she does, she plans to step aside to leave him in the spotlight. But Vitale has seen something in Julia too, something she is no longer able to recognize in herself. And he is determined to find a way to show it to her.

Poignant and uplifting, Gaining Visibility is an exhilarating story of one woman’s realization that even the deepest scars have a beauty of their own—and that it’s time to take her place in the sun once more.

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