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.