It’s 1979 and six friends are planning the trip of a lifetime to the Isle of Capri. The journey turns out to change all of their lives, though not in the ways they’d imagined.
It begins when Lily, a successful menswear designer, is commissioned to do a magazine layout in Italy. Her friend Grace is the only female model hired for the assignment.
Once the two of them begin planning the August trip, the idea hatches for their other friends – Cat, DeeDee, Penn and Amelia – to join them at the end of their assignment for a “ladies only” vacation on Capri.
The plan sounds wonderful, but is met with resistance from many of their family members, especially the husbands, who are golfing buddies. Each marriage has its share of problems – cheating, drinking, lack of attention, domination, but the six feel that the trip will be their own version of the acclaimed play “Enchanted April”, where women spend time away from their husbands and family and return with renewed appreciation and love for their lives.
Real-life friends and co-authors Genie Frisbee and Melissa Farnsworth have written a story that’s not only fun to read, it also offers intriguing insight into the lives of each character, one or more of whom readers might identify with.
The book is entertaining from the first page, where there is a mysterious “tease” that won’t be fully resolved till the last few pages.
The authors carefully set the stage prior to the August event by delving into each woman’s home life and what obstacles she needs to overcome to make the journey a reality. It almost feels like too much information at too slow a pace, because the reader will be anxious for the main event – the Italian part of the story. But it’s well worth exploring this first section because of the back stories that are revealed. The same can be said later on when we see what each husband is up to while the wives are away.
But by far the most exciting elements (for the characters and the readers) occur once the ladies plus Quinton, photographer extraordinaire, who’s a friend to them all and a pivotal figure in the magazine shoot and the overall storyline, are gathered at Villa Bianco, on Capri.
For some, inhibitions are set free. For others, they discover their self-worth. And one, who is actually not looking for love at all, may just have stumbled upon it.
Authors Frisbee and Farnsworth are expert at hinting at tragedy and shocking surprises, while keeping the reader guessing about the outcome.
In the end, Invented August is about lives changed forever. It’s a thought-provoking tale about friendship, love, taking nothing for granted, realizing what’s tolerable and what’s not, and how, before you know it, someone can be forever gone from your life.
It’s a delightful book and hopefully it’s only the beginning of the Frisbee-Farnsworth writing team.