Lost Hearts in Italy by Andrea Lee

29 of 49
Lost Hearts in Italy
256 pages; Random House
Why not start with a knockout? Novelist Andrea Lee's sensuously unsentimental Lost Hearts in Italy mines the past of Miranda Ward, an American transplant to Italy who once cheated on her golden-boy husband with Zenin, an aging Italian billionaire with the inner warmth of a reptile. Years later and deep into another marriage, she still feels the pull of Zenin and Nick, her wounded ex-husband, "as we always belong forever to people who have hurt us badly, or been badly hurt by us." Lee's Rome is a city filled with gorgeous ruins, and she's not just talking about architecture.