Publisher: Dailey Swan Publishing
Life in a Swiss boarding school is idyllic for Drew Smith. Captivated by the beauty of the Swiss Alps, he is also in love with the girl of his dreams, Alexandra Cavalletti, a young aristocrat from Rome.
His world is ripped apart when he and Alexandra are expelled from school after being caught making love in the woods one night. Drew goes home to a broken family, and all that he has come to expect out of life is swept away. He spends the next thirty years trying to recapture all that was lost, including the love of his life.
James Weil has written a funny, poignant, and often heart-wrenching story of the passions of youth, and of what happens when those are stolen from us. A beautiful tale. A must read.”
Susan Mary Malone Author of: By The Book; Fourth and Long: the Kent Waldrep Story; Five Keys for Understanding Men; BodySculpting See Malone’s short stories on Amazon Shorts!
James Weil is a master of character development and human relations. Drew Smith, a troubled though gifted and sincere lad from a semi-functional, suburban NJ upper-middle class home–tennis club, private schools, alcoholic mom and philandering engineer-businessman father. There is “old money” in this family. Alexandra is an Italian aristocratic beauty: graceful, independent and determined to maintain what is rightfully hers. Weil’s depiction of their family lives, environments and social class is extraordinarily well done. Weil has a sociological gift. I especially enjoyed Drew’s Aunt Tess, an artist and cosmopolitan. We all should have an Aunt Tess in our lives.
The action takes place in the Swiss Alps, suburban New Jersey, London, Oxford, Rome, Greece, Spain and Padua. Weil makes these locations come alive.
I identified with Drew’s struggle to become a man and a writer, notwithstanding the betrayal of his callous father and the despair of his helpless mom. Alexandra deals with her loving father’s early death and the resulting insanity and self-destructiveness of her mother. Her brother, at her mother’s insistence, assumes all the power and wealth in the family. Alexandra is determined to make a new life, defying the social mores of her class and society. She will not be undercut by fate. The powerful interaction between Drew and his first love, Alexandra, makes the book riveting. A must read.
The name of the novel has nothing to do with how to make or even eat chocolate. Was I bummed? No. I was shocked. But being lucky enough to know the author, James Weil, as a Facebook buddy, I should have expected it. Be forewarned, this is some intense and in-your-face material. What is between the covers of this novel- to the synopsis:
“Drew Smith, a teenager from a wealthy family in New Jersey, is sent to a Swiss Boarding School and falls in love with Alexandra Cavalletti, a beautiful, aristocratic girl from Rome. The innocence of their love affair turns disastrous when they are expelled after being caught in the middle of their young passion. Drew returns home to his dysfunctional family and Alexandra’s life is affected when her mother goes insane and sells off the family fortune for a song. Despite their travails, Drew and Alexandra remain in contact and cross paths over the years. Drew never really let’s go of her, even though she moves on.”
During the summer I was fortunate enough to get a glimpse of James’ writing when he shot me over a short story he had written, so I had an inkling as to what was to come. His writing is intense, heartfelt and brutally honest, laying it out there for all to see .For some that is hard to read let alone to write. I am going to say this is a daring move, exposing such deep feelings to so many people. The thing is, if you get to know the guy, you will see that he does that on a daily basis, he wears it all on his sleeve, good or bad, for everyone to consume, kudos. His novel is a mirror reflection of himself: raw, uncensored, and brutally honest. That is the reason for the five stars: total and complete honesty of self. I don’t believe I have read it to this degree before. To believe what I’ve written, go to his Facebook page, become his friend, experience James Weil and then decide if I am not point on here. I am just trying to be honest.
Amazon Review – March 24, 2011