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Love in Idleness by Amanda Craig

Love in Idleness

by Amanda Craig

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Most of this book is a lot of fun, especially entertaining for the interplay of characters and relationships, and the stultifying heat that permeates every scene. The magic potion/drunken section towards the end is a tad over-the-top and I rather lost interest in the whole thing at that point. But let's not take it too seriously. Must go and look at A mid-summer night's dream again. ( )
  janglen | Apr 24, 2011 |
If this book was a motor vehicle, it would be a classic motorbike, perfectly tuned and polished, inexplicably coupled to a sidecar full of cack.

I liked the early stages, the characterisation, and the interplay between the characters. There were some very witty and wry observations made, particularly concerning the experiences of an American ex-pat in London, and some interesting discourse on the nature of relationships, and contrasting parenting styles. Polly and Theo were particularly fascinating characters, and I also liked Betty the outrageous mother-in-law, and celebrity gardener Guy who was a sort of obnoxious Alan Titchmarsh.

Around three-quarters of the way in the Shakespeare parallel stuff started to kick in, and things went seriously pear-shaped with some sexual slapstick that had one character remarking that he thought he had just walked into an Austin Powers movie. I had to check the front cover of the book to make sure I wasn't reading a Wendy Holden. Considering what had gone before, it was totally unbelievable and, well, just a bit silly. ( )
1 vote jayne_charles | Aug 25, 2010 |
This is a pleasant, well-written book. The author takes the essential story of A Midsummer NIght's Dream and retells it in the context of a modern English/American family and their friends who are on a two-week holiday in Tuscany. I'm often wary of modernized versions of famous books or plays, but this one worked really well--it captured the spirit of the original without being cheesy. The children, of course, are the fairies, alternately loveable and naughty. The adults arrive with certain notions about love and about how they should pair up, and they have to sort themselves out. I thought the characters were well-drawn and believeable. ( )
2 vote carlym | Jan 25, 2009 |
a play on Midsummer Nights Dream in contemporary Tuscany

10.03 ( )
  aletheia21 | Feb 27, 2007 |
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Yet mark'd I where the bolt of Cupid fell, / It fell upon a little western flow'r / Before milk-white, now purple with love's wound, / And maidens call it love-in-idleness.
--Oberon, A Midsummer Night's Dream, act II, scene I
To Giles Gordon
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The long wooden shutters of Casa Luna, bolted against heat and crime, were flung open, and the light of a new day flooded in.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0349115850, Paperback)

When Polly and Theo Noble book the Casa Luna, near Cortona, for their summer holiday they plan a civilised Anglo-American house-party with Theo's brother Daniel, Daniel's girlfriend Ellen, and Polly's old schoolfriend Hemani in an idyllic Tuscan setting. Their children Tania and Robbie will have Hemani's son Bron to play with, and Theo's mother, Betty is expected keep her grandchildren under control by force of a personality that can curdle mayonnaise at a hundred paces. Even Ivo Sponge, the notorious journalist with whom Ellen was once entangled, should do little to spoil their pleasure. But the Casa Luna is a place where strange things happen, and anyone who lives there risks unexpected joys and sorrows. As both children and adults find it increasingly difficult to tell what is fantasy and what is reality, the tiny winged creatures who have persuaded Tania to brew a love potion start to take over ...The result is that of the four couples who have begun the holiday together, all have swapped partners by the end (and one has swapped sex of partner!). This is a subtle and delectable comedy of manners about love, lies and the dangers of a strong imagination ...

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:19 -0400)

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Casa Luna in Tuscany becomes the scene for a family vacation that forces each traveler to discover significant differences in himself or herself, in a modern-day story of love and lies based on Shakespeares's "A Midsummer Night's Dream."

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