Women in Sunlight

A Novel

Add Women in Sunlight to Goodreads

By the bestselling author of Under the Tuscan Sun, and written with Frances Mayes’s trademark warmth, heart, and delicious descriptions of place, food, and friendship, Women in Sunlight is the story of four American strangers who bond in Italy and change their lives over the course of an exceptional year.

She watches from her terrazza as the three American women carry their luggage into the stone villa down the hill. Who are they, and what brings them to this Tuscan village so far from home? An expat herself and with her own unfinished story, she can’t help but question: will they find what they came for?

Kit Raine, an American writer living in Tuscany, is working on a biography of her close friend, a complex woman who continues to cast a shadow on Kit’s own life. Her work is waylaid by the arrival of three women—Julia, Camille, and Susan—all of whom have launched a recent and spontaneous friendship that will uproot them completely and redirect their lives. Susan, the most adventurous of the three, has enticed them to subvert expectations of staid retirement by taking a lease on a big, beautiful house in Tuscany. Though novices in a foreign culture, their renewed sense of adventure imbues each of them with a bright sense of bravery, a gusto for life, and a fierce determination to thrive. But how? With Kit’s friendship and guidance, the three friends launch themselves into Italian life, pursuing passions long-forgotten—and with drastic and unforeseeable results.


"Frances Mayes’s novel about the feasts and friendships of four American women in the Tuscan countryside is a joy for the senses and an awakening for us all to the possibilities in our lives.  Women in Sunlight is one of those novels you’ll want to linger in, to leave open on your bedside table, to read each page again and again." -- Nancy Thayer, author of A Nantucket Wedding

“Frances Mayes has outdone herself. The writing is gorgeous, the structure grand and formidable, just like the architecture she writes about so well. I feel like I have lived in Italy. But most of all, I feel like these women—and their men, and children—are still walking around in my mind.” -- Lee Smith

“The beloved Frances Mayes seems to own the Italian sun. Her first Italian-set novel is a lovely and intimate journey of friendship, loss, and hope set in the eternal beauty of Tuscan countryside. All of Ms. Mayes signature insights are here…there is healing and forgiveness that only a sojourn to Italy can provide. Che bella! -- Adriana Trigiani, bestselling author of Kiss Carlo

“Fans will be delighted that Mayes again puts them Under the Tuscan Sun, where American writer Kit Raine is now living….Sun and fun, food and friendship—you can’t go wrong.” -- Library Journal 

Under Magnolia

A lyrical and evocative memoir from Frances Mayes, the Bard of Tuscany, about coming of age in the Deep South and the region’s powerful influence on her life. The author… More

The Tuscan Sun Cookbook

“Tuscan food tastes like itself. Ingredients are left to shine. . . . So, if on your visit, I hand you an apron, your work will be easy. We’ll start… More