In 1926 Italy, matriarch Bella Ainsworth embarks on a new venture when she opens the Hotel Portofino. Husband Cecil is not as invested, and has a propensity to spend money. Their adult children Alice and Lucian also live at the hotel. Alice is a widow and single mother, and Lucian suffers PTSD after fighting in WWI. Hotel guests soon arrive, and Cecil’s ex-girlfriend Julia shows up with her daughter Rose. Cecil and Julia are hoping to arrange an attachment between their offspring to unite the families and gain financial advantage. Lucian and Rose meet, but have a hard time courting due to overbearing Julia who gives her daughter no freedom. Newcomer hotel employee and nanny Constance is also a distraction for Lucian, as they fight a mutual attraction despite their different social classes. Demanding hotel guests and staff members create a cast of colorful characters. This novel is a compelling mix of story lines with threats from fascism, a missing masterpiece painting, infidelities and late-night trysts. This book by J.P. O’Connell is available on audio CD, and the PBS Masterpiece classic based on this book presents like a well acted soap opera - it is also at the library on DVD.