Writer Paul Stewart heads to the small Italian town of Montalcino to finish his book on the food and wine of Tuscany, and to nurse a broken heart. His four-year relationship with Becky has just ended with Becky dumping him for her personal trainer. One senses that Paul's pride is hurt as well as his heart. Italy seems like the perfect refuge for an over-stressed food writer, but Paul's Italian adventure begins with a traveler's disaster of major proportions. Fortunately he is rescued by an acquaintance he made on the plane. But with no reservation and no other cars available on a holiday weekend, it looks like Paul may spend his vacation at the airport until an enterprising businessman offers him a different kind of transport: a bulldozer.
Lacking alternatives, Paul accepts. He discovers that driving a bulldozer gives him an entirely new and unexpected perspective, not just on the Italian countryside, but on life in general and love in particular. As usual, McCall Smith's gentle drollery masks some shrewd observations on human relationships. A lesson in the value of friendship, making the best of what life brings, and finding love when you least expect it.
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