If you liked best-seller Captain Corelli's Mandolin, you will love this colourful novel by DL Smith.

The Miracles Of Santa Fico is a charming novel, which unravels a series of "miracles", both real and conjured up, during a summer in a remote Tuscan village, which no one ever leaves and no one ever visits.

Except for Leo Pizzola, the central character, who returns to the village after 18 years of living in America to find the people and the place unchanged.

The one person who welcomes him is his childhood friend, Topo, but the rest of the villagers, and especially the beautiful but brooding Marta, leave him out in the cold.

The reasons are revealed throughout the story, and by the time we find out why, we have come to know and love the colourful characters, the sunny yet forgotten little village and the moving stories of each individual, which all tend to work themselves out in the end.

This is a perfect book to read on holiday, it had me hooked until the final page.

Updated: 08:54 Wednesday, April 23, 2003