July 16, 2001 12:00 PM

by Laura Fraser

Discarded by her husband, San Francisco journalist Fraser takes off for Italy to figure out what went wrong. On the Italian island of Ischia she indulges in a casual fling with an older Frenchman, a professor who revels in her full figure and worldly ways. Although he’s married, the pair hook up periodically in Milan, Los Angeles, London and Casablanca for sex, food and lofty conversation. There are lush meals and heavenly settings aplenty, but the descriptions in this hybrid memoir-travelogue are often perfunctory. And its second-person narration is a curious choice for such an intimate tale. (Pantheon, $22)

Bottom Line: A lukewarm affair

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