Second in a series of four novels inspired by a Gallup poll completed in 2009 showing that 700 million people worldwide thought that the grass was greener on the other side of the fence and wanted to move permanently to another country.
Diana De Gonia is the doyenne of Palazzo Botigliani in Valletta, Malta, as the British-born widow of the last Baron di Migarro. She opens it to the public on a daily basis, but is beset with problems, both financial and personal, as she fights to keep the grand house and its collection of artefacts safe from financial ruin and claims from pretenders to her late husband’s title.
Bound by a promise to her late husband to keep the place intact for his long-lost son and heir, she can’t help feeling trapped and desperate until evidence that the heir exists gives her hope of escape.
Assisted by a devoted Bulgarian sidekick and an enthusiastically destructive Maltese cleaner, she meets constant opposition from government officials, the bank, her late husband’s relatives and the weather, which alternates between extreme heat and torrential rain. Angry that the love of her life was taken from her, she soldiers on with her daily battle, but is unable to avoid yearning for life in the pub in England in which she spent her formative years. This yearning is made all the more poignant by the fact that, although the pub was bought by her husband years earlier as an investment, it must now be sold to finance essential repairs at the palazzo.
Diana travels to England to finalise the sale of the pub and to investigate the man who claims to be her late husband’s son and heir. Will the heir apparent prove to be genuine and, if he is, will he want to be saddled with the responsibility? If he does, will the irony that the pub has to be sold be too much for her to bear?