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Frances Mayes | A Great Marriage (In-store)


Tickets include a signed copy of A GREAT MARRIAGE, guaranteed entry to the event, and a seat in the reserved section. Frances will sign books after the program. Get tickets below. All live author events are subject to change. More information about our events can be found here



When a perfect wedding is called off just days before the big event, it sends two people—and their families—reeling, in this poignant novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Under the Tuscan Sun and Women in Sunlight

Does a great romance make a great marriage? Dara Willcox, up in New York for a weekend, meets Austin Clarke at an art gallery. If love at first sight can happen, it happens to them. These two vivid, ambitious people are on different trajectories—he’s British, working temporarily in New York. She’s set on law school. They don’t care. They will make their lives together happen. At their engagement dinner at Dara’s family home, her mother Lee sets a beautiful table and the family and close friends gather to celebrate. Rich, Dara’s father, raises a toast. Suddenly, Lee spills the wine, a brilliant red stain splashing onto the tablecloth and onto Austin.

Days later, Austin hears unsettling news from London that threatens to wreck his plans. When Dara learns of the problem, she abruptly cancels the wedding. She refuses to reveal the reason, not even to her parents or grandmother, disrupting their family tradition of openness. As everyone knows, Lee and Rich have a great marriage, and Charlotte, her grandmother, had a colossal one, to the late Senator Mann. Charlotte has even “written the book on marriage,” as the acclaimed author of numerous non-fiction bestsellers on the topic.

Chaos ensues as the romantic wedding plans unravel. Dara’s failure cuts deep. She heads to California, finding solace with friends and driving the coastal highway. Austin, back in London, faces not only his culpability but a major tragedy, the consequences of which are far-reaching and life-altering. Is their once-great romance over? Can a great marriage still be forged?

With her signature warmth, knowing humor and intimate, observational style, beloved author Frances Mayes creates a rich tapestry of characters from an unforgettable family, exploring the grand mystery ride of marriage, and what really makes for a “great” one.



FRANCES MAYES is the author of four books about Tuscany, including the now-classic Under the Tuscan Sun, which was a New York Times bestseller for more than two and a half years and became a Touchstone movie starring Diane Lane. It was followed by Bella Tuscany and two illustrated books, In Tuscany and Bringing Tuscany Home. She is also the author of the novel Swan, six books of poetry, and The Discovery of Poetry. Her books have been translated into more than twenty languages. Her most recent books are Women in Sunlight, Always Italy and A Place in the World: Finding the Meaning of Home.




Event date: 
Tuesday, August 13, 2024 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
North Hills
4209-100 Lassiter Mill Road
Raleigh, NC 27609
Event Category: