It Takes Two
By Patrizia Chen
(Scribner, Hardcover, 9781416570615, 256pp.)
Publication Date: November 3, 2009
List Price: $25.00*
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Francesca Rivabuona is fifty and exhausted by the monotony of her life. Stuck in a stale marriage with grown children who have long since fled the coop, and desperate to escape the endless cycle of Upper East Side dinner parties and charity luncheons, she jumps at the chance to write an article about Buenos Aires for a glossy travel magazine.
Francesca is instantly captivated by Buenos Aires's palpable rhythm. She explores the city with her new friends -- a group of tango dancers who give her an insider's scoop into the best Buenos Aires has to offer -- and rediscovers the sense of passion and excitement she thought she had relinquished forever. As Francesca learns to master the sensual movements of tango dancing, she begins to let down her guard -- on the dance floor, in the bedroom, and in her personal life. Embarking on a steamy love affair with Argentina's most famous plastic surgeon, she knows that she has been irrevocably transformed by the pulsing, erotic thrill of life in Argentina.
At once a tale of a middle-aged woman taking a stand against the disappointments of her life and a sexy, fast-paced, entertaining novel about the ecstasy of tango dancing, It Takes Two reads like a soulful tango: irresistible, exotic, and sensual.
Born in Livorno, Italy, Patrizia Chen is a former professional model who has lived in Egypt, Japan, Todi and Argentina. A superb Italian home cook, Chen is renowned for her gourmet dinner parties; her first book, Rosemary and Bitter Oranges, told the story of how she learned to cook as a child in Tuscany. She is an avid tango dancer who brings her natural energy and charisma to everything she does--including contributing to numerous Italian publications and founding TangoInk--an online tango magazine. Chen lives with her husband in New York City and has two grown children.
"I haven't had so much fun (or such very good weeps) with a novel in years. Patrizia Chen has a wickedly original voice, and with it she dances you through a tango of love and sex to tell a story that is at the same time steamy, smart, tender, trenchant, and supercool -- not to mention as full of life and risk as it is wise. Remember Freud's old question: What do women want? If you still don't know, you'll find the answer in It Takes Two." -- Jane Kramer, author of Lone Patriot
"The world according to tango -- where miracles occur and where dance, music, and sultry nights in Argentina lead us through a maze of pleasure that turns into obsessions. Patrizia Chen's world is a place that everyone's body, heart, and mind have longed for their whole lives. Some of us see it from across the bank, others are bold enough to buy round-trip tickets there, and some, having crossed the bridge, burn the bridge." -- André Aciman, author of Call Me by Your Name