Picks and Pans Review: Flight Lessons

updated 09/02/2002 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/02/2002 AT 01:00 AM EDT

By Patricia Gaffney

The Bella Sorella is one of those family-owned Italian restaurants that hasn't updated its menu or decor since Ronald Reagan was President. Proprietor Rose Fiore rightly believes its only hope is her niece Anna Catalano, a restaurateur who fled the fold ages ago and has a grudge against Rose. Fortunately, Rose's beau has a mysterious stepson. He's handsome. He's unattached.

Family and home are among the issues Gaffney deftly probes in this often illuminating third novel. It's a simple recipe, but Gaffney adds ingredients like a master chef for a fresh and filling story. (HarperCollins, $24.95)

Bottom Line: Smooth landing

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