She wasn’t quite equal to it

The week before they took a break from their work at the biblioteca and walked down the lungarno to Melaleuca for coffee. It was one of those days in November between the rains when things clear but for a few painterly clouds and the whole city flashes like a jewel. When they turned onto the lungarno, the palazzi along the river were one great wall of light all the way down to the Ponte Vecchio. Halfway there he slipped his hand into hers, but when they had to let others pass on the narrow sidewalk, she right away let it go. There was a kind of sweet intimacy in it that she wasn’t quite equal to.

The Italian Novel

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