Looking for Clara
Simona Grossi, author
Clara is turning twenty-seven when, after graduating from the top law school in the country, she lands at a prestigious law firm in Los Angeles. She grew up in the East Coast, and moving to the West Coast represented a big step in her life. But despite the time spent in the new place, she never truly settles in. She describes her life at the law firm as “intense.” “Long days, late nights, lost weekends. The time was slipping through my fingers like sand in an hourglass I had turned upside down too quickly. And sometimes, when I paused to think about it, I almost missed the rootless two years after college, when not much was happening around me and I was just thinking and observing. At least, at that time, I had a sense of myself, something I seemed to have lost along the way.” At the law firm, Clara is successful, but she wonders how her life would have been if she had pursued her planned career as a pianist. And she misses her best friend, William, with whom she had fallen in love. At one of the law firm Christmas’ parties, Clara meets Joe, a jazz bass player. They discover an immediate mutual attraction, but her law firm sends her to Siena, Italy, with the prospect of spending up to one year there. Afraid and confused, Clara breaks up with Joe, trying hard to commit to the newly assigned tasks. Soon, though, it becomes clear to her that the reason why she could not commit to Joe was her confusion about herself, her feelings, and her dreams. In Italy she meets Mario, her eighty-year-old neighbor, who takes her on a quest to find his long lost friend also named Clara. During this quest, both Clara and Mario change in unexpected ways. Clara discovers an important missing piece in her life, confronts her best friend on their past and present feelings, and turns her life into what it was meant to be.