The Lover's Guide to Rome by Mark Lamprell
This is the opening of Mark Lamprell’s The Lovers' Guide to Rome and I fell in love with these words immediately. I was compelled to read them aloud, they have a wonderful lyrical quality to them.
Have you ever been to Rome? The author’s note says this novel was written outdoors, around the streets and piazzas of Rome and it shows. There is a lovely liveliness and intimacy in the treatment of these locations that took me right back there amongst the stone angels and gelato stands.
This book was given to me with the description that it was a "happy book". As most of my reading material tends toward more UNhappy themes, I thought this might be a nice (and mentally healthy) change.
I was pleasantly surprised. The Lovers' Guide to Rome is a lovely, breezy, sunlit romp through the streets of Roma, as comfortable and cheerful as the best rom-coms, but beautifully written, with descriptions that make you want to read them aloud. I found the cast of characters engaging, with enough about them to be curious about and sympathise with, to make me want to read on.
I zipped through the first half on this on a two hour train journey and it was ideal for the task. Because you shouldn't have to put up with poorly written junk just because you're in the mood for something light!
Photo by Melissa Hill