Mark Lamprell’s The Lovers’ Guide to Rome is an enchanting novel about three couples drawn irresistibly to Rome, narrated by the city itself.
Alice, an art student in New York City, has come to Rome in search of adventure and inspiration before settling down with her steady, safe fiancé. Meg and Alec, busy parents and successful business people from LA, are on a mission to find the holy grail, a certain blue tile that will make their home renovation complete—but soon it becomes clear that their marriage needs a makeover as well. Connie and Lizzie are women of a certain age—“Sometimes I look at my laughter lines and wonder what on earth could have been that funny”—who come from London to scatter the ashes of their beloved husband and brother. Both women are seemingly done with romance, but Rome has other ideas.
Brimming with wit and charm (and gelato), The Lovers’ Guide to Rome is the most delicious novel you will read this summer.
The most fascinating and intriguing part of this is the narrator: Rome itself! I loved this idea and thought it was executed very well. We learn a bit about Rome’s history while following three pairs of people (who are somehow connected, though we don’t find out how until the end) on a romp through Rome.
“Three couples, surrendering to stillness, listening to the notes and the silence between the notes, oblivious to each other yet connected—standing at the beginning, middle and end of their loves.”
This quote encapsulates perfectly what this story is about. We have a couple who meet in Rome, fall in love and have adventures in Rome. We next have a couple who have been married for twenty years, and are going through a rough patch in their marriage (I would say the husband is going through his midlife crisis, if the wife wasn’t a piece of work). Finally, we have two old ladies who are traveling to Rome with their husband’s/brother’s ashes to cast in the Ponte Sant’Angelo. Each of them are at different points in their lives, and what interesting to see this captured by the narrator of the story.
“Love, she realized, was madness and oblivion.”
This was a perfect summer read, one you will want to grab a glass of wine, sit back and relax to. Enjoy a tour of Rome!
My Rating: 4/5 stars
*I received an arc of this book via Netgalley from Flatiron Books in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!