Author: Karen Swan
Published by: Pan Macmillan on May 2, 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction
Source: Publishers Group Canada
Book Rating: 10/10
Another compulsive, page-turning novel from the internationally bestselling author of The Paris Secret.
The glamorous capital city of Italy is brought to startling life in The Rome Affair, a compelling summer novel by Karen Swan.
1974 and Elena Damiani lives a gilded life. Born to wealth and a noted beauty, no door is closed to her, no man can resist her. At twenty-six, she is already onto her third husband when she meets her love match. But he is the one man she can never have, and all the beauty and money in the world can’t change it.
2017 and Francesca Hackett is living la dolce vita in Rome, leading tourist groups around the Eternal City and forgetting the ghosts she left behind in London. When she finds a stolen designer handbag in her dustbin and returns it, she is brought into the orbit of her grand neighbour who lives across the piazza – famed socialite Viscontessa Elena dei Damiani Pignatelli della Mirandola. Though the purse is stolen, Elena greets the return of the bag with exultation for it contains an unopened letter written by her husband on his deathbed, twelve years earlier.
Mutually intrigued by each other, the two women agree to collaborate on a project, with Cesca interviewing Elena for her memoirs. As summer unfurls, Elena tells her sensational stories, leaving Cesca in her thrall. But when a priceless diamond ring found in an ancient tunnel below the city streets is ascribed to Elena, Cesca begins to suspect a shocking secret at the heart of Elena’s life.
Brilliantly clever, mesmerizing, and unequivocally unputdownable!
This is an absorbing, enigmatic tale about all-consuming love; the lengths we will go for it and the unimaginable and limitless things we will do in the name of it.
It is predominantly set in the idyllic city of Rome and takes us into the lives of the rich and glamorous and reminds us that not everything is always as it seems and behind the majestic palaces, priceless jewels and designer clothes often lives a lot of loneliness, deception, sex, temptation, secrets, scandals, heartbreak and tragedy.
The prose is expressive, vivid and flawless. The characters are multi-layered, sympathetic and unique. And the plot is a wondrous travel guide to the city of Rome itself, the culture, the history, the food; as well as an intriguing mystery, an emotional drama and a beautiful love story.
Karen Swan’s books always entertain me, beguile me and transport me to another time and place and immerse me so thoroughly into the feelings, lives, and stories of her characters that I never want to leave and this novel is no exception. I loved this story and I can honestly tell you I will be patiently or not so patiently be eagerly awaiting her next novel.
If you haven’t checked out my review for Karen Swan’s previous title “The Paris Secret”, you can find it out HERE, and if you haven’t read anything by Karen Swan before you’re definitely missing out!
The first paperback will be available on May 2, 2017 and other editions will be available shortly thereafter.
Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.
Thank you to Karen Swan and PGC Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.