The Rome Affair

The Rome Affair

Paperback - 2017
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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 newly-graduated Francesca Hackett is living a year of la dolce vita in Rome, teaching English before she starts a new job in London and settles down to the Rest Of Her Life. When she finds a stolen 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 Chesca interviewing Elena for her memoirs. As summer unfurls, Elena tells her sensational stories, leaving Chesca in her thrall. But when a priceless necklace found in an ancient aqueduct below the Trevi fountain is ascribed to Elena, Chesca begins to suspect a shocking secret at the heart of Elena's life.
Publisher: London :, Pan Books,, 2017
ISBN: 9781509838011
Branch Call Number: FIC SWA
Characteristics: 461 pages ; 24 cm


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May 01, 2018

This novel is terrific. It took a couple of chapters to really get into it but once it started to unfold, I could hardly put it down. This is a story within a story (going back decades) and I think women from their 20's to 100 will love this book. The setting is in Rome where a young woman from England is living there after fleeing her previous career in law. Now she is wearing second hand clothes and conducting tours in the city for English speaking tourists.

In comes Elena, now elderly, who hires Francesca to write a frothy biography but "Cesca" has other ideas and begins to delve into history. Her background in law now serves her very well in interviewing witnesses and family. Pick it up but be ready to read it in one or two sittings.

Jun 02, 2017

It's complicated. Anything to do with identical twins always is.

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