I am indebted to Karen Duffy at Atlantic Books for a copy of The Lovers’ Guide to Rome by Mark Lamprell in return for an honest review. The Lovers’ Guide to Rome was published by Atlantic in paperback on 12th August 2016 and is available for purchase from Amazon, Waterstones and from all good booksellers.
The Lovers’ Guide to Rome
This is the place where passions are aroused, senses inflamed, and lovers fall into each other’s arms. It all appears to unfold like magic – but I will tell you what really happens. Rome – glorious, eternal, intoxicating. Could there be a better place on earth to fall in love?
Young artist Alice has come to Rome for adventure before settling down with her safe boyfriend. But when fate intervenes to show her there really is such a thing as love at first sight, will she find the courage to follow her heart?
Meg and Alec fell in love in Rome many years before and have returned to rekindle their amore, but have they left it too late?
Connie and Lizzie are in Rome to scatter the ashes of Connie’s beloved husband Henry, who’s also Lizzie’s brother. But Lizzie doesn’t know the real story of how Connie and Henry met there decades before, nor what long-hidden secrets lie waiting to be unearthed.
And what of Rome itself? It turns out that the Eternal City has secrets only lovers can glimpse. The magic of Rome is also the magic of the human heart.
My Review of The Lovers’ Guide to Rome
There’s a presence in Rome that controls far more than Alice, Lizzie, Constance, Meg and Alec realise.
I absolutely loved The Lovers’ Guide to Rome. I was completely charmed by the quality of the writing. There’s an understated wryness that really appealed to my sense of humour, especially when quite startling details are dropped into the narrative as if in passing, but there’s also a depth of understanding and emotion too – especially in the relationship between Meg and Alec. I laughed aloud throughout the book and shed a tear at the end.
The Lovers’ Guide to Rome explores perfectly love at its beginning, its middle and its end. When I was reading I was reminded (if I don’t sound mad in putting it this way) of a waterfall with one sparkling moment, line or description cascading after another that held me captivated. I couldn’t wait to finish the story to find out what happened, but at the same time I didn’t want it to end.
I thought the characterisation was perfect. I found myself exclaiming aloud to them, so engrossed was I in their adventures, particularly when they made what I felt to be a mistake. I have every intention of becoming a ‘girlie’ like Lizzie or Constance. But it is Rome who (and I use ‘who’ advisedly) steals the scene. The way in which Mark Lamprell combines historical and geographical detail in with the flow of the narrative is pure genius. It is obvious that the author’s background in film and television has influenced the fabulous descriptions so that I could imagine every detail. There’s a cinematic feel where colour and sound reverberate and add depth to a fast paced and action packed story narrated by the somewhat capricious spirit of Rome.
I also thought the quotations at the start of each chapter were so well chosen to reflect the plot and they added to my enjoyment of the read because they were from so many of my favourite authors.
The Lovers’ Guide to Rome is witty, sharply observed and a delight to read. I highly recommend it.
About Mark Lamprell
Mark Lamprell works in film and television. He co-wrote the film Babe: Pig in the City and wrote and directed the award- winning feature My Mother Frank. His first novel, The Full Ridiculous, was published last year and has been sold to the United States, Canada, Poland and Israel. Mark has holidayed in Rome for many years.
You can follow Mark on Twitter.