What a clever title for a memoir that enables the reader to imagine he or she is living in Rome! Author Martha Miller explains how she and her husband used their 21-Month Plan, which included forgoing stops at Starbucks, to prepare for a year in Italy.
The reader will enjoy the author’s friendship with Gabrielle, a well-heeled French marquise married to an Italian. Gabrielle presents Miller with a portal into the life of the elite, and the author describes her findings with grace. We cannot help but like Gabrielle or, for that matter, dislike Signore Green Thumb who makes life unpleasant on the rooftop.
I liked Miller’s description of the difficulty she found in taking Italian classes as well as her presentation of other students. The outside world does not interfere in this book save for the tragic moment of the World Trade Center attack. I enjoyed reading about Italian TV as well as dogs in churches and the lady Miller sees at church (and on the street) with a pet ferret.
Miller’s graceful reflections extend to her Acknowledgements, which other writers will find beautiful; she makes it clear that no writer creates a perfect work alone. This memoir of a year in Italy is one that travel readers will find very engaging. The cover art is perfect and the testimonials on the back work well.