Six days in Rome by Francesca Giacco

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This story follows in the footsteps of many before it; those tales of setting off for a time in another city or country to forget past disappointments and spend time rediscovering oneself. This time we read about Emilia, who has left the United States to holiday alone, after her planned trip with her partner has fallen apart, when he decides to give his marriage another chance. She is in Rome for six days, and she promptly begins exploring the city sights, indulging in food, wine and music. A chance meeting in a park with another American, John, brings her delight as there is an instant connection between them. As the two become more absorbed in each other’s lives, Emilia comes to terms with her former relationships with family and partner. John understands why she has left her home to reconsider life’s choices; he has done the same.

This is Giacco’s debut novel; it reads well and includes a perceptive look at this ancient city with numerous references to its historical characters, especially its strong women. Emilia is self-absorbed, as would be expected, and the novel style is not groundbreaking, but it makes for an interesting read as we follow her time in Rome, read of the memories she has of her time in New York, and anticipate the choices that she is going to make.

Julie Wells