WHEN IN ROME BY NICKY PELLEGRINO (Orion £12.99)
I loved this book so much I could hardly wait to get to the computer to type its praises. And as I have a broken arm at the moment, you can take that as the most ringing of endorsements.
I don’t know about you, but there’s absolutely nothing I like better than what I call ‘governess’ novels - about self-effacing servants of the famous, wealthy and capricious. This book has inside-track glamour in spades, and all the colour of La Dolce Vita-period Rome.
But there’s an irresistible layer of melancholy, too, as Serafina struggles to relate to the family she has left behind, and witnesses at first-hand the decline of the once all-conquering Lanzas. An original subject and beautifully handled. Brava, Nicky.
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