In this arresting first novel about love and liberation, Italy is not just a place of popes and piazzas, but a cauldron of heady politics and equally heated passions. At its center is Catherine Davidson, a young American who gets caught up in the excitement of an Eternal City on edge: women are taking to the streets to demand their rights, homegrown terrorists kneecapping their hapless targets, poor immigrants swelling the city's underbelly. Determined not to be a bystander to history nor to let her southern upbringing sabotage her newfound independence, Catherine nonetheless gets in over her head. Viewed with a sympathetic yet sharp eye by a third-person narrator, Catherine wrestles with the fact that her personal behavior doesn't dovetail with her political beliefs and with the failure to live up to the expectations of others. While she revels in two love affairs, one with an open-minded Roman and the other with a refugee from Eritrea, they each expose her insecurities and jealousies. It is an unlikely figure from Catherine's past, however, who resets the course of her life: her former stepmother, a Dane who has returned to Europe after a decade in the South. Despite having ill-treated this woman throughout the marriage, Catherine finds common ground and new respect for her - so much so that she makes a momentous decision.


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5.0 out of 5 stars
a wonder ful reading treasure for this summer

August 16, 2013

i have sadly just finished reading this wonderful book from a first time author.Tt is hard to believe considering the free flowing well written natural dialogue and story plot that this is a first novel.! I only had wished that there would be more and more chapters following the lives of all these interesting and sympathetic characters against the accurate background of Rome during those days transcribed. This was a page turner and any one reading this book should, like myself, become hooked very early on to the individual stories and how they play out during this novel. Congratulations to Elizabeth Guider and this should not be the first and last time we hear of this unique and engaging writer...that's for sure...GIVE US MORE!!

Magnolia Miss

4.0 out of 5 stars
Passionate Palazzo

May 23, 2014

Wonderful descriptions of Rome. Good read but a disturbing page or two that I skipped due to description of a medical procedure.

Liza Foreman

5.0 out of 5 stars
Fab Writer

December 21, 2014

Having reported to Elizabeth for over a decade, I can say that it is no wonder she has made such a strong impression on readers with her first novel of which I read an early draft. She is a flawless writer, a great editor, and an extraordinarily bright and perceptive person with a colorful history and personality to boot.

Rick in Va Beach

5.0 out of 5 stars
Exceptionally Enjoyable and Enlightening

May 19, 2013

Elizabeth Guider wrote an exceptionally enjoyable and enlightening novel. The story is captivating, and the flow of the book is well structured and wonderfully easy to read.