Welcome to my stop on the Bookouture blog tour for The Rome Apartment by Kerry Fisher!
Book: The Rome Apartment
Author: Kerry Fisher
Pub Day: July 28, 2023
About the book:
As I stood on the terrace and gazed out over the most glorious view, he studied my face and said to me ‘Why do you look sad? No-one should be sad in Rome. We only have this one life, you know. Don’t waste it.’
Beth stands in the sunshine outside the magnificent wrought-iron gates of Villa Alba holding her suitcase. Only a few short months ago, she dropped her beloved only daughter off at college, holding back tears at the thought of an empty nest… clinging to the thought of the new chapter that she and her husband Joel could now begin together. But that same day, Joel dropped a bombshell. He thinks their marriage is stale, and wants a break; he says that Beth is no longer the same woman he fell in love with…
Searching for an escape, Beth spots an ad in a magazine for an apartment in Rome that is available for three months rental only to ‘an English woman of a certain age’. She reads on… Veronica, the 75-year-old owner, challenges her guests to rediscover themselves, find joy, and live life to the full – and there is no better place to do these things than in Rome, the most beautiful city in the world.
Ronnie sets Beth a list of tasks, forcing her to slow down and find beauty in every corner of the city: the sun on a stained glass window, a fragrant bunch of the freshest basil, a painting in a hidden courtyard. But her final task is the most challenging of all: to go out on a date with an unsuitable man.
But handsome and adventurous musician Rico, unsuitable in almost every way, may turn out to be just the right man to bring Beth back to life. With her break from Joel coming to an end, can Beth risk embracing the new life of exciting possibilities that Rome has opened up to her, even if it means losing everything?
Get swept away to the sunny streets of the most beautiful city in the world with this heartwarming novel about love and second chances. Perfect for fans of Faith Hogan, Elin Hilderbrand and Sheila O’Flanagan.
Beth is a new empty nester. She dropped her daughter off at college just a few months ago, and she’s trying to adjust to the new normal. So when her husband Joel tells her he wants a break from their marriage, that the thrill is gone and he’s going to Paris indefinitely for work, her world is completely thrown off its axis.
Then she finds a listing for a rental in Rome for – well, for her. An apartment is available for three months for an English woman of a certain age. A friend encourages her to give it a try, and she does. Veronica (Ronnie), the owner of the apartment Beth rents, wants to help her guests break out of their ordinary lives, see the possibilities and beauty all around them. To that end, she gives Beth challenges to complete. At first Beth balks. She resents what she sees as intrusion. She wants to curl up and lick her wounds – her marriage is falling apart, her daughter is growing up and trying to move on. She even considers just forgetting the whole thing and going back to England.
And then she meets Rico. But nothing can happen between them, can it?
This is almost a coming-of-age story, but I guess it’s more of a coming-into-your-own story. I think we’ve all felt like Beth at some point. Life stretches out, mostly comfortable but sometimes not, and we feel a little at loose ends but not enough to really make a change. And then POW! Right in the kisser, here comes something we never saw coming. And we have to decide what we’re going to do with the broken pieces of the life we thought we knew.
I’m probably pretty close in age to Beth. I wanted to hug her and sometimes shake her. My heart ached for her when Joel told her he wanted time apart. I could just picture how dispirited she felt, hearing that she was boring, that her husband didn’t find their marriage exciting any longer. I cheered for her when she took the big step of going to Rome, of not doing what was expected and moping at home. And I wanted to shake her when she found possibilities and kept shying away from them! I wanted to see her fling herself wholeheartedly into a new
So did she? Well, you’re going to have to read the book to find that out. Kerry Fisher spins an engrossing tale, and she tells Beth’s story well.
I will tell you that the setting is fantastic. The food, the history, the light, all of it makes me want to visit Italy even more. The characters are engaging and realistic. Rico is a wonderful foil to Beth’s reserve. He travels light, and he has already figured out how to see the beauty in the moment. Maddie, Beth’s daughter, is perfectly written as a young adult on the edge of independence – pulling away, yet not cutting ties with her mother entirely. Ronnie sounds like someone I want to know and hang out with. I’ll take her challenges any day! (Except no dating an unsuitable man, because I’m quite happily married.)
I haven’t yet read Secrets at the Rome Apartment, but I can’t wait to jump into it and learn more of Ronnie’s story.
I highly recommend both books for a good summer read!
About the author:
Kerry Fisher is an internationally bestselling author of women’s contemporary fiction, including The Woman I Was Before, The Silent Wife (USA Today bestseller) and Other People’s Marriages, as well as a non-fiction memoir, Take My Hand. She was born in Peterborough, studied French and Italian at the University of Bath and spent many years living in Spain, Italy and France. After returning to England to work as a journalist, she eventually abandoned real life stories for the secrets of fictional families. She now lives in Surrey with her husband, with an intermittent empty nest as her two young adult children come and go.