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Summary

The glamorous capital city of Italy is brought to startling life in The Rome Affair, a compelling summer story by Karen Swan.

It's 1974, and Elena Damiani lives a gilded life. Born to wealth and a noted beauty, no door is closed to her, no man can resist her. At 26 she is already onto her third husband when she meets her love match. But he is the one man she can never have, and all the beauty and money in the world can't change it.

It's 2017, and Francesca Hackett is living la dolce vita in Rome, leading tourist groups around the Eternal City and forgetting the ghosts she left behind in London. When she finds a stolen designer handbag in her dustbin and returns it, she is brought into the orbit of her grand neighbour who lives across the piazza - famed socialite Viscontessa Elena dei Damiani Pignatelli della Mirandola. Though the purse is stolen, Elena greets the return of the bag with exultation, for it contains an unopened letter written by her husband on his deathbed 12 years earlier.

Mutually intrigued by each other, the two women agree to collaborate on a project, with Cesca interviewing Elena for her memoirs. As summer unfurls, Elena tells her sensational stories, leaving Cesca in her thrall. But when a priceless diamond ring found in an ancient tunnel below the city streets is ascribed to Elena, Cesca begins to suspect a shocking secret at the heart of Elena's life.

©2017 Karen Swan (P)2017 Pan Macmillan Publishers Ltd

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Intriguing and entertaining

I have listened to a few of Swan's books and this did not disappoint. I like how her female characters are strong and although may be victims, like Eleanor is in this book, they don’t behave like victims. They are strong, detailed and charismatic. Francesca is highly relatable and likeable. Her curious mind and self efficiency are representative of a modern women and her and Eleanor both contrast and conflict as well as some similarities. Although I had some idea of the plot twist I was enthralled by the clever ending, which does not rely on the love interest to solve or really be overly part of. I like the detail included about the history and secret architecture of Rome, as I usually get frustrated when I read books aimed at women as the intellectual details are often left out. Beautifully read, couldn’t want for more from a entertaining and intriguing story.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Extremely enjoyable.

Great story but you need to concentrate as it jumps backwards and forwards between years.
Narrator brilliant as usual.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Hard to listen to

Sadly because I have loved all the previous books by this author I did not enjoy this one. The last 3 hours were the best but the rest rambled and the back and forth did not translate well in audible version. Characters did not come to life for me at all.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Captivating

Captivating from begin to end , love,lust,lies and it's all set in beautiful Roma it's brilliant

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

An intriguing story

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes - it is beautifully read, unlike a lot of audible books I've listened to.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Rome Affair?

When you realise that it was Veto's brother that was in the heart of it all.

What about Katie Scarfe’s performance did you like?

everything - she created perfect atmosphere for the book

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I could never do that with any book. It was nice coming back to it every day

Any additional comments?

Very interesting story, I just wish it went deeper when going back to the past so that we could "live" in those moments more - would make a great series

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

it's not quite as good as I thought it would be

I think that it was quite disappointing not as good as any of my previous book's so only 3 star from me

1 of 5 people found this review helpful