Is there anything better than disappearing for a weekend with a good book? I love stories that pull you in and transport you to another world, especially if that world is someplace in beautiful Italy! For Weekend Reads, Lisa Fantino from Wanderlust Women Travel is here to tell us about one of her favorite books, which is set in Naples, Italy in the 1940s. This book is a wonderful weekend escape, but I’ll let Lisa tell you all about it.
Anyone who’s ever been to London knows that you are up and down, and down and up, on an endless wave of moving stairs taking you to the subterranean Tube, which then moves you to and fro beneath the streets above. It’s a lot of time spent moving and ad agencies in London take full advantage of that by plastering the tube walls with posters for everything from safe sex and a lot of West End shows to books. That is how I discovered Anthony Capella and fell in love with “The Wedding Officer.”
London is my second home but Italy is where my heart and soul reside and as my journey to London neared an end, I needed a book for my next flight to Athens. The adverts for “The Wedding Officer” so intrigued me that I purposefully made my way to Oxford Street and grabbed a copy at the Waterstone’s near the Bond St. tube They had such a sale that I grabbed 3 more novels to lug home. But I digress……………….
Capella had me at “ciao,” to butcher another writer’s line! This author is wonderful at blending the Italian language, its nuances and passions, into a slow simmer with its culture and the foreigners who come to love all things Italian. He captures the smallest references to the Napoletani’s wariness of outsiders and how that evolves into an inevitable acceptance if the foreigner manages to be resilient enough to withstand the scrutiny.
Capella’s love affair with food is at once erotic and sensual, as when James’ love interest, Livia, fights with others in a street market to grab a swordfish for dinner (afterall, the best is always worth fighting for) or she dances a passionate tarantella in the center of the piazza! It’s an ongoing dance between the couple, as he struggles with her language and customs, and she strains under the religious morals of 1940 Naples to realize her sensual potential.
Yet, this is also a story of war and the losses suffered and the love that helps people survive. Very few writers are as gifted as Capella in conveying both historical facts and passionate dreams in the same breath. He draws you into a place and a time that you never want to leave. It took me a year after reading “The Wedding Officer” to visit Campania for the first time……..and it still takes my breath away each and every time!
Lisa Fantino is an award-winning journalist and attorney. She is the creative force and Italian travel concierge for Wanderlust Women Travel and the Amalfi Coast destination wedding site Wanderlust Weddings. She recently launched Amalfi Blu, gifts and jewelry inspired by the beauty of the Amalfi Coast. In her spare time, she also writes travel features for MNUI Travel Insurance and blogs as Lady Litigator.