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.
Wanderlust Woman says
Ciao Laura e grazie for inviting me again. I keep waiting for the movie of this novel. It's been optioned and on the drawing board forever. 🙂
Always a pleasure, Lisa! Will you review the movie when it comes out? 🙂
Ciao a tutti! I lost a couple of comments in the process of switching from Blogger to WordPress. But I did receive them and wanted to say thanks for your comment!
I loved the book. I’m also waiting for movie – I hope they do right by it 🙂
Ciao Gina! Thanks so much for stopping by and for your comment. I hope they do a good job with the film, too! 🙂
Cherrye at My Bella Vita says
I’ve never heard of this book, Lisa … have you read it, Laura? It definitely sounds like the kind of book I’d like. I know this sounds horrible, but as an expat in Italy, I’m not usually crazy about the nonfiction books that are written by expats in Italy. But a novel set in Italy … yea, I’d be all about that-especially one set in southern Italy!
I have a few favorite books that are either about or set in Italy-one of them could be a weekend read, I think!
Re: making this a movie … sounds like I better get out there and get this book before they do. And yes, I hope they don’t butcher a good thing, either!
Ciao Cherrye! I haven’t read this book yet, but Lisa was so sweet to bring it to me one of the times she visited the Amalfi Coast. It’s up next on my list to read! My mom read it and loved it as well. Would love to hear about some of your favorite reads! 🙂
Cherrye at My Bella Vita says
Two thumbs up sounds good to me. Maybe if you and I ever get to REALLY meet in person, you will be so kind as to share! I’ve been thinking about your favorite reads theme and have quite a few I’d like to talk about.
Ciao Cherrye! Sounds great… I love sharing books! 🙂 I’d love to hear about your favorite reads… anytime you would like to contribute!