When in Rome

Books on Tape. Mar. 2023. 11:23 hrs. ISBN 9780593671450. $95. F
Callanan (Paris by the Book) offers a story about taking stock and finding new directions in midlife. This thought-provoking tale, performed by talented narrator Cassandra Campbell, follows Claire, who lost her mother as a teenager but was buoyed by the support of a group of nuns. Campbell empathetically describes how Claire feels called to the convent but first attends college, where she falls in love with Marcus. When Marcus becomes gravely ill, Claire promises God that she’ll give Marcus up if God spares his life. Marcus survives, and, true to her word, Claire leaves him without explaining why. Then Claire’s life is upended when she becomes pregnant after a one-night stand. She struggles to make ends meet but eventually finds work in a real-estate company where she specializes in selling church property. When she is in Rome, helping with the sale of the Convent of St. Gertrude, she once again feels pulled to become a nun. However, it could be that life has something else in store. Campbell tenderly portrays the many characters in this novel, giving each individual a distinct personality.
VERDICT An excellent next listen for fans of uplifting, character-driven fiction.
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