Saturday, April 20, 2013

Dear Great Book Guru,  I am planning a trip to Italy in the next few weeks- of course, I will be back for all Sea Cliff's wonderful upcoming events: the Landmarks House Tour on May 19, the Memorial Day Parade, and the spectacular Village-wide Garage Sale on June 1- but meanwhile, I would like something to read to begin my Italian immersion .  We will be visiting the Amalfi  Coast region. Any suggestions?   An Amalfi Adventurer

Dear Amalfi Adventurer, We just came back from an amazing vacation planned by our friend Toni Montello, expert on all of Italy! One of the highlights of the trip was our visit to Pompeii and I'm sure you will want to go there too.  Robert Harris's POMPEII is a great mood-setter for this excursion. Set in Pompeii   69AD, two days before Vesuvius erupts, the novel gives a fascinating look into the culture, geography, and history of that ill-fated city. It is told from the perspective of a young engineer Attillius who has been sent from Rome to manage the vast aqueducts that provide water for the area. Something is terribly wrong- fish are dying, strange cracks are appearing, the water flow is slowing , and it is his job to find out why.  The lavish life style of the rich, the harsh existence of the poor and enslaved, and the political corruption that permeates the society are all recorded, but we alone know that it is all to end within hours.   A compelling read!

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