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Every Time We Say Goodbye - a movie studio in Rome is the setting of this post-WWII story of love, conflict and art. 

In 1943, a young Italian woman known as La Scolaretta ("the schoolgirl assassin") is a brave resistance fighter who shoots down a Nazi commander. She and her boyfriend Nino work with an underground group, including the clergy, which protect Jewish citizens and refugees. The story shifts to 1954. Writer Vivien Lowry leaves London for Rome for a job as a script doctor at Cinecittà Studios, where filmmakers from the U.S. were working to escape the blacklist of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), which claimed that communism was pervasive in Hollywood. Vivien was also seeking answers as to what happened to her fiancé, David, who may or may not have perished in the war. Many of the people Vivien meets have been deeply impacted by World War II. After she learns about the story of "La Scolaretta" and the hope of telling the story in film, Vivien discovers how much power the Vatican has over what gets made within the studio. In their own ways, Vivien and those she has befriended try to move forward from their wartime trauma as much as possible.

Author Natalie Jenner's Every Time We Say Goodbye is the third book in her Jane Austen Society series. Each book stands on its own but having read the first two, I enjoyed the chance to learn how Vivien's journey continued. Filled mostly with fictional characters, Jenner also includes actual people such as art collector Peggy Guggenheim as well as cameos by Gina Lollobrigida, Sophia Loren, and Ava Gardner, providing historical details and flavor. It was very interesting learning more about Italy during World War II and the years afterwards including the importance of its film industry. This was a well-researched, poignant story. If this sounds interesting to you, also check out books 1 & 2: The Jane Austen Society and Bloomsbury Girls.

Many thanks to St. Martin's Press and Austenprose PR for the opportunity to read this story of hope and renewal in advance of its publication. 

Rated 4.25 out of 5 stars.

Historical Fiction.

Publication Date: May 14, 2024.

Please "like" this post if Every Time We Say Goodbye sounds like a book you might like to read. I'd love to know. Scroll below the photo and click on the red outlined heart on the lower right-hand side of the page. Comments can also be left below.


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