Jessica Levine's Nothing Forgotten: Book Review
I loved this novel! Set in Italy, in Rome and in the countryside of Sperlonga in 1979, the writing is utterly beautiful, the descriptions of Rome and the ochre-colored buildings will take you there. The love story is complicated but true. A tale of what happens when strong-willed and like-minded people from different countries connect, while betrothed or semi-betrothed to others. It focuses on family and community values in rural Italy during the late 1970s, laws of attraction, and compatibility. The novel has likable characters: Anna, Sergio, Doris, Nathan, and Sergio's fiancee. It isn't too late into the novel that the reader realizes that Sergio and Anna are destined for each other, but Anna's secret and Sergio's alternative plans for his future make her unwilling to fight for him and win him over. There is focus on descriptive characteristics (a shimmer in the eye, a mark on the skin), that will matter in the end, and when the author wraps it up she ties it up in a neat, tidy bow. I highly recommend this novel if you are in the mood for a love story set overseas, and a sexy one at that, between a young woman from New York just starting her adult life and her Italian lover. It wasn't until I read some press on the novel, that I found out that the character Anna in the novel was in Levine's first novel, The Geometry of Love, which I also absolutely loved. Michael, who was the guitar playing muse in Levine's first novel, was also in Nothing Forgotten. I didn't realize he was the same character, or remember Julia or Anna, believe it or not (don't I wish I could say there was Nothing Forgotten on my end as a reader). I just thought the author liked the name Michael. But now that I've come to understand this, it makes the novel all the more special. How funny and maybe real to life that two people can paint an entirely different picture of the same person - Anna painted a not so good one of Michael in this novel, who was Julia's muse in the other. What a fun twist! And how could I forget Esther?! Next, I'm going to look for my copy of The Geometry of Love on my living room bookshelf, and re-read it!