Publisher's Note:  

From the author of the acclaimed Pulitzer Prize-winning #1 New York Times bestseller All the Light We Cannot See, a "dazzling" (Azar Nafisi, author of Reading Lolita in Tehran) memoir about art and adventures in Rome.

Anthony Doerr has received many awards—from the New York Public Library, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the American Library Association. Then came the Rome Prize, one of the most prestigious awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and with it a stipend and a writing studio in Rome for a year. Doerr learned of the award the day he and his wife returned from the hospital with newborn twins.

Exquisitely observed, Four Seasons in Rome describes Doerr's varied adventures in one of the most enchanting cities in the world. He reads Pliny, Dante, and Keats -- the chroniclers of Rome who came before him—and visits the piazzas, temples, and ancient cisterns they describe. He attends the vigil of a dying Pope John Paul II and takes his twins to the Pantheon in December to wait for snow to fall through the oculus. He and his family are embraced by the butchers, grocers, and bakers of the neighborhood, whose clamor of stories and idiosyncratic child-rearing advice is as compelling as the city itself.

This intimate and revelatory book is a celebration of Rome, a wondrous look at new parenthood, and a fascinating story of a writer's craft—the process by which he transforms what he sees and experiences into sentences.

Four Seasons in Rome: On Twins, Insomnia, and the Biggest Funeral in the History of the World

by Anthony Doerr

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Overall Review:  

Four Seasons in Rome: On Twins, Insomnia and the Biggest Funeral in the History of the World is an enjoyable read that will create major wanderlust. Written by award-winning author Anthony Doerr, this travelogue contains musings about living in Rome, ancient Roman history, and the difficulties of raising children. Doerr's signature writing style, consisting mainly of metaphors and other beautiful imagery, is evident on every page. Doerr and his family lived in Rome when Pope John Paul II's died, so the book documents the Pope's funeral and the papal conclave for Pope Benedict XVI. Four Seasons in Rome is enchanting, entertaining and will be enjoyed regardless if readers have visited Rome or not. Fans of Doerr's Pulitzer Prize Winner All the Light We Cannot See should check out this book!

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language:  2 religious exclamations; 2 mild obscenities; 1 scatological word; 1 F-word derivative.

Violence/Gore:  Implied occurrence of violence in reading material; several secondhand reports of violence from history -- Romans beheaded, vestal virgins who are entombed, gunfire, World War II, tsunamis and asphyxiation; mention of suicide and attempted suicide; a mention of birds being tortured to reduce population; a few brief scene of violence involving a beggar punching a man and ancient battles; a few brief non-detailed scenes of violent death involving car crashes. 

Sex/Nudity:  Several sexual references regarding Carnival in Rome, Pliny the Elder's words of advice, prostitutes and child molester; a few reported incidents of sexual activity regarding orgies and prostitutes.

Mature Subject Matter:  

Suicide, death of pope, kidnapping in Iraq (mention), child molester (mention), battle.

Alcohol / Drug Use:  

Frequent smoking and drinking wine; a Roman festival dispenses wine; people drink beer at a party; author drinks alcohol in attempt to sleep; graffiti of a marijuana leaf.

Reviewed By Rachel
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