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Book Review

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 Pan…

Overall Book 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.

Overall Book Rating
Profanity/Language
Rating:
6
10
Violence/Gore
Rating:
3
10
Sex/Nudity
Rating:
3
10

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About the Reviewer

My mother was the one who sparked my love of books. Long before school instruction, she sat me down and taught me to read. My childhood was filled with trips to the library and bookmobile to find great books. My first loves were The Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder and the Pippi Longstocking series by Astrid Lingren. Now as a mom and speech pathologist, I am constantly looking for good, clean books to use at home and in therapy. I enjoy reading many different genres, but my favorites are usually historical fiction. I married my best friend, the “boy next door”, and we have a beautiful little girl who we often find sprawled out on the floor, flipping through picture books. Together our family likes to swim, run and play tennis. Besides reading, I also love to bake, garden and travel.