The Divorced Lady’s Companion to Living in Italy

  • Book: The Divorced Lady’s Companion to Living in Italy
  • Location: Milan, Rome, Venice
  • Author: Catherine McNamara



Many women come to Italy to rebuild their lives but I doubt there are many who end up like the protagonist of this hilarious book.
Marilyn Wade, dumped by her husband in the UK, has heard a rumour in her neighbourhood about another divorcée who has supposedly found new, mature love in Italy. When her life falls apart she travels to Milan to see if she too can find love again. What follows is slightly crazy and not always believable, but told well with quite interesting language. I wasn’t sure about Marilyn abandoning her children with her sex-mad ex-husband as she began her adventures, but the author incorporates them into the story which becomes a very funny comparison of Anglo versus Italian cultural differences. Marilyn loses her frumpiness under the guiding hand of sassy (and sneaky) Australian Fiona who collects lovers like there is no tomorrow. And Marilyn also finds a kinky job through the odd Brett, whom she has met on a dating site, and begins to muddle her way through her new Italian life. She meets the inevitable curly-haired young man and enjoys a sensual reawakening, but finds herself drawn to an older man, the kooky Swiss model agency owner Arnaud Bertrand with a very weird past. Most of the time Marilyn is peering at life in Milan/Rome/Venice through her tears or the bottom of a grappa glass, but in her way she moves on with her life and we are encouraged to feel that even a crazy, hurt woman can assert herself and grow a little wiser. I found particularly hilarious the scenes where she is attempting to learn Italian with her young lover Federico, and the story spins out to a slightly incredible but apt ending.

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