I received a review copy
In City of Illusions, by Judith Works; freelance copyeditor, Laura, gets the opportunity of a lifetime. Laura has always dreamed of going to Rome, Italy and on a whim applies for a United Nations job located there. To her surprise she is hired, setting off to Italy with her husband, Jake, for a year abroad. However, when the two get there they discover that while Rome has plenty of positives, it also has some negatives. With no job, and being unable to find one, Jake is bored. That is until he meets a beautiful, Italian , woman, Stella; who hires him to moving art pieces across the border. Jake moves from ignoring Laura, to completely avoiding her as he only focuses on work and getting Stella in bed. Laura finds her work interesting, but is feeling lonely. She has tried to befriend her coworkers, but they haven’t been very receiving. With Jake ignoring her and gone for days, at a time Laura starts seeing one of her supervisors. As their time in Rome continues, Jake discovers that there is more to his job than meets the eye, and eventually has to flee for his life. Laura realizes that she doesn’t want to return to the U.S., but that she wants to remain in Italy forever. The two now face a huge decision on what will happen to their marriage and whether or not they will remain Italy.
I thoroughly loved this book as I enjoyed that the story was not another one of those novels made solely to promote the place being visited. I liked that the year was not absolute perfection, but covered a lot of the ups and downs that real relationship would have, and showed issues people actually face uprooting their lives. Both Laura and Jake have interesting stories, and go through realistic character development. The one thing that bothered me was how Laura, after realizing her mistake in getting involved with her supervisor and expecting him to take care of her; she immediately she turns her affections to an architect relying on him to assist her in procuring a job and place to live. I enjoyed the relationship between Laura and the architect, but wished the author gave it more time to develop between the two, rather then sew up Laura’s plotline. Besides that point, the rest of the book was amazing. But be warned, it will make you crave Italian food.