Barbara Peters, owner of The Poisoned Pen, welcomed Liam Callanan back to the bookstore. Callanan, the author of Paris by the Book, has a new book, When in Rome. You can order a signed copy of When in Rome through the Webstore. https://tinyurl.com/ybc99dhn
Here’s the description of When in Rome.
From nationally bestselling, award-winning author Liam Callanan, the story of an opportunity to start over at midlife, a chance to save a struggling convent in the Eternal City, and the dramatic re-emergence of an old flame . . .
Meet Claire: fifty-two, desperate to do something new and get a fresh start.
Enter the chance to go to Rome: Home to a struggling convent facing a precipitous end, the city beckons Claire, who’s long had a complicated relationship with religion, including a “missed connection” with convent life in her teens. Once in Rome, she finds a group of funny, fearless nuns in a gorgeous villa, beautiful runs throughout a color-saturated city, and a chance to reflect. It all leads her to an unexpected question—should she join the convent?—and an answer that startles her as much as it does those closest to her.
It also startles Marcus, a once-buzzy actor, devastatingly handsome, who is eternally in love with Claire. Marcus has come and gone from Claire’s life since college but now reappears in Rome just as she’s about to decide what’s next.
As Claire searches for her higher calling, she finds the key to her future may lay in her past—and involves an actual key. The nuns swear it unlocks nothing, but on a night when choices and voices swirl, Claire finds a long-hidden lock.
A look at faith, in oneself as much as a higher power, and love, romantic and familial, lost and found, this is the thoroughly charming story of one woman who sets out to rewrite her past and future, only to be surprised by the plot twists life plants . . . when in Rome.
Liam Callanan is a novelist, teacher, and journalist. His novel Paris by the Book, a national bestseller, was translated into multiple languages and won the 2019 Edna Ferber Prize. He’s also the 2017 winner of the Hunt Prize, and his first novel, The Cloud Atlas, was a finalist for an Edgar Award. Liam’s work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Slate, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The San Francisco Chronicle, and he’s recorded numerous essays for public radio. He’s also taught for the Warren Wilson MFA program for writers, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, and lives in Wisconsin with his wife and daughters.
Enjoy the conversation about setting, characters, and books.