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A fascinating and compelling read, filled with gorgeous writing and rich imagery, and really moving characters and plot line: I could not put this book down and enjoyed it so much! Four characters from four different eras in Rome - Early Christian, Middle Ages, Renaissance; and Modern Day - are connected not only by a fish hook held by each of them for a period of time, but also by questions of faith, identity, duty, and their search for joy. I found the parenthetical discourses really annoying (Satan offering more than his two cents way too often) and so I am only giving four stars. But the writing is simply gorgeous, the plot ingenious, and each of the four stories deeply moving. I love the way Smith writes and look forward to reading more of her work. I highly highly highly recommend this book.
Four people, all in Rome, in four different time frames, bring fresh light to love and faith. The story is told in reverse historical order- starting with Tom in 2015. Because it is told in reverse, the connections between the characters, who each has a distinct issue, is not immediately obvious (except for the city). There's an outside narrator of sorts whose contribution is provided in brackets; I found this a bit distracting initially but by the end saw why Smith had done it. Thanks to Edelweiss for he ARC. It's an interesting read that won't appeal to everyone but fans of literary fiction should pick it up.