Title: The Girl, the Dog and the Writer in Rome
Author: Katrina Nannestad
Publisher: HarperCollins Australia
Published: 23rd October 2017
Synopsis: For the first ten years of Freja’s life, she and her mother Clementine have roamed the Arctic in search of zoological wonders. Happy, content, together. Freja and Clem. Clem and Freja.
But now, everything is changing, and Clementine must send Freja away to live with her old friend Tobias, a bestselling crime writer and, quite possibly, the most absent-minded man on earth.
Tobias isn’t used to life with a child, and Freja isn’t used to people at all, but together they’ll stumble into an Italian adventure so big that it will change things forever …
Award-winning Australian author Katrina Nannestad returns with a delicious new series about family, friendship and finding yourself.
Notable Book – CBCA Book of the Year Awards
Shortlisted – 2018 Speech Pathology Book of the Year Awards
When Freja’s mother, Clementine, must go away to Switzerland, she asks her old friend, Tobias to look after Freja. Freja isn’t very good with people or making friends – she wears a tag that says ‘This Child Bites’ when she meets Tobias, Tobias is absent-minded – neither are used to people in their lives. Yet as they stumble into an Italian adventure, they’ll find that everything changes and that making friends and having people you can rely on isn’t that bad after all.
An adventure to Rome, or anywhere for that matter, is something that many of us can only dream about in these hard lockdown, isolation and pandemic times. Perhaps that’s why everyone is getting a lot of reading done, and why bookstores seem to be doing well, even if they’ve had to adjust operations to get books to people over the past few months. Books can take us on adventures when we have to stay at home, and this is exactly what The Girl, the Dog and the Writer in Rome does.
From eating raspberry gelato, to cooking lessons with Nonna Rosa, and eating at Café Vivi whilst making friends with the locals and evading three mysterious priests who seem to have taken to following Freja and Tobias, opening a mystery that follows them around Rome. While they travel, Freja and Tobias find that family and friends are found in the least likely places, and she beings to investigate the secret that Tobias and Clementine are keeping – who is Tobias, really, and what does he mean to Clementine?
This is a charming story that pulls the reader in and makes you feel like you are in Rome with the characters. The gelato is tasty and smooth, and the world they inhabit is rich, vibrant. You feel like you are there with them, watching as Finnegan eats everything in sight. These characters came to life on the page, and made the story into something special that readers of all ages will love. There is a bit of Freja and Tobias in all of us, and together, they are family and friends, and I’m looking forward to the next two books in the series.