A heartwarming tale of a charming curmudgeon


The Temptation To Be Happy by Lorenzo Marone

Book Review:  5 out of 5 stars

Cesare Annunziata is a very cynical man. His is a rather lonely life.  He’s a 77-year-old widower who doesn’t have much of a relationship with either his son or his daughter.  His long-time friend, Marino, lives downstairs in Cesare’s building but Marino hasn’t been out of his apartment in years.  Cesare occasionally does see a nurse, Rossana, but he’s not sure exactly how he feels about her.  There’s also the cat lady in the building who Cesare tries to avoid at all costs.

And then beautiful, young Emma moves into the building with her husband and life will never be the same for Cesare. He’s always had an eye for the ladies so he’s completely intrigued by the elusive Emma.  But then he and the cat lady start hearing awful sounds coming from Emma’s apartment and she starts showing signs of abuse.  Should Cesare become involved or keep his nose out of it?

What is a perfect delight this little book is! It’s written in a light manner but has deep philosophical undertones.  I laughed out loud as I read, that is whenever I wasn’t crying.  I continually nodded my head in agreement at the things that Cesare said and thought.  This is really quite a touching story and I absolutely loved grumpy old Cesare and all of the residents in the building.  I was shocked to learn that the author is only 42 as he nailed this elderly man to a tee.  The author is Italian and I believe this is the only book of his that has been translated to English.  I do hope to see more of his work available.

Highly recommended.

This book was given to me by the publisher in return for an honest review.


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