CONTEST IS OVER.
The FINAL daily prize in the January Giveaway goes out today. And then I draw for the Grand Prize Winners. (See below)
Destinations: Milan, New York City and Brittany in France
I reviewed this delicious new romance in e-book format, and as I read P.O. Box Love, I used the bookmark function on my Sony reader to mark favorite passages (there were so many!) and to make a list of people for whom I want to buy the book (there were so many!) If you get the impression that I am recommending this gem to lovers of travel and lovers of literature, you have guessed correctly
If you have ever been tempted to look up an old girlfriend or boyfriend, you will sympathize with Frederico. If you have doubts about revealing yourself to someone from your past, you’ll understand Emma. Did you ever have the urge to open a bookstore? You’ll love Dreams & Desires, Emma’s bookstore in Milan that specializes in romance. Paola Calvetti, the Italian author, agreed to answer some questions for readers of A Traveler’s Library, and in my first question, I get at one of the reasons this book stands apart. P.O. Box Love blows apart the assumption that romance ends at 35 or so.
A Traveler’s Library: How did the protagonists’ age change your task as a romance writer?
PC: The way I found Belle Île was really strange and… tied to the destiny of the book. I was in Concarneau; it was a cloudy afternoon and I was visiting its historical monuments, having a cup of tea and wandering in the alleyways. I happened to enter an ancient bookstore run by an old bookseller selling second-hand books. I asked him “do you have any books about Breton legends or rather a love legend?” “Of course”, he answered, the great story of Jean and Jeanne!”
There are literary quotations in abundance throughout P.O. Box Love. Emma ironically quotes Virginia Woolf,” how very little natural gift words have for being useful.” A sign on the wall of the store says “The only advice you can give someone about reading is not to accept any advice…” But we asked advice anyhow– for books that inspire travel. Paola echoed the beliefs of A Traveler’s Library.
Indeed the book is a love poem to the United States, particularly since Frederico is an Italian temporarily living in New York City during September 2001 and the book deals with the shock and horror of 9-11-01. Frederico (and the author) love the Morgan Library in New York and we are treated to the history of Morgan and the architectural challenges of adapting an historic building.
A love story told in letters sounds as though it would be a simple affair, but P.O. Box Love is enriched with literature, architecture, the beauty of three countries, the interplay of interesting characters, including a mother and her teenage son, and the invasion of the Internet into previously hidebound practices of publishing. All these factors contribute to a winner of a book. I welcomed Frederico and Emma into my life and was sorry to say goodbye.
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Disclaimer: Links to the book on Amazon are affiliate links, meaning that anything you buy when you use the link will help support A Traveler’s Library, and we thank you very much. The photographs here are all the property of Paola Calvetti and should not be reused without express permission.
Today’s prize, the LAST January birthday present, a copy of P.O. Box Love, goes to one person who comments, subscribes, tweets (using @pen4hire) or mentions Vera Marie Badertscher on Google+ (You can comment on this post or on an earlier post. Just do it before Wednesday, February 1, 3:00 a.m. MST. This is your last chance, also, to enter for the Grand Prize drawing.