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The Temptation to Be Happy
Cesare is a seventy-seven-year-old widower and cynical troublemaker. He has lived his whole life by his own rules and has no intention of changing now. Aside from an intermittent fling with a nurse called Rossana, he spends his days avoiding the old cat lady next door and screening calls from his children.
But when the enigmatic Emma moves in next door with her strange and sinister husband, Cesare suspects there is more to their relationship than meets the eye. He enlists the other residents to help him investigate and soon discovers a new and unexpected sense of purpose that leads him to risk everything for a future he had never thought possible.
Laced with humour and pathos in equal measure, this is a delightful book to savour, for young and old alike.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
`Sad, funny, wise and unblinkingly honest, this is truly wonderful.' * <i>Daily Mail</i> * 'Uh-oh, here comes another one of those colourful curmudgeons who drop pearls of senior wisdom on their way to a new lease on life. Cesar certainly fits the stereotype, but he's funny, interesting and grumpy enough to stay on the winning side of the formula.' * <i>New York Times Book Review</i> * 'Immensely charming... Uplifting and very much on the side of life.' * <i>Mail on Sunday</i> * `An impressive literary feat...a charming tale of opportunities taken and missed.' * <i>Reading Magazine</i> * 'Marone's characters, irreverent and absurd, embark on adventures they had ceased to allow themselves to imagine in this darkly comedic take on aging.' * <i>World Literature Today</i> * 'Poignant...[with] moments of touching eccentricity.' * <i>bookoxygen</i> * 'Lorenzo Marone is the new voice that literature needs.' * <i>Corriere della Sera</i> * `A wonderful novel about ageing - ironic and light-footed.' * <i>Italien Magazin</i> * `A toast to real happiness!' * La Stampa * `A book that touches the heart...wonderfully honest, ingenious, quick and tragic.' * Siegener Zeitung * 'An unforgettable novel set in Naples.' * Corriere della Sera * `Comical and cynical while remaining tender and dramatic.' * Corriere della Sera * `This novel owes its success largely to Lorenzo Marone's wonderful character Cesare Annunziata, and to the funny and paradoxical fact that this is an excellent coming-of-age novel whose protagonist is over 70 years old.' * Il Mattino * `Comic, ironic, sarcastic descriptions that will make you smile but will also make you take a deep look at life in old age.' * Wochenspiegel *