Sonderbooks Book Reviews by Sondra Eklund

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***City of the Soul

A Walk in Rome

by William Murray

Reviewed May 12, 2005.
Crown Journeys, New York, 2002.  139 pages.
Available at Sembach Library (914.5632 MUR).

I read City of the Soul before we went to Rome in order to get a taste of the city.  Then I skimmed it again when we returned, because now I could picture the places he was talking about.  (Including photos would have been nice, though I realize that would have made it a much bigger, more expensive book.)

William Murray lived in Rome as a young man and had family there, so his perspective on the city is very different from that presented in As the Romans Do of American outsiders moving into a place.  He talks about Rome from the perspective of an insider who loves a great city.  He tells stories about what different places in Rome have meant to its citizens through the ages.  He tells about the history, both far back and more recent.

“An old friend of mine, an Englishwoman who has lived in old Rome for many years, once summed up what I’ve always felt about the city and what keeps me coming back to it year after year.  ‘It’s not only the physical beauty of the place,’ she said.  ‘It’s the smell of it, the aura of great history in the stones of every street and every building.  To be in Rome is to be in touch with everything in life that really matters.”

Reading this book will give you a taste of Rome from an insider who truly loves the city.

Copyright © 2005 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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