May 14, 2024


by Natalie Jenner

St. Martin's Press


Historical Fiction

Hardcover, 336 pages

" insightful view into Italy's postwar reckoning...she imbues the novel's many celebrity cameos—including actresses Sophia Loren and Gina Lollobrigida—with authentic flair. Jenner's fans will love this." 

-Publishers Weekly

In 1955, Vivien Lowry is facing the greatest challenge of her life. Her latest play, the only female-authored play on the London stage that season, has opened in the West End to rapturous applause from the audience. The reviewers, however, are not as impressed as the playgoers, and their savage notices not only shut down the play but ruin Lowry's last chance for a dramatic career. With her future in London not looking bright, at the suggestion of her friend, Peggy Guggenheim, Vivien takes a job as a script doctor on a major film shooting in Rome’s Cinecitta Studios. There she finds a vibrant movie-making scene filled with rising stars, acclaimed directors, and famous actors in a country that is torn between its past and its potentially bright future, between the liberation of the post-war cinema and the restrictions of the Catholic Church that permeates the very soul of Italy.

As Vivien tries to forge a new future for herself, she also must face the long-buried truth of the recent World War and the mystery of what happened to her deceased fiancé. 

Dear Readers,

Every Time We Say Goodbye is the most challenging book I have written—and the most rewarding. It all started when I learned about Rome’s Cinecittà movie studio being used as a war refugee camp in the 1940s, even as filming there eventually resumed. I decided to set my third novel during a very specific, very cool time in history—la dolce vita of mid-1950s Rome—while exploring the incredibly complex and haunting legacy of that city under German occupation during the Second World War. 

I packed everything I could into this book: love and conflict, faith and religion, censorship and resistance, art and moviemaking, fashion and food, and cameos by favorite actresses and characters from my earlier books. I hope that Every Time We Say Goodbye gives you the entertainment, inspiration, and food for thought that nourished me throughout its writing.

Gratefully yours,

Natalie Jenner

Book Club Menu

My husband and I renewed our wedding vows in a chapel on a hilltop town in Tuscany, where we had rented a house with friends. A lovely woman named Danica took care of the celebratory dinner afterward, the best meal of my life—not quite as many courses as the eleven served by Peggy Guggenheim on the rooftop terrace of her Venetian palazzo in Every Time We Say Goodbye, but very inspiring for me as an author to fondly recall in its writing.

And so I highly suggest that a similar menu of several small courses be served as accompaniments to my new book: an aperitivo such as an Aperol Spritz, which the Socialist prince and indie filmmaker Nino Tremonti serves poolside while under house arrest; an antipasto of grilled peaches with fresh mint, balsamic vinegar and mascarpone cheese, which the Tremonti family enjoys under the pergola at lunch; a secondi of ravioli (your choice of filling!) with brown butter and sage; a contorni of Panzanella salad made from day-old bread and fresh tomatoes; a taglieri (cutting board) of cheeses, salamis and olives, the type of wonderfully fresh and simple fare that Vivien and Levi are served in the farmhouse that figures at the heart of his wartime trauma; a dolci of tiramisu or gelato, which Vivien treats little Margarita to during their bicycle tour of the Cinecittà studio lot; and, finally, for the digestivo— espresso with a hazelnut biscotti to cap it all off.

I thought of food the entire time I wrote this book, and I hope you do, too!

-Natalie Jenner

About Natalie


Enter Book Giveaway

Join Book Club Favorites

Book Giveaways

Say Hello

Register for GalleyMatch

Novel Noshes

Author Recipes

Join our Mailing List
Facebook  Twitter  Instagram  Pinterest  

©Copyright 2024

The Book Club Cookbook