The Sunday Age, April 4 2010
Travel, romance, vintage dresses, Italy, even crime. All are popular ingredients in books. Less so is the antiquarian book trade, and that is what makes Phillipa Fioretti’s debut unusual. Lily and Robbie are lovers, sharing a second-hand bookshop, and also some issues. They strike gold in a volume of ancient erotica.It is rare and worth a mint. Unfortunately it also has been stolen from a wealthy criminal. Enter William, a dashing private detective specialising in artistic retrieval. When Robbie disappears, either kidnapped or murdered, a tussle ensues for Lily’s affections. If this book is chicklit, then it aims for the black-collar, art-working set.Lily is smart and quirky, but she is also an unabashed romantic. Best of all, she even gets to be a Girl’s Own action heroine. The Book of Love would make a great romantic comedy film.
Cosmopolitan magazine, May 2010
Lily’s life revolves around her second-hand bookshop, walking her dog and buying vintage dresses. That is until she’s swept up into a Da Vinci Code-scale mystery. When her partner, Robbie, goes M.I.A with their life savings and a rare book worth serious coin, Lily is accosted by a Russian mafia man. While charged with locating the book, he falls for her. From the streets of Sydney to Rome, this is an adventurous debut from an Australian author with a knack for turning the minutia of life into something delicious.
Australian Bookseller and Publisher, April 2010
The Book of Love is, well, lovely. Lily, a beautiful young Sydneysider with a passion for vintage clothes, runs an antiquarian bookshop with her boyfriend Robbie. Their relationship is tempestuous, to say the least, and when trouble comes knocking things don’t go so well. Enter William, a dark, cool and charismatic Russian-Englishman who comes to find a stolen and very expensive book that Robbie has got his hands on. What ensues is the clever, gentle, moving and at times quite funny tale of Lily and William’s search for a missing Robbie. I won’t spoil the ending, but suffice it to say there are a few romantic twists and turns along the way. The tale takes you from Sydney to Italy, and contains a few moments of awesome kick-butt action and car chases, but also plenty of talk of pretty clothes and shopping! I could have handled even more descriptions of Lily’s amazing outfits, but maybe that’s just me. All in all, a really fun read.
MX newspaper, Sydney and Brisbane, April 14
Fun, fun, fun. That’s what it is following the romantic, vintage-dress-loving Lily from her sweet ho-hum life in a Sydney bookstore across the world to Rome. On the way, she evolves into a feisty gun-toting, artefact-chasing amazon, while stumbling into a delectable love triangle between her unfaithful boyfriend and a tall drink of water named William. The fact that Lily does all this with a mixture of Grace Kelly poise and Bridget Jones realism says a lot for the writer’s skill. Fioretti’s first novel is a feel-good romp that could be the start of a beautiful friendship.
The Independent Weekly, Adelaide, July 2, 2010 The Book of Love, Phillipa Fioretti
DIANA CARROLL, 2 July, 2010
Adelaide author Phillipa Fioretti is the first major new talent to emerge from the Manuscript Development Program run jointly by publishers Hachette Australia and the Queensland Writers Centre. Fioretti submitted The Book of Love in 2008 and, after completing the program, received a two-book contract a rarity for an emerging writer. This is an impressive debut novel with well-drawn characters, a well-paced plotline and just a touch of glamour. Yes, it’s a quirky love story, but the title refers to an ancient and rare volume of erotica. It is this Book of Love that throws Lily and Robbie into the arms of the mafia and other not-so-nice types, and takes them on a wild ride from Sydney to Italy.
Lily is a refreshing leading lady, sexy, funny, and flawed. Her bed-sharing business partner Robbie is largely absent during the action but is still a crucial figure as Lily races to find him before the real baddies do him some serious damage. William, the fine arts sleuth sent around the world to retrieve the priceless tome, is deliciously enigmatic until the end. Fioretti writes with a sensuous touch. You can almost taste the delectable jams Lily makes so lovingly and eats with such unashamed pleasure. There are also wonderful descriptions of the elegant, though totally impractical, vintage clothes she wears. Not surprisingly, vintage fashion is one of the author’s passions and there are some lustful pieces displayed on her website (www.phillipafioretti.com.au).
A follow-up novel, The Fragment of Dreams, is due for release next year. If it’s as good as her first title, Fioretti’s reputation as a successful Australian author should be assured
April 8, 2010, ABC Brisbane
Queensland Writers Centre CEO Kate Eltham has selected these books you’ll love to read: The Book of Love by Phillipa Fioretti (Hachette)
I’m so happy to be talking about this book! Phillipa was selected for the 2008 QWC/Hachette Manuscript Development Program, which picks talented Australian writers to develop their novels with the help of publishers from Hachette Australia. This book is the first to come out of this fabulous program.
The Book of Love is a gorgeous, funny romance about antiquarian bookseller Lily and her quirky beau Robbie who discover they have unwittingly acquired a very rare book, one of only four in the world, that is valued at more than $20 million dollars. Lily wants to hand over the book to the Italian government, but Robbie sees dollar signs and wants to sell it and ensure their fortune. He disappears with their book and their life savings, and in walks mysterious and handsome William, a dashing Russian man who works for the fine arts firm trying to recover the book. Mayhem ensues! This is a wonderful book, witty and charming, and we’re very proud to have supported its development. It’s a perfect release for Mother’s Day, but get a copy for yourself too.