It is Love While It Lasts
Original title: L’amore finché resta
- 2 Seas Represents: Dutch rights
Because men have hearts too, they say.
In Rome’s wealthy Parioli district, Tommaso stands in the middle of the road. He is forty years old and would never have imagined finding himself suddenly without a wife, a home or a job. Sure, he knew he wasn’t a model husband, but he didn’t really expect Lucrezia to tell him that she didn’t love him anymore and had already replaced him with someone else. The life that Tommaso had carefully constructed over the years, balanced on a job that is neither particularly demanding nor particularly profitable (psychotherapist to a small number of screw-up patients), and on an income bestowed by his wealthy in-laws, collapses in a matter of minutes. He finds himself alone, crushed, terrified by the fear of having made his son Piero miserable and the guilt of being an imperfect father, as well as a terrible husband. Forced to move back into his mother’s house, pursued by creditors and by the few former patients who still need him, Tommaso tries to reinvent himself in a rollercoaster ride of misunderstandings, missed opportunities and ingenious ideas that never quite come to fruition. In a bid to earn a glimmer of admiration in the eyes of young Piero, he almost becomes a YouTube star.
Told from the male point of view, L’amore finché resta is a bittersweet, self-deprecating investigation of what we leave behind when we separate from someone: a home, a family, a past, an idea of the future, or just the mask that we put on to please the other person and strive for a quiet life?
Giulio Perrone creates an endearing protagonist against the backdrop of day-to-day life in Rome, an idle routine of drinking coffee at the Sports Bar and watching football. He describes with ruthless precision and sincerity the sound of a marriage falling apart, and traces the contours of an open wound that will never heal. Inhabited by a series of tragicomic characters (the loving mother with a vice for gambling, the generous but unreliable friend, the caring lover unable to commit), the novel draws genuine smiles and deep reflections, because the trials and tribulations of the protagonists, illuminated by Perrone’s affectionate and ironic tone, reveal ambitions and inadequacies we all share.
Giulio Perrone lives in Rome, where, in 2005, he founded the publishing house that bears his name. His own novels have been published by Rizzoli: L’esatto contrario (2015) and Consigli pratici per uccidere mia suocera (2017). He also works with The Sapienza University of Rome.