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Two Women in Rome

"A gently told mystery sits at the heart of this evocative novel set in two time frames within a vivid and vibrant Rome."

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LoveReading Says

LoveReading Says

Gentle, mysterious, and incredibly evocative, this is a novel to read slowly and absorb. After realising no-one attended the funeral of garden designer Nina Lawrence in 1978, archivist Lottie begins to investigate her life and death. The story flows between Lottie finding her feet in Rome, and excerpts from Nina’s notebook. While the two women sit centre stage, it is actually Rome that struts forward to earn the title of lead character. Elizabeth Buchan has brought this wondrous city to life, the social history, the small intricate details that make a place touchable and breathable all flow from the page. We are allowed an almost immediate connection with Lottie, while Nina remains enigmatically detached. Information about Nina is slowly revealed and I sat back and observed her life unfolding. Quietly cultivated reveals keep a soft tension thrumming through the novel. I rather liked the fact that I didn’t know every intimate detail. While the ending enfolds and divulges answers, not everything was resolved and I was left still pondering, still thinking, still wondering. Two Women in Rome is an atmospheric, truly lovely read, with a deep mystery at its heart.

Liz Robinson

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Reader Reviews

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The beauty of the writing of this book is evident from the outset. Two ladies in very different ages but with fascinating careers and personal lives. Get ready to be brought into a historical mystery of a book all the while being surrounded by the elegance and awe inspiring architecture of Rome. Perfect holiday read - grab yourself a long drink, a comfortable seat in the sun and drink in this intelligent story.

This book was a slow burner for me. It took a while to get to the plot of the novel but we are distracted with the beauty of Rome and the story of Lottie and her trials of trying to fit in with Italian culture.
Lottie begins her new job as an archivist and comes across a file of a lady called Nina - a seemingly simple gardener who creates beautiful gardens for the Italian rich. But there is more to her story and we begin to see her life in a diary that Lottie uncovers.
The novel may start as a slow burner but it sucks you in and goes on to burn as brightly as these two ladies' lives.... Read Full Review

Sinead Blowers

An atmospheric exploration of the love lives of two women who lived in Rome at different times.

Two Women in Rome by Elizabeth Buchan
Elizabeth Buchan’s latest novel centres on the lives and loves of two women, with the city of Rome providing a richly depicted backdrop. The novel interweaves the experiences of Lottie Archer, a newly-married,young archivist just setting up home in Rome, with that of Nina Lawrence, an established landscape gardener who died there in 1978.

Lottie takes up a new role at Archivo Espatriati and finds what seems to be a valuable 15th century painting among Nina’s papers. Her investigation into the provenance of the painting and Nina’s life in and around Rome becomes entangled in Eternal City politics, espionage and secrets.

Buchan has created an intriguing story, seamlessly mixing danger, tragedy, loss and love for her two major characters.... Read Full Review

Linde Merrick

This is a great read which I found difficult to put down.

This is a great read which I found difficult to put down.

Lotte Archer is newly married to Tom Archer and they have come to live in Rome where he is an employee of the British Council. She has been fortunate to be appointed as Chief Archivist at the Archivo Espatriati. They have moved into his flat which he shared with a previous partner who is still in Rome. Lotte has to overcome her insecurity about this and also win the housekeeper over. 

Her new job begins with a collection of papers which belonged to an English woman named Nina Lawrence who lived in Rome in 1978. The papers include a beautiful painting as well as her diary. Nina has been employed as a garden designer, but she is also involved in other work.... Read Full Review

Kathy Howell