Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Every Time We Say Goodbye by Natalie Jenner (Austenprose PR Book Tour)


Title:  Every Time We Say Goodbye

Author:  Natalie Jenner

Narrated by:  Juliet Aubrey

Publisher:  MacMillian Audio

Length: Approximately 10 hours and 37 minutes

Source: Thank-you to NetGalley for the audiobook review copy.  Thank-you St. Martin’s Press and Austenprose for the review copy of the physical book.


Are you a fan of classic movies?  I love classic movies and could watch them all day if I had the time.  Time seems to be a problem for me lately with my oldest son near high school graduation and us deciding to redo our hardwood floors. 

Happy #bookbirthday today to Every Time We Say Goodbye by Natalie Jenner. 

Every Time We Say Goodbye is the story of Vivian Lowry.  In 1955, she wrote a play that audiences loved, but critics loathed.  Following the recommendations of friends, Vivian travels to Italy where she works as a script doctor on a movie.  She also uses her time there to investigate the disappearance of her fiancé during WWII.  Flashbacks also tell the story of “La Scolaretta”, a schoolgirl who is also an assassin during WWII.  How are these two stories related?

My thoughts on this novel:

·       With my hectic schedule, I once again found it best to review this book as both an audiobook and a physical book.  It worked well.  Juliet Aubrey was a soothing narrator.

·       I felt immersed in 1950s Italy in this novel and loved the details of movie making in Italy during this time period.  It was fun when real life actors, such as Sophia Loren and Ava Gardner, made an appearance.

·       This is the third novel in The Jane Austen Society series, but the series is very loosely related.  Vivian is a character in the previous books, and in this novel, she gets her own story.  Other characters pop back up as well.  It’s fun if you’ve read the previous two books, but this book can very much be a standalone novel.

·       I thought it was interesting exploring how the Catholic Church was involved with the making of the movies during this time.  It was much more involved than I thought. 

·       I didn’t know how the two storylines were connected for a long time while reading this novel, but they came together beautifully at the end.

·       This was a thoughtful look at love and loss, how to best remember someone when they are gone, and how to move on from that loss.

·       I had a harder time engaging with the characters in this novel than I did in the previous novels. 

Favorite Quote:  “Yet in the end, goodness is fixed and steady, and not so difficult to spot.  It is evil that takes a bewildering number of forms and keeps changing its shape, tricking you with false promises and reasoning, taunting you into resignation.”

Overall, Every Time We Say Goodbye was a well written novel that gives the reader an immersive experience of 1950s filmmaking in Italy as well as a thoughtful look at how WWII impacted the people of that time.


The bestselling author of The Jane Austen Society and Bloomsbury Girls returns with a brilliant novel of love and art, of grief and memory, of confronting the past and facing the future.

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 in 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 really happened to her deceased fiancé. Every Time We Say Goodbye is a brilliant exploration of trauma and tragedy, hope and renewal, filled with dazzling characters both real and imaginary, from the incomparable author who charmed the world with her novels The Jane Austen Society and Bloomsbury Girls.


NATALIE JENNER is the author of the instant international bestseller The Jane Austen Society and Bloomsbury Girls. A Goodreads Choice Award runner-up for historical fiction and finalist for best debut novel, The Jane Austen Society was a USA Today and #1 national bestseller and has been sold for translation in twenty countries. Born in England and raised in Canada, Natalie has been a corporate lawyer, career coach and, most recently, an independent bookstore owner in Oakville, Ontario, where she lives with her family and two rescue dogs. Visit her website to learn more.

1 comment:

  1. I didn't realise that this was set in the 1950s.

    Thanks for sharing your review with the Historical Fiction Reading Challenge