The cover design of Marcus of Umbria: What an Italian Dog Taught an American Girl about Love by Justine van der Leun on the shelf in the library caught my eye, and much like the author and her Umbrian dog, I took the book home.
Unfortunately, I was not that thrilled with this book. I think it was that I did not feel anything for Justine or the dog she “fell in love with” in Umbria. The writing is not bad, the book has many vivid descriptions of people, food, and landscapes, but I did not find enough in the telling of the tale about the author Justine to allow me to believe the book was written from her heart.
Maybe dog lovers would get more out of this story. There were some points in the story where I found myself missing a cute little dog I had many years ago.
In my opinion, the book would have been stronger if the reader had a bit more insight into the relationship between Justine and her Italian boyfriend in addition to her love affair with the dog.