A third release from this bestselling author... Every Time We Say Goodbye by Natalie Jenner (Excerpt) #newbooks #bookx #everytimewesaygoodbye #nataliejenner #historicalfiction #postwwiifiction #bookrec #austenprosepr @NatalieMJenner @StMartinsPress @austenprose

Welcome to my tour stop! Read an excerpt from this new historical fiction below...

Every Time We Say Goodbye
By Natalie Jenner
Historical Fiction, Women's Fiction
Hardcover, Audiobook & eBook, 336 Pages
May 14, 2024 by St. Martin's Press


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.

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Everything in life was a matter of pacing.

Lassiter had noticed the woman, or thought he had noticed her (could he be slipping?), a couple of times now. The first had been on a mild February day as he sneaked out of a private meeting at Cinecittà. She had rounded the corner of the studio on a peacock-blue bicycle, the front wicker basket holding a stack of paper weighted down by a pair of tangled high heels. Her bare feet were pedaling fast, and immediately he assumed she was one of the script girls. Or—better yet—an actress, with her wavy raven-black hair and stylish manner.

The second time had been at Peggy Guggenheim’s Carnival party on Mardi Gras a few weeks back. They were both been in costume, which must have slowed him down—by the time he made the connection, she was gone.

He had not seen her at the studio since. He had certainly not expected to find her here, wandering the Via Sacra alone. He liked to cut through the Forum as he slipped home from Anita’s apartments, long before the photographers were up. At dawn, the cats had the run of the place and it made him feel positively feral. In his early fifties, he still showed the American athleticism of his lost youth, strolling the sampietrini of Rome’s battered postwar streets with the nimbleness of a man half his age.

When he saw her standing there in her white knotted men’s shirt and bright peasant skirt, pensively taking bites of a maritozzo still in its café wrapper, he wondered if now was the time to say something. In a movie it would have been the perfect moment: minute nineteen out of ninety and the third encounter between the leads.

Then, as with so much in the movie industry, it was taken out of his hands. She turned back to the blue bicycle leaning against a two-thousand-year-old cracked column, finally noticed him, and walked on past. If she recognized him, she gave no sign of it.

Mi scusi—

She wheeled around at his words, wiped a bit of cream from the corner of her lips, and gave a smile that bordered on a smirk. “Don’t strain yourself. I’m a foreigner, too.”

Her words, spoken with an impeccable British accent, made the back of his neck tighten. “Actually, I live here.”

“So do I.”

“I mean I have done, for years.”

“I don’t think that’s what makes someone Italian, do you?”

He saw that she was joking with him in that very contrarian, British manner that he had always found tiring, even in a woman as beautiful as her. He also saw that she was not going to make this easy for him.

“I believe we were both at Peggy’s Carnival bash.”

She pitched the now-empty pastry wrapper into the bicycle basket. “I don’t recall being introduced.”

He extended his hand. “John. John Lassiter. Artemis Productions.”

The sun was slowly rising behind him and she shaded her eyes with her right hand to peer more closely at him.

“The warrior goddess,” was all she replied.

“Among other things.” He quickened his pace ahead of her to reach the bicycle and turn it around in his hands, then motioned for her to proceed as he gentlemanly walked the bike. Noticing the script in the basket next to the crumpled pastry wrap, he tried again. “You’re in Teatro 5, right? Starring in…?”

“Not in. On.” She looked amused by his reaction. “I’m doctoring the script for When All Else Fails.”

“I hear it’s in rough shape.”

“It’s as crumpled as that wrapper.” She laughed wryly. “I appreciate your directness, at least.”

The words at least did not escape him. He had only a few yards left of Via Sacra to make his pitch. “Do you walk through here often?”

She shook her head. “Only for inspiration—and the history, of course. Today is the Ides of March, as you know.”

He did not know. For all his morning-after walks through the Forum, Lassiter was unaware that he had found her standing where Julius Caesar had been cremated following his assassination on that famous date. The producer had huge gaps in his education that he had spent a lifetime hiding through almost any means short of actually opening a book.

“Exactly,” was all he said instead.

They exited onto the pavement alongside the screeching, careening cars of the Via dei Fori Imperiali. She reached for the bicycle handles and he released them slowly, allowing his taut, tanned arms to brush against hers, pleased when she did not step back as quickly as she could have.

“See you at the studio, Mr. Artemis.”

“Lassiter,” he was pained to have to correct her. But she only smiled, and he realized she was teasing him again. “And you are?”

“Lowry. Vivien.” She ascended the bicycle and sped off, but he noticed she looked back at the corner. He had paced it well enough in the end.

Chapter 3, pages 25-28

Excerpt from Every Time We Say Goodbye, by Natalie Jenner © 2024, published by St. Martin’s Press

Other Books by the Author

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About the Author

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.

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