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Behind-The-Books Blog

And what if we could trade places…

Friday, November 12th, 2010

Today, after emailing a reader who bought one of our books, I was greeted with this charming response: ‘You’re obviously not the daughter of Commissario Brunetti in the Donna Leon novels!‘ He was, of course, referring to Chiara Brunetti – whose Christian name I share.

Ah, if only I could say that I was indeed the muse behind a fictional character…assuming of course the character was one that I would be proud to have inspired!
I must admit I have yet to read Donna Leon’s venice mystery series, although I do possess a copy of Through a Glass, Darkly, thanks to a friend of mine who lent me the book for that same reason that my name features within…
Apparently the Chiara in the book is an average teenager so probably not the best example of a  character I’d like to emulate. But it made me think about other characters in books and those I’ve imagined trading places with.

The first heroine that came to mind, although not a fictional character per se, was Elizabeth Gilbert in Eat, Pray, Love. Possibly because I am planning to go see the movie this weekend, but also because I specifically remember reading the book and secretly wishing I could emulate her on a similar journey …not necessarily for its purpose of self-discovery, but simply to experience the romance of a lone adventure in Italy, India and Bali.

So it was a curious coincidence that when I then googled Chiara Brunetti, the poster for the Eat, Pray, Love movie came up amongst my search. Curious as to why, I then discovered that Chiara Brunetti, apart from being a Donna Leon creation, is also a real life Italian actress – who happens to feature (in the role of Claudia) in the new film production of Gilbert’s novel.

Sadly, I am not living in a mysterious Venice or brushing shoulders with Julia Roberts in a blockbuster movie, but I am the Chiara at Allison & Busby, listening to the mundane sound of the London rain cascading against the office windows.

Chiara Priorelli, Publicity & Online Marketing Manager


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