Rating: 4 out of 5.

This is a cute and funny contemporary book about the self-appointed mayor of a tiny Italian village desperately trying to save his hometown no matter the cost. Signor Speranza is told by the water commissioner’s office that unless he can come up with 70,000 Euros to fix the town’s pipes, the water will be shut off and all of the town’s 212 inhabitants will be forced to disperse. So what’s an informal Mayor to do? Why, spread a false rumor that a famous heartthrob actor is shooting his new movie in the village, of course! His hope is that tourists will flock to the town and the revenue for the pipes will be raised.

To Signor Speranza’s surprise, the rumor rapidly spreads and the entire town wants in on the action, including 15 of the butcher’s huge sons, his daughter, and his vacuum repair assistant. As the lie spirals out of control and Speranza is forced into making more and more decisions, he finally realizes that the only way to keep raising money is to actually make the film. But what happens if the heartthrob doesn’t show up in town. Or worse, what if he does?

This was a cute and humorous book that is a quick and easy read. The main character is at times bumbling, especially when it comes to his daughter, but also cunning enough to keep the ruse alive. His lie comes from a place of love for his community, which is clear through all of his interactions with the various minor characters. The book is touching and sweet, and will give you all the feels. If you need a pick-me-up to get you out of a book slump, this is the perfect book for you.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley and Atria Books. All opinions are my own.