While I like Wilder's writing style, which to me seems fairly fresh considering how old it is, this story didn't compel me. I did get through it, but it took a while, as every other book I was reading took precedence. I found it hard to care about rich and powerful (okay, maybe only in their own minds) people in Italy who throw parties and histrionic fits in equal measure. This is Wilder before he matured as a writer, rather full of himself, but giving us a peek of the promise that would produce Our Town and Bridge of San Luis Rey. An interesting picture of high society "doing the European Tour" post-WWI, but not as engaging as it could be.