I feel like I just read the dark version of a screenplay for “Roman Holiday,” the 1953 movie starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck. In that movie, Audrey Hepburn is a royal princess who escapes from her handlers in order to see Rome on her own, and Gregory Peck is the reporter chasing her for a scoop, but who falls in love with her. Okay, Persona takes place in Paris of the future, not Rome of the 1950’s, and the female lead is a diplomat, not a princess, but otherwise, there are a lot of similarities in the bones of the stories. And if you know the movie – oblique spoiler alert – you know the end of this novel as well.
In any event, the female lead of this story is Suyana Sapaki, a Peruvian who represents the United Amazonian Rainforest Confederation at the International Assembly, the world’s largest diplomatic body. As the story begins, Suyana is the victim of an assassination attempt, but is saved by a photographer, Daniel Park, who has been following her in an attempt to get a scoop.
Suyana escapes from her handlers in order to try to find out who wants her dead, and Daniel is torn between wanting to help her and wanting to get his story. And well, if you want to know how it all turns out, I would recommend renting “Roman Holiday” instead of reading the book. For what it’s worth, I think “Roman Holiday” is a way, way better story, and you can’t beat the cast!
Published by Saga Press, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 2015