In Pauline scholarship circles it is fairly well known that Beverly Gaventa is working on a commentary on Romans for the WJK New Testament Library series. Over the last decade or more she has published close to twenty essays on various parts of Romans and most recently her presidential address at the 2016 SBL gathering was on Romans 13. Most of these essays are in edited collections which often are not cheap to obtain. Therefore this little book - and it is little, only 128 pages - When In Romans is a welcome and (also) accessible introduction to Gaventa's reading of the letter. It is dependent on the research she has been doing, evidenced by many of the footnotes pointing to the various essays she has published, but is written for a wide audience.
What excites many about Gaventa's work on Romans, is that she sees Paul as an apocalyptic theologian and so reads Paul apocalyptically, which no commentary of Romans, at least post-Lou Martyn's Anchor Bible commentary on Galatians (1997) has yet to do. At some point, fellow apocalyptic Pauline reader, Douglas Campbell, will also provide a commentary on Romans and it will be interesting to see how the two will compare. I think there will be lots of overlap, but also differences, for example Gaventa is not convinced by Campbell's suggested reading of Romans 1-3. (One place to find a brief description of Campbell's reading can be found in his contribution to Four Views on the Apostle Paul).
In the four brief chapters, with introduction and conclusion, that make up When In Romans, Gaventa shows amazing grasp (as of course you'd expect) of the letter. She makes the letter come alive and demonstrates how it connects together - too often, as she points out, we read it in sections or as set of individual verses. Gaventa's reading is theo-centric and Christo-centric, it sees the plight of humanity as cosmic and the solution of the gospel as equally cosmic and universal. She reads Paul's not just for what he said, but also for how the church today might hear him. The only bit of the letter that isn't really addressed is Romans 13, but see above and note that she is beginning to give attention to that bit of the letter (partly to say we shouldn't read it in isolation from the rest of the letter!)
If you struggle with Romans, if you remain unsatisfied with the other readings out there - from the likes of Dunn, Wright, Moo and co. - Gaventa offers (I think) the beginning of a much more satisfactory and helpful reading of this the most famous of Paul's letters. When In Romans is a wonderful little book that can be read fairly quickly, but will benefit from re-reading. It will certainly help me when I next come to preach or teach on Romans. If you know people who can handle the likes of Surprised by Hope or When God Became King by Tom Wright, they will have no problems in reading When in Romans and it will be to their benefit. This book certainly whets the appetite for her longer treatment when it finally appears, and suggests it will be a landmark study; she will do for Romans, what Martyn did for Galatians.