Publication Date: April 2021
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, an imprint of Penguin Random House
ARC copy from Netgalley and G. P. Putnam’s Sons
Rating: 4 out of 5
Meet Elisabetta D’Orfeo, an outspoken young Italian girl who dreams of being a writer someday; her friend Sandro Simone, a young Jewish teen who is brilliant in mathematics and devoted to his family who have lived in Rome for many generations; and the third friend that completes their circle of friendship, Marco Terrizzi, a young Italian teen who gets drawn into working for the Fascist party before he ever leaves school. The story set in Italy encompasses the years of WWII and the regime of Mussolini and the aftermath of the war for these young people.
Life altering events during the war will forever change the lives of these three young people who have grown up intertwined until they are forced to grow up and accept the changes that war and young adulthood will bring to them. The reality of one of them being Jewish, one working for the Fascist government, and one struggling to support her drunken father puts them on unique paths.
The historical detail in this novel is excellent. I had no comprehensive knowledge of the Jewish Ghetto neighborhood in Rome so the level of detail was enlightening. The author’s notes at the end add depth to the overall story. The characters are vivid and alive with their Italian heritage and the dynamics of their struggle to survive the war. This book is an outstanding first effort into the field of historical fiction for well-established author, Lisa Scottoline.
This ARC copy was received from G.P. Putnam’s Sons and Netgalley. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.