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the previous narrator was better. the author seemed to forget her own previous plots. nadine is stated as having no brother but didn't she meet riley when her brother knocked him into a pond with a snow ball in the first book??? disappointed.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
I was so pleased to find a third instalment of the lives of these characters I've come to love (my dear, I wanted to tell you; the heroes' welcome), and this certainly doesn't disappoint. The tremors of war grow alongside the children's journey into maturity, and I found myself every bit as drawn in to the perfectly expressed internal lives of the characters as ever I have been in this series.
The concentration on the growth of Fascism in Italy I found very educational and stirring, and the use of chronological letter writing to tell the story kept me on tenterhooks throughout as the dangers steadily increased. (Reminded me a lot of the film, Life is Beautiful, in places. I've never seen Tea with Mussolini, partly because I've feared I wouldn't understand it: well, now I feel I have more grounding!)
Equally well wrought was the character of Mabel, I felt; certain passages about the indignities she faced and faces were striking counterpoints to Riley's feelings of otherness in previous installments. Brilliantly narrated by Eve Karpf (initially I missed Dan Stevens' narration because his is the only voice of Riley that sounds authentic, but this novel feels more like the women's story, so Eve's sympathetic intonations - and convincing Italian - felt very fitting): I will now seek out her other performances.
Another beautiful novel from Louisa Young, with an ambiguous but hopeful conclusion.