5’s aren’t given freely by me, so know that a 4/5 means I liked this! I’m an English teacher. I nitpick. I can’t help it.
What’s good under the hood: It’s a quick read. Sweet. Not to heavy for a World War II book that deals with a young Jewish girl who meets an older fisherman who helps her go into hiding.
What’s bad or made me mad: There were too many obscure characters whose roles weren’t defined. I wasn’t sure what the point was of including so many characters who weren’t developed enough to affect the main characters and who didn’t have much of a role in the overall narrative. Other than that, the material is serious so I can’t use my usual quippy pics. Damn it.
I enjoyed the simiplicity of the story – it is, at its heart, a simple love story in Italy (sigh). Themes of overcoming family expectations, dealing with intense sibling rivalry, love over all else, sacrificing oneself for what is important, many of these easily identifiable, time-trusted themes make the book relatable. I also enjoyed the author’s prose – lyrical at some points yet direct in others. Enough of a balance to keep me interested, not too much to drive into eye rolls of “make it stop!”
You will like this if… you aren’t looking for a deep mystery, like WWII stories, looking for a quick read, realize it’s more lit than mystery.
Thanks to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for this honest review.