Well after all I have had to say on the matter recently Blogging, Photography, Reading you will probably have realised that I seem to be posting as frequently as ever! This is all part of sorting out my blogging frequencies and where, when and what those posts will be about. In response to all the wonderful feedback I have received, Photo Friday and Sunday Song have already been reinstated.
Meanwhile this extra post is because I suddenly realised it was January 31st and I wanted to get my Italy in Books Reading Challenge for January posted, which I have now done.
It seems relevant therefore that if I am taking part in this challenge that I should publish reviews here.
The challenge is the idea of Brighton Blogger of Book After Book, which you can find out all about over on her blog in the post. Italy in Books - Reading Challenge 2011 Maybe some of you will also consider joining in?
The January post with a list of books that people are reading has already been posted. January Reviews
I intend to read and write about one book set in Italy every month, fiction or non fiction then feature them here as well as on LindyLouMac's Book Reviews. Hopefully they will be of interest to the different readerships, although I know some of you do read both.
This months choice was Last Train From Liguria by Christine Dwyer Hickey
I have never read anything by this author before so I have no comparisons to make with previous novels. All I knew was that Christine Dwyer-Hickey is an award winning Irish novelist. While I found this narrative interesting taking us back and forth between London, Dublin and Italy in the nineteen thirties and mid nineteen nineties it neither excited me nor bored me. In fact leaving me feeling rather indifferent about this well written novel. I am disappointed and feel a little guilty admitting this, but there is no point in pretending otherwise. A decent read that was absorbing but nothing particular really drew me in.
The main setting of the story is fascist era Italy where the female protagonist Bella Stuart takes a position as tutor to Alec the son of the aristocratic Lami family. His mother has little time for him and Alec’s life revolves around Bella and his music teacher Edward King. The reader has already learnt much about the latters past in the opening chapter of the novel, a dark secret he keeps to himself in Italy. When the story moves to the present times it is to meet Anna a young woman of Italian descent and gradually connections with the past are uncovered.
It is a vivid picture of Italy during the rise of fascism that the author gives us with a very atmospheric sense of place. A novel not just about the historical period it is set in but a love story of perception and regret.
I will be interested to see if any other participants in the Italy in Books - Reading Challenge 2011 choose this title and if so what they make of it. My copy is at the moment available to anyone in Europe taking part in the challenge as I am willing to mail it to them. In fact I would like to send this book travelling via Bookcrossing to any one that may like to read it.