The Daily Mail, which is quoted on the front cover and with whom the author has worked, dubbed this “… the new Captain Corelli or perhaps the new Birdsong” which personally I feel is very misleading. Yes, this is a war-time search novel but it’s far lighter than either of those. It’s a dual time tale, Italy, World War II and the present with two love stories intriguingly told. Interestingly the author self-published it and did a good marketing job, for the bookshop chain Ottakars picked it as a main selection which brought it to the notice of the major publisher Random House. A nice success story in itself. Also interestingly the cover bears the same library photo as the recent Penguin edition of H E Bates’ Fair Stood the Wind for France, something that happens occasionally but not often.
In 1944 Tom Wainwright, a British soldier, arrives in the small Italian town of Petriano. The war is nearly over, and in the lull before the Allied troops move further north to capture Florence Tom forges a friendship with the Parini family - and in particular with the eldest daughter, Giuliana. When the war ends he chooses to stay in Italy, planning to build a life with the woman with whom he has fallen deeply in love, but in the chaotic, tragic fallout of the end of the Second World War his hopes are dashed.
Fifty years later Isabel Wainwright, Tom's daughter, sets off for Petriano herself, to attend a ceremony naming a piazza in the small town in her father's honour. But Isabel isn't so much going to represent her father as to find him - for she and her mother have heard nothing of him since, nearly twenty years earlier, he went out one day and never returned. She doesn't even know whether her father is dead or alive, but hopes that by discovering something of his past, she can build a picture of the man she hardly knew.
|Publication date:||7th July 2005|
|Publisher:||Arrow Books Ltd|
|Primary Genre||Historical fiction|
Deborah Lawrenson was our Guest Editor in August 2011 - click here - to see the books that inspired her writing. Deborah Lawrenson spent her childhood moving around the world with diplomatic service parents, from Kuwait to China, Belgium, Luxembourg and Singapore. She graduated from Cambridge University and worked as a journalist in London. She is the author of five previous novels, including The Art of Falling, chosen for the prestigious WHSmith Fresh Talent promotion, and Songs of Blue and Gold, inspired by the life of writer-traveller Lawrence Durrell. Deborah is married with a daughter, and lives in Kent. The ...More About Deborah Lawrenson