I read so I can write
Ms. Alexander has provided a very personal look at the history of the lives of Italians during the era of Mussolini and Hitler. It is a realistic look at what war does to individuals. Well written and well narrated, the story while long, is never boring. I wanted to finish it but at the same time didn't want it to end. Excellent work!
Say something about yourself!
I wish I had saved this book for the long winter days. But I bought it on sale and I love Caroline Lee's narration. It is such a wonderfully written, with time appropriate horrors....I normally cannot enjoy a book in which women can be treated badly but the heroine in this book is truly that. I cannot imagine the amount of research that went into this book. I applaud this writer. Belinda Alexandra wrote an indepth interesting book that kept you in it. I didn't "love" everything in this book but it was the horror of that time and it made the gentle, the beauty stand out that much more. That grain of God that shows itself in the development of a baby, a girl, a woman, a mother. Man's inhumanity to man is appalling, disgusting but she wrote a book you can know it, read it, and still pray for these characters to make it thru. Wow, it was just so well done. For me, a listener, only Kate Morton, maybe Ann Patchett have written books with this detail. For me it is like watching a movie it plays in my head with this fabulous narrator. Also, it has that touch of the magical. I didn't mean to leave that out. She truly was a Tuscan Rose but this title belies the depth and scope of the book.
I love Caroline Lee as a narrator -- she's one of my faves! I picked this book because I had listened to The Silver Wattle and found it to be an interesting book. Yes, Belinda Alexandra is a talented writer, but I couldn't get past the "in your face" animal rights/vegetarian agenda. Give me a break! I constantly found myself rolling my eyes. It was a prominent theme in The Silver Wattle, but in this story it's just ridiculous. I stopped listening after hearing the line, "I'm seeing the spirits that have been killed to satisfy people's vanity and gluttony... the church taught that animals didn't have souls or personalities, which is why Christians didn't have any qualms about killing them."
Give me a break. Humans were meant to eat meat -- the reason we have incisor teeth. A few lines here and there or a statement as part of the dialog is one thing. But the book has too much of this crap. I won't be listening to a Belinda Alexandra again. I listen for enjoyment, not to be swayed by a political or social agenda.
I will, however, be looking for other Caroline Lee narrated novels...
Of course! I really loved it. I think it is interesting to read a book that is set in Mussolini's Italy and the characters and their relationships between them is beautifully described. I was sad when the book ended.
I liked that it was set in Italy before and during the war. I am a history teacher, and thus very interested in history. This story told about an era that has been described in many books, but I have never read one from Mussolini's Italy.
Yes! More than one, but I can't reveal them because it would reveal too much of the story and parts of the ending. But this is a story set in times of war, and many of the main characters are partisans. It goes without saying that they experience both dramatic and sad moments.
This book absolutely captivated and broke my heart all at the same time. We have all learned the history of dictatorships in school but I think it's rather eye opening to put a more personal spin on how an average person may have lived under the regime of one. This book explores Italy in the time of Mussolini with strong heroine who struggles as an orphan raised in a convent, enemy of the state, unwed mother, war nurse, and freedom fighter... Her character is so well thought out and developed that you can't help to walk the journey she is on even though at times, it's devastating. The historic facts well researched all seem so plausible which I think is what makes the book so heavy. Also, it fascinates me to understand how other countries were impacted by world events such as WWII. There was some mysticism to the book as well that was not over the top and kind of cool.
My only complaints were that the narrator was reading somewhere near a train and you often heard it's horn which was distracting. I also didn't like one of the plot twists about the mother of our heroine, i just didn't think it was necessary.
This was another excellent read of a Belinda Alexandra novel and kept me absorbed throughout the entire story. It was well researched and depicted this era of Catholicism in Italy with great accuracy. Rosa’s lack of knowledge about sexuality would have been very common for a child brought up in a convent as an orphan at that time. This story is inspirational portraying Rosa as a young woman who developed the strength and endurance to face extreme hardships and injustice which were prevalent pre WW2 and during the war for working class impoverished young women. Rosa suffered the harsh prejudices of being a single mother that was typical of those times when in fact she was a rape victim but desperate to love and care for her baby. Interestingly Alexandra weaves in a similar vegetarian theme to the one in her Silver Wattle novel. Highly recommended.
One reviewer made an excellent point about the education of Rosa but who nothing of childbirth. However, I have enjoyed every minute of the book. It's an easy listen. I don't mean to imply it's like a Harlequin Romance (ick) but it moves along very well. You become anxious to see what happens to Rosa next.
I know a bit about WWII history but not enough about Italy during that time. This book makes me want to do some research about WWII Italy.
this was a great book i really got into it was sorry when it finished but was also very sad about all the awful things that people indured during the wars.
This is an entertaining book, but the plot is incredibly predictable. The lack of narrative subtlety extends to the writing style too: rather than just describing a situation or emotions, the author feels the need to summarize and label everything (just in case the readers aren't smart enough to get the point, I guess). She should have made better use of the thesaurus too--she tries to convey how intuitive and sensitive the main character is by saying that she "sensed" practically everything. Other overused words are phrases: "the origins of things," "her ability to sense _____," "Rosa could sense that____," etc.
I did finish the book but kept feeling vaguely embarrassed to be listening to such poorly written and unoriginal fiction.