Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Light in the Ruins by Chris Bahjalian (audio)

"He looked up at Christina and with the umbilicus of siblings sensed instantly what she was thinking.  Not the precise details, not the particular images.  But the lines around her eyes were all grief, and he knew that behind them was a memory."

I really enjoyed this book!  I first came across Chris Bohjalian about a month ago when I read The Sandcastle Girls.  I love his writing style - it's the perfect blend of historical-fiction, mystery, and drama.  The Light in Ruins tells about a unique perspective of World War II.

This novel begins in 1943, where a young women named Christina lives with her family in the hills of Florence, Italy.  Born of nobility, Christina has grown up in the ancient villa without a care in the world.  She spends her days roaming the land and looking after her young niece and nephew.  As the Nazis begin continue to invade Italy, the family is thrown into a world of chaos and uncertainly.  In the mist of it all, Christina begins to fall in love with a Nazi soldier.

Fast-forward twelve years and Christina's sister-in-law has just been murdered. Sarafina, a young detective with the Florence police department, begins to investigate the murder.  She learns about Christina's family she learns of the secrets of the war and discovers that her own tragic story may play a part in the mystery.

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