Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Alyson Richman

What a brilliant and talented woman!  Her historical details are so intricate and beautifully described!
I have written about two of her novels:
The Lost Wife
The Last Van Gogh
I just read The Garden of Letters (2014)

   Verona, Italy, 1943.
   Another love story taking place during W.W.II. In fact, this novel includes three love stories.
   Elodie Bertolotti is a talented cellist, whose father died from injuries after being tortured by the 'black shirts'. 
   Elodie decided to join the Resistance Movement and she became very valuable to the movement because of her memory and her ability to write secret codes into her music.  I really enjoyed that aspect as it was described in detail.
   In fact, every aspect of the story was described in minute detail- the sights, sounds, smells and emotions.
  Elodie fell in love with a leader of the movement, but he was killed and she eventually had to escape to save herself.
  As she arrived by boat, in the harbour at Portofino, a doctor, Angelo, saved her from interrogation by the German soldiers. Angelo was a very kind man who went to the harbour every few months to see if he could save one person.  He chose the one who looked the most afraid.  And, on this day, that happened to be Elodie, who was pregnant and alone.
   Angelo, the doctor, had experienced extreme loss and his story is the reason for the title.  But I won't go there...
   And so, the final love story is between Elodie and the doctor and it is beautiful.
  I really feel that I should adore this book.  The writing is spectacular!  Each sentence is beautifully crafted!  And I loved that at first, but eventually it appeared to be very melodramatic and interfered with the story.
  War stories distress me more than entertain me.  But I realize that it makes the story poignant.  The combination of love and war makes a great story.
  Also, there is the non-linnear aspect that always ruins my enjoyment of the story- movement back and forth in time and place.
 This will not be my favourite novel, but it is extraordinary.

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