This was a good story, but not a great novel. I did start to care about the characters, but there were so many characters that I didn’t have time to get to know each one better.
This is historical fiction about the end of World War II after Italy surrendered but the Germans did not. The Germans began attacking Italy and coming after Italian Jews. An attempt was made by Italian Catholics to protect Jews as much as they could.
Sometimes I felt the author got in the way of the characters by inserting an attempt at cleverness that made me stop thinking about the story and start thinking, “the author is trying to be clever” or “the narrator is in the 21st Century, not the 1940’s.”
The characters all speak Italian or German although the novel is written in English, therefore it is a little weird when the phonetic spelling of English-speaking Germans or Italians is employed in the dialogue.
I did enjoy the story and finished it to find out how it ends. Russell portrays both Jews and Catholics in a positive light. This book was a gift, and I’m glad I received it.