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Monday, April 13, 2015
The Light in the Riuns
Part war story, part love story and part suspenseful thriller,
The Light in the Ruins portrays the lives of the Rosati family. Outside Florence the noble family lives in a magnificent villa, a picturesque life filled with olives, wine and good fortune. When WWII invades their lives in 1943, the Germans take over the villa. The Rosati brothers are off to the Italian army, working alongside the Germans and Cristina is left with her parents and older brothers family to get through this horrible time in history. But as young beautiful girls will often do at 18 years old, Cristina falls in love with the most unlikely partner, a young German lieutenant. Her family is appalled but feel they must remain cordial and helpful to these enemies or their lives and all their possessions will be at stake. The novel flashes forward to 1955 and two detectives are following a horrible trail of murders that lead them to believe someone is out to destroy what remains of the Rosati family. Serafina, a female detective, discovers there is a connection between the war and these tragic deaths and she is determined to uncover the truth even if it means revealing her buried painful past. Once again author Chris Bohjalian pulls the reader deep into the lives of the characters, into the rolling hills of Florence and bustling streets of Rome. A period in history some would rather forget brought to life through this simple story of family, loyalty and mystery. Highly recommend this novel and I can happily add it to my Bohjalian list of favorites.