Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Light in the Ruins by Chris Bohjalian

How I Heard About It: Chris Bohjalian is one of my favorite adult writers.  I so enjoy his novels.  I started hearing about this new book a few months ago.  It is always hard to wait for a new book when you are anxious to read it.  I tried to get an ARC, but didn't have any luck.  So I waited for the release date and dug right in. 

What It Is About:  The Light in the Ruins takes place both in 1944 during World War II in Italy and eleven years later in 1955.  The Rosatis family is at the center of this story.  They are a wealthy and powerful Italian family.  Their two sons are serving in the military.  Their daughter Cristina lives with her parents at the Italian estate along with a sister-in-law and two small children.  As the war rages on, the Germans start to overtake the home and the grounds of this family.  Cristina becomes involved with one of the German officers.  Eleven years later a serial killer is targeting the Rosatis family and has a score to settle.  The investigator on the case, Serafina Bettini, needs to find out who the serial killer is and why they have targeted this family.  She needs to find out if it has something to do with 1955 or something that may have happened back in 1944. 

What I Thought Of It:   I pretty much read the entire novel yesterday (Sunday).  It was one of those books that once you start, you can't put it down.  I think this is one of Chris Bohjalian's best books he has written.  The back and forth format between 1944 and 1955 worked very well and made the story that much more interesting.  I love story lines that move quickly, but develop the story deeply, and he sure did that with The Light in the Ruins.  This book gave me such an enjoyable day of reading. 

Who Should Read It:  Anyone that enjoys a well-written historical fiction novel, will surely enjoy this novel that Chris Bohjalian created.  Historical fiction isn't my favorite genre, but I was absolutely engrossed in this story.  I highly recommend this novel to all adults that are Bohjalian fans and to those that haven't read any of his work.  This would be a great novel to start with.  Happy Reading! 

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