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A spry English woman marries an Italian doctor on the eve of World War II and tries to come to terms with a dual national identity in this plodding historical novel, the American debut of British writer Riviere. Caterina, as she is called in Italy (she thinks of herself as Kate Caterina), lives with her husband, Gabriele D'Alessandria, in a crumbling Renaissance palace in Arezzo. Surrounded by extended family and occupied in raising her young daughter, she has begun to make a place for herself. Then, three days after Germany attacks Poland, Gabriele, an inveterate Socialist, is taken into custody as a political prisoner. For Gabriele's sake, Caterina must maintain good relations with her sister-in-law and one-time best friend, Esmeralda, who has just married a high-ranking Fascist officer: this involves socializing with the Fascist elite. Meantime, she must also worry about her brother, Giles, who is fighting on the side of the Allies. Closest to her is Gabriele's father, Luigi, a sad but wise old man, weary of partisanship and more at ease with leisurely chronicles of the war's events. Riviere's plot encompasses plenty of fascinating historical material, particularly Italy's internal divisions during the war, but his long-winded exposition, minimal dialogue and flat prose sink the story. Much care is put into the development of Caterina and Luigi's characters, but neither quite transcends stereotype, undermined by Riviere's tendency to tell rather than show. For a novel set in a war-torn country, Riviere's tale is strangely lacking in drama. Agent, Emma Parry, Carlisle & Co.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Riviere has written five novels, but this is the one that was chosen as Book of the Year by both the Sunday Telegraph and the Daily Mail in London. The author's U.S. debut, it tells the story of a beautiful young Englishwoman, married to a left-wing Italian doctor, who finds herself increasingly alienated in Fascist Italy.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.