As Fascist racial laws go from strength to strength, the family, which had long isolated itself from the other inhabitants of Ferrara, opens its walled grounds and tennis court to other young Jews and even returns to the local temple. Unfortunately, the situation encourages the narrator's dream that Micol will return his love, and she is forced into cruel honesty. "She looked into my eyes, and her gaze entered me, straight, sure, hard: with the limpid inexorability of a sword."
The author has re-created a tragic era in which even nobility could not outrun events, let alone admit they needed to. (For a nonfiction account of the fates of five Italian Jewish families under fascism, see Alexander Stille's Benevolence and Betrayal.) Bassani's elision of historical and personal agony is furthermore superbly translated by William Weaver. All is foretold in the novel's Manzonian epigraph, "The heart, to be sure, always has something to say about what is to come, to him who heeds it. But what does the heart know? Only a little of what has already happened."
“The Garden of the Finzi-Continis” is set in the northern Italian city of Ferrara in 1938/39, the last months of peace in Europe before the outbreak of World War II. Read morePublished 2 months ago by J C E Hitchcock
I love this book. It was sad, melancholy, touching and penetrated my soul. I will never forget the innocent Jews of Italy who did nothing to deserve their fate. Read morePublished 11 months ago by 7413
This book tells the story of the
Jewish community in Northern Italy
as they are squeezed out of society
The book itself is beautiful with a ribbon marker, beautiful print. The translation is excellent. Small enough to carry in your bag.Published 16 months ago by Amazon Doc
I was looking for more information of the area during WWII than the book included. Could have been my mistake in ordering it thinking more would be included.Published 19 months ago by Shelvie J. Cole
This book is a good addition to Holocaust Literature. It details the life of an aristocratic Jewish family in Italy as persecution of the Jews in that country grows. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Professor Lovejoy
"Il Giardino dei Finzi-Contini" ("The Garden of the Finzi-Continis"), by Giorgio Bassani, is not a new book. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Asher Gabbay
This book, set before World War II as Mussolini began enacting racial laws targeting Jews, give a good sense of what it that time was like. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Riva Kelton
This book was required for a workshop I took in Italy and I found it challenging to read the first time through but very well written. Read morePublished on October 20, 2012 by Chris