Genre:Young Adult/Historical/General Fiction
Author: Kfir Luzzatoo
Date Published: 9/3/12
In the lax atmosphere of middle-class post-war Italy, sex and drugs are easy to come by. Roberto tries to find his own balance, but a crush he had for Alessandra in elementary school is reignited and the course of his life is changed forever.
It’s the 1970’s, a time of political upheaval driven by disillusioned young people. Roberto is caught up in the times. He makes a new start, but his past catches up with him. Finding himself accused of a crime, he must defend himself even when he isn’t sure he committed it. A vivid snapshot of European post-war society, this novel is viewed through the eyes of a young adult coming of age.
Everything starts with the cover. Yes, I know that we must not judge a book by its cover, but hey, let’s admit it. A good cover can make us want to purchase and read a book. Anyhow, I couldn’t understand the cover art for this book and it only goes to show that the story is as disturbing as its cover.
It is a coming-of-age novel and was set in postwar Europe. I love history and it is fascinating to read the descriptions of the author during that time. There’s social realism that transported me back in the 1970’s and gave me glimpses on how life was like way back then. Young people have a devil-may-care attitude and face the same problems youth of the current generation also does – sex, drugs, and same-sex set-up.
Roberto Lucci is the hero of the story, but I sometimes believe he is also the antagonist. He is described as someone in a level of adulthood and his struggles and complexities. From the beginning, I was wrapped in the story of his life – more specifically his love interest and the way he wanted his feelings to be reciprocated. The novel mostly revolved around that.
Now why do I also think that Roberto is the antagonist of the story? Later on, he would find himself in a situation he could not easily escape and it would take a lot from him to cover it up. It became one of the main plots of the story and I found myself hating him for his unwise decisions and poor moral values after.
It is a dark story compared to others I have read recently. Don’t get me wrong; it isn’t bad. In fact, I find it real and very human. I commend the author for giving a story with such depth and reflection of human frailties. It is a compelling read filled with angst, teenage love, and political drama.
I recommend this book to everyone especially to young people like me. It may start a bit boring and slow, but it picks up as the story progresses.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange of an honest review.
Kfir was born and raised in Italy, and moved to Israel as a teenager. He acquired the love for the English language from his father, a former U.S. soldier and WWII veteran, a voracious reader and a prolific writer. Kfir has a PhD in chemical engineering and works as a patent attorney. He lives in Omer, Israel, with his full-time partner, Esther, their four children, Michal, Lilach, Tamar and Yonatan, and the dog Elvis.
Novels: Crossing the Meadow (2003); The Odyssey Gene (2006); The Evelyn Project (2012); Have Book – Will Travel (2012 – with Yonatan Luzzatto); An Italian Obsession (2012).
Short Story Collections: His Darker Side (2002-2011); His Lighter Side (2002-2011).
Non-Fiction: The World of Patents (2002)
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