Saturday, 11 November 2017

The Garden of the Finzi-Continis by Giorgio Bassani

"How many years have passed since that far-off June afternoon? More than thirty."

My appreciation of this novel was a little hampered by reading it in fits and starts. Isn't that always the way - a busy life and reading can sometimes be difficult companions. Once i did engage with the narrator and his passion for the attractive Finzi-Contini daughter, Micòl.
The foreboding sense of what is coming hangs over the story of children growing up given that they are Jewish and live in Ferrara  and the time is just before the holocaust. Their world grows increasingly restricted and yet the trials and tribulations of love and rejection are universal and the juxtaposition makes this novel particularly interesting.
Originally written in Italian and one of a series of novels by Bassani, I wish I'd experienced it in the native tongue so to speak. My Italian is probably a little too rusty for that. Did I mention this one is yet another tick on the 1001 novels list - I'm making progress this year.

4 out of 5 frustrations and tragedy can be an unappealing mix.

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