For some reason I’m drawn to historic literature, to be transported back in time. To be able to reach out to characters and relate, if only slightly to events of the past.
So once again, I’ve found myself back in WWII, this time following Chiara Ravello in the Nazi invasion of Rome. The tale entrapped me at once, with a small boy being passed from mother to total stranger in the hope that he would survive against all odds, as a Jew in the Nazi world. Yet, escape he manages to do, somehow his papers are not asked for and Chiara is able to take Daniele from Rome to the Italian countryside. But what happens to him? As the story darts between the past and the present we see how Chiara has been out of touch with Daniele for a decade. We struggle to see how Daniele’s life has turned out, how his mother’s choice has affected him and if he managed to truly hide from the Nazi’s all those years ago.
Virginia Bailey cleverly twists multiple sides of the story together, weaving between the present and the past. Early One Morning manages to depict the fear, heartbreak and determination of Chiara, the struggles she holds and the story she has to tell. Although I’m only half way through, I knew instantly this was a book I would struggle to put down, a book that will go far and a book I will certainly be rereading.
Early One Morning will be published by Virago in July and I wholeheartedly recommend this tale of resilience in war and its aftermath.