Reading this book, we meander quietly along with a pregnant young wife as she walks through Rome on her way to a concert.  But it is 1943, the woman is German and her husband is fighting in Africa.  The languorous flow of her thoughts – induced by new love and the beauty of the city – is occasionally overtaken by the fears and facts of the war, which she tries to soothe away with her gratitude and faith.  But with our wider awareness of history, the pious village girl’s innocence raises questions:  When does faith become passivity?  When does naiveté become complicity?  This delicate novel beautifully bears the weight, and at the same time shows us how love, beauty and faith can sometimes come together to create a moment’s transcendence. ~Liz Goodwin

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