BELLA MIA BY DONATELLA DI PIETRANTONIO-BOOK REVIEW

PUBLISHED TODAY

Translated by Franca Scurti Simpson


When France asked me to review this book I had a feeling it would be a good one as last year I read one of Donatella’s books and it was amazing.  The passion and emotion that Italians put into their writing I find so wonderful to read, it almost has you feeling the sadness in yourself.  

This story is set after the 2009 earthquake in the Abruzzo region, Italy; many were killed, buildings destroyed and lives shattered in one fatal night.  Just thinking about it would immediately have you thinking how you would feel if in that position but I honestly do not think you can comprehend how the people felt in the town of L’Aquila.  That is until you read this book and follow the lives of one family that would never be the same again.

Many foreshocks were felt before the big one but the National commission told many people to stay in their homes as they had been built to withhold the destruction of a major earthquake.  Buildings were built to a higher standard after the 1980 quake when they lost so many buildings but be it back-handers, politics or whatever else goes on in many governments meant some rules were not upheld.

After the quake temporary accommodation was provided for many including a young woman who lost her other half that she felt destroyed her too, you hear of twins being so close but Olivia was her life; how could she carry on?  Some things dictate to us and we have no choice in this case Olivia had left her son, how would he come to terms with not only losing his mother and home but his father had moved on before the monumental event and in some ways it was his fault that they had moved back to the heart of their family.

Move on they did eventually and this tells the story of heartbreak and the effects it has on this family.  I gave this book 5 stars as I feel it is not only superbly written but also translated with such warmth that nothing is lost from this story.

This is a book you should read, I cannot praise it enough even though emotions run high it is worth it.

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