Last Train from Liguria by Christine Dwyer Hickey

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Word PressThis had the potential to be a good book, but, unfortunately, that potential wasn’t fulfilled.  The story sounded good – a woman leaves her dull life in London and moves to Mussolini’s Italy to become governess to the son of an Italian aristocrat and his Jewish, German wife.  There, she meets the boy’s music tutor, who’s living under an assumed name after fleeing Dublin because he murdered his sister.  As events progress, the governess and the tutor are forced to try to flee with the boy and his baby half-sister, but it goes horribly wrong.  Years later, the woman’s granddaughter begins to uncover the story.  So it sounded really good.  Unfortunately, the ideas just weren’t developed.  We never found out the tutor’s background history and why he committed the murder.  We never found out exactly what happened to him.  We were never actually told what happened to the boy.  We saw the granddaughter begin to try to guess/piece together what had happened, but only begin.  It felt as if about 75% of the book was missing.  On top of that, it was written in the present tense, which never works particularly well, and most of the parts involving the granddaughter read as if they’d been written by a 12-year-old boy who thought it was funny to include as many gratuitous rude words as possible.

What a waste of an interesting idea!   Not impressed, sorry!

 

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