Review: The Light in the Ruins: A Novel, by Chris Bohjalian

Vermont based, award winning novelist Chris Bohjalian tackles World War II Italy in this historical novel, focusing on the Rosati family, of “noble lineage” and owners of the Villa Chimera and the Eutruscan tombs found on the property. The Rosatis become too accommodating to the German forces in their area who are first allies and later occupiers. The story alternates between 1943 and 1955 when someone begins to kill off the remaining Rosati family members in a gruesome fashion. One of the detectives investigating the case was on the Partisan side during the war and she paid a high price for her part in fighting the Nazi forces. Bohjalian is a terrific writer and has tackled a variety of subjects in his seventeen novels. One of my book club members said historical novels are her favorite way of learning history.

RATING: * * * * Very, very good

Reviewed by: kh

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