The Italian Wife by Kate Furnivall

Cover of The Italian Wife

It took me a while to get through this, I’m not entirely sure why. The setting is an interesting historical one: Italy under Mussolini, I think it was 1933. The main character is a woman doing something different: Isabella is an architect playing a part in building a new city on drained marshlands. The background has some mystery going on: Isabella’s husband was a blackshirt who was shot a decade ago in an incident that also left Isabella injured. There’s a good hook at the beginning of the story: An unknown woman leaves her ten year old daughter with Isabella supposedly just for a moment, but then throws herself to her death from a tower Isabella built. There are a lot of intriguing minor characters here too – the evil nuns are pretty much a stereotype nowadays but there’s more depth to some of the others. And I didn’t think the plot was terrible. But somehow the whole book just didn’t come together for me. When the pace picked up near the end I began to enjoy it more, I guess it was just lacking a good middle.  

I’ve just realised this was my “Read a random pick” choice for the Storygraph onboarding challenge.  And that’s fine, I didn’t think it was a brilliant book but I think it was a good recommendation for me all the same.

More information about this book can be found on storygraph.

Read on October 6, 2022

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