My rating: 5 of 5 stars
“It was a long way to Rome for a crippled man with a broken heart.”
A must read for anyone who enjoyed “The Book Thief.” WWII novels can be heart wrenching, and this one definitely is, but it also highlights the pockets of good hidden under a cloak of evil. Eva and Angelo were raised together, although Eva is an Italian Jew and Angelo is bred for the Catholic church. Despite these differences, the two build a fast bond at a young age that blossoms into love as they grow older. Torn between Eva and the priesthood, Angelo chooses to become a priest.
When the sharp talons of WWII reach Italy, Eva turns to Angelo, and together the two face unspeakable horrors as they struggle to harbor Jews in convents and monasteries. At the same time, they are forced to reconcile their faith in God with the evil surrounding them, and Angelo finds himself torn once again between Eva and his vocation.
In a word, this book was stunning. Easily the best book I’ve read all year, and one I look forward to re-reading.