7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
A Poetic Treasure, 14 Dec 2009
A crumbling villa sleeps solemnly, deeply buried in the hills of Italy. WWII has torn through the country and an abandoned nunnery has become a hospital where a young nurse, Hana, remains alone to care for her only patient, an English man irrevocably damaged, lost without the memory of his own identity after a tragic plane crash.
The story begins with two individuals brought together in desperate times. Hana is a young nurse toughened by her exposure to the consequence of war, `some men had unwound their last knot of life in her arms'. She remains only to dote on the English patient, a broken man, discovered by the Bedouin in a burning plane. He is bed bound and burnt black but as time unfolds, concealed from the outside world, Hana is unknowingly falling in love with him.
Later, they're joined by Hana's wise friend, Caravaggio. An ex thief used by the government during the war as a thief, he was caught, his fingers cut off and in hospital it would seem by fate he stumbled upon a conversation regarding her whereabouts. They are then discovered by a Sapper, Kip who's routine is reclusive and regimental. The heart's true desires become blurred, as Hana's emotions blossom for another man, and the story delves back into the English patient's forgotten passion yet to be rediscovered.
The story is sewn together in a passionate and poetic collaboration of language and emotion. This is a book that requires your attention and patience.
The English patient is an emotionally challenging read for the mature imagination, with complex and thrilling tales that build and weave, connecting their sorrowful hearts. It may not travel great distances but it delves deep into forgotten memories of a powerful and heartbreaking love. The book will capture you from start to finish and leave your grip reluctantly.