Top critical review
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Wonderful character discriptions but ultimately disappointing tale
on 31 December 2010
This author certainly knows how to describe characters and their emotions - a great gift which makes for an fun and interesting read - but despite my initial entusiasm I was utlimately disappointed because the story didn't make it all the way to the end. The story is in essence the tale of the town of Ischiano Scalo a nowhere town somewhere in northern italy sort of close to the sea but not high on the tourist trail and the families that live there. There are the school children the usual mix of intelligence, beauty and troublemakers, the policeman, the schoolteacher aging whilst she looks after her crippled mother and, best of all the first character we meet, a typical seaside romeo Graziano who has many notches on his bedpost but is wondering what its all about - life that is. The characters are well described and the author is particularly good at describing in the first person their emotions and feelings - we can relate to much which is thought by them. The novel is a series of profiles and stories of these town folk and as the book progresses the tales which in the beginning are unrelated intertwine faster and faster until they are fully meshed for our climax. Whilst I really enjoyed around 70% and was excited to have discovered a really interesting author the twists and turns of the tale became darker and less believable. As the twists came I felt the characters were increasingly unrealistic and as they were the real beauty of the book for me it lost its way. So I give 3 stars for the wonderful characters and their basket of emotions but can't put anymore as I skip read the last 50 pages.