#BookReview: Pippo and Clara by Diana Rosie

Hi everyone. Today, I have a book review for you by an author new to me, Diana Rosie. I discovered this book via NetGalley and received a free ARC of this book. I enjoyed this read so much that I’ll have to check out her other books.

About the Book:

A country torn apart by war. Two siblings divided by fate.

Italy, 1938. Mussolini is in power and war is not far away . . .

Clara and Pippo are just children: quiet, thoughtful Clara is the older sister; Pippo, the younger brother, is forever chatting. The family has only recently arrived in the city carrying their few possessions.

When Mamma goes missing early one morning, both Clara and Pippo go in search of her. Clara turns right; Pippo left.

As a result of the choices they make that morning, their lives will be changed forever.

Diana Rosie’s Pippo and Clara tells the story of a family and a country divided. But will Clara and Pippo – and their mother – find each other again?

My Review:

 

 

Many thanks to NetGalley and Pan MacMillan for a free ARC of this book.

Diana Rosie is a new author to me, and I wasn’t sure what to expect. This book left me pleasantly surprised.

The story is narrated, so that you are told of rather than shown events. Usually, this would put me off, but in this case it was done well enough to pull me in and engross me regardless. Parts of the writing seem unpolished, with extraneous wording, frequent use of split-infinitives, and the like, but–again–this didn’t detract that much from the story being portrayed. That’s because the characterisation and world-building were done excellently, and for the most part, I got so lost in the book that I forgot I was reading.

We have Italy under Mussolini.
Gypsies outlawed and persecuted.
Europe at war.
A murdered father.

Enter Clara (10 years-old) and Pippo (7 years-old), and a mother who goes out one lonely night in a strange city in search of work. Mama fails to return. First Clara leaves the boarding room in search of Mama. Then Pippo awakens alone and afraid. He, too, leaves the squalid and bare room to look for both Mama and Clara.

From that point on, each of the children’s tales diverge, and the narrative alternates between the POVs of Clara and Pippo. We follow them throughout the ensuing trials and tribulations and see both the brutality and uselessness of war, where the innocent are the ones who suffer. At the same time, we are shown bravery and compassion in abundance.

I loved this book and would read more from this writer. It gets a solid 4 stars from me.

***

NOTE ON RATINGS: I consider a 3-star rating a positive review. Picky about which books I give 5 stars to, I reserve this highest rating for the stories I find stunning and which moved me.

5 STARS: IT WAS AMAZING! I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN! — Highly Recommended.
4 STARS: I WOULD PULL AN ALL-NIGHTER — Go read this book.
3 STARS: IT WAS GOOD! — An okay read. Didn’t love it. Didn’t hate it.
2 STARS: I MAY HAVE LIKED A FEW THINGS —Lacking in some areas: writing, characterisation, and/or problematic plot lines.
1 STAR: NOT MY CUP OF TEA —Lots of issues with this book.


I’d love to hear what you think of this review. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

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Mark Bierman

Thanks for sharing this great review, Harmony!

Miriam Hurdle

The storyline is interesting, Harmony. It could have happened in real-time. I hope the two siblings reunited in this book.

Joan Hall

Interesting about the narration. The subject of the story is one that intrigues me. Thanks for posting this review.

Staci Troilo

Narration is an interesting choice. The subject matter sounds really fascinating, though. Thanks for sharing.

John howell

Thank you for the review, Harmony

Sarah Stuart

A very fair review, Harmony.
I’m not sure how I would feel about reading a narrated story, but it must have been good to get four stars when it clearly wasn’t all that well expressed, as in grammatically.