The Book Mark

Books that make the grade.

The Light in the Ruins



Hard to imagine that Chris Bohjalian could write anything more dramatic than The Sandcastle Girls but he has with The Light in the Ruins (B+).

Written like a diary entry, the very first page is narrated by a ruthless murderer. Honestly, it is the most dramatic book opening I have ever read. If it had been written by anyone other than Chris Bohjalian, I would have put it down.  However, I have come to know that his novels are always worth the read even if I have to read with my teeth clenched. 

It’s 1944; war is in the air. The Rosati’s family villa in the south of Florence is well protected. Antonio and Beatrice Rosati, the Marchese and Marchesa, have two sons and a daughter. The villa is a thriving farm with livestock, olive tress and beautiful views. While the sons are active soldiers, their daughter Cristina enjoys her days spent at the villa entertaining her niece and nephew that is, until the Nazis invade their privacy.

Eleven years later, a female police officer is investigating the gruesome murder of Francesca Rosati.  She is the first murdered in a plan that if successful with eliminate the entire family.

Serafina is scarred from burns that almost killed her as she fought with the partisans against the Nazis during the war.  Being left for dead, there is little that she remembers. As the Rosati murder investigation progresses; she begins to piece things together.

Bohjalian combines historical fiction and suspenseful mystery into this well-written novel. While I found the story a bit too graphic at times, I was propelled through the story finishing it in one day. Clearly, not for the feint of heart The Light in the Ruins is definitely one to read. 


One response to “The Light in the Ruins

  1. susanbright August 2, 2013 at 9:09 pm

    Looking forward to reading this one. Thanks!

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