My take on this book is so different from others I've read that I am including it. First of all, this is a lot of book...many ideas, several pathways, rich characterizations all crammed into it.It is worth the effort to read it but I found several things that were annoying.
1.Frequent quotes in other languages, some of which clarified a premise but many that seemed to be ostentation.
2.Sexual fantasy disguised as reality.
3.A protagonist I could not identify with and characters different enough from the norm that it was a stretch to imagine them as real people.
4.An ending that called itself a new beginning but was disappointing for all but the main character.
I gave it 3 1/2 stars...I'm glad I read it, but will not pursue other books by the same author. Other reviewers in this book club were much more generous with their applause than I.
A compelling book about what happens to a family after one member is killed in a terrorist bombing in Bologna.
A superbly written book about how a family deals with the tragic loss of a daughter in a terrorist bombing in Bologna. Robert Hellenga's portrait of the main charracter, a college professor, is moving and powerful as his wife leaves, his other daughters leave home and he travels to Italy for the trial. A wonderful blend of heart-touching situations, amusing events, and the sensuality of living, all told in a very 'real' way. I loved this book!
What a great book about the effect grief has on a family.
A very good read. Well researched...a page turner!
The author of the wildly acclaimed novel THE SIXTEEN PLEASURES, again centers his story around a family of daughters and a journey to Italy. He writes about sex, tragedy and pain, as well as empathy and "finding meaning in life."
Beautifully written with excellent character development, this book is a perfect choice for book clubs! (With a reading group guide and discussion questions in the end of the book.)
inspired by the bombing of the train station in Bologna, Italy in 1980
While not a major work of art, this is an excellent book! After a tragic death in a family, it explores the family's individual responses to death & grief over a time of about 5 years. This would be a great book to talk about with friends.
"Alan Woodhull (Woody), a classics professor at a small Midwestern college, finds himself convinced that life has taught him all the lessons he has to learn. After the tragic death of his beloved oldest daughter during a terrorist bombing in Italy seven years ago, his wife has left him and his two remaining daughters have grown up and moved away. Yet his decision to attend the trial of the terrorists and so return to the scene of the tragedy marks the beginning of a new life and the awakening of a new love."
Alan Woodhull a professor at a small Midwestern college, finds himself convinced that life has taught him all the lessons he has to learn. Yet he decides to attend the trial of the terrorists that killed his daughter. And return to the scene of the tragedy marks the beginning of a new life and the wakening of a new love