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March 30, 2021

Eternal by Lisa Scottoline ~ a Review

by Donna Huber

When I requested Lisa Scottoline's new book, I'm not sure I really paid attention to the description as I've always enjoyed the other books by her that I've read. So I was a bit surprised when I opened the book and saw that that the prologue was set in May 1957 and then the first chapter starts in May 1937.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

March 2021; GP Putnam; 978-0525539766
audio, ebook, print (480 pages); historical fiction
is Scottoline's debut in the historical fiction genre. And it happened to be set during my favorite historical period and even more it was set in a place that I have not read much of. From the dates above, you can see that the book spans a few years before the start of WWII until well after the war. It is set in entirely in Italy and focuses on the homefront in Rome. From my other readings that have touched on Italians during the war, I realized I know very little about Mussolini and Italy's position.

Scottoline provided plenty of historical information to show that I knew even less about Italy's role during this period and it whet my appetite for more information about Mussolini, Roman Jews, and Italy during WWII. 

At its core, Eternal is a love story. But it is not the typical WWII romance novel. For one we see plenty of politics and resistance action. For another thing, Elisabetta is not the starry-eyed girl besotted with a man. Okay, she is a little bit starry-eyed in the beginning as she is only a schoolgirl, but as grows up rather quickly due to tragedy and necessity she is much more pragmatic and knows her true heart.

In addition to being a love story and providing historical facts, it is also a multi-generational coming-of-age story. It's not just the main characters of Elisabetta, Sandro, and Marco who grow and discover their true selves. It is ironic that it is mentioned on a number of occasions how old Rome is and the long-established Roman ancestry of these families, when it feels like the city (and many of the characters) are coming-of-age through this great time of turmoil. In different ways, long-held beliefs, certainty in how things will be, and even their very identity of each character are challenged and changed.

I thought this would be a relatively quick read as I'm usually sucked into Scottoline's stories. Eternal was a bit different from her other books. While interesting, it was a slow read without much nail-biting action. I just wanted to warn you so you don't give up after a few chapters thinking nothing is happening. It is a slow-burn type novel but your time and effort will be rewarded in the end.

Buy Eternal at Amazon

Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour

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