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Literary Friday: Early One Morning

Friday, March 25, 2016

Happy Literary Friday, My Lovelies!  I hope y'all having a blessed Good Friday.  This week I read Early One Morning by Virginia Baily.  It was recommended by my librarian, so I checked it out.  It is a fantastic World War II historical, and I wasn't disappointed.

According to Goodreads:

Chiara Ravello is about to flee occupied Rome when she locks eyes with a woman being herded on to a truck with her family.

Claiming the woman's son, Daniele, as her own nephew, Chiara demands his return; only as the trucks depart does she realize what she has done. She is twenty-seven, with a sister who needs her constant care, a hazardous journey ahead, and now a child in her charge.

Several decades later, Chiara lives alone in Rome, a self-contained woman working as a translator. Always in the background is the shadow of Daniele, whose absence and the havoc he wrought on Chiara's world haunt her. Then she receives a phone call from a teenager claiming to be his daughter, and Chiara knows it is time to face up to the past.

Daniele's mother makes a tough choice in giving Daniele to Chiara, and Chiara is beyond brave to take this small Jewish boy as her own nephew.  But Daniele is not grateful, he's not a very delightful person.  Instead of living a purposeful and productive life, he turns to drugs and crime.  What a waste to his mother's choice and Chiara's loving care.  

Daniele does bring some joy into the world through the daughter he has with a Welsh girl named Edna.  But he never knows about his daughter due to a few miscommunications and misunderstandings.  In the mid-seventies, their sixteen year old daughter, Maria, finds out that the father she grew-up with isn't her biological father at all, and she demands to visit Rome and learn about Daniele.  Maria mistakenly thinks that Chiara is Daniele's old landlady.  Eventually truths are revealed, both about the past as well as the present.

Told alternately in Maria's and Chiara's point of view, the narrative switches back and forth between the present and past.  (We also get Edna's POV in Italy, and we briefly get a different picture of Daniele though her eyes).  Although Baily tells the story seamlessly, I got a little frustrated with the revelation of the WWII storyline.  But the ending is worth it because if certain secrets had been revealed earlier, the suspense wouldn't have been as wonderful.  

If you enjoyed The Nightingale, I think you'll appreciate Early One Morning.  I think it would be a wonderful book club selection!  

What have you been reading lately?  Please link-up!

Art @ Home

Until next time...

Happy reading!
Ricki Jill


  1. That plot sounds intriguing and different. I am reading The Thirteenth Guest by J. Jefferson Farjeon, which I posted about today.

  2. Sounds interesting RJ. Wishing you and your family a blessed and joyous Easter celebration.

  3. Happy Easter to you and yours. I picked up a new book today I can't wait to get into. It will not disappoint if the previous one I read is an indicator. It is also set in WWII, and I am always a sucker for those. This book you mention sounds intriguing, and I will add it to my list.


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I'm Ricki Jill. Welcome! I'm an artist and an avid reader, and I also enjoy decorating for the seasons. For more information about my blog, please read the Start Here page. Thank-you for reading The Bookish Dilettante!

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