“Playing With Fire” In Occupied Italy


thPlaying With Fire had two narratives that were related only by the characters’ love of music. In the present, Julia purchased a piece of music from a shop in Rome that changed her three-year old daughter into a demon when she played it. Her quest to uncover the origins of the song landed her back in Italy and on a path that led to uncovering Lorenzo’s experience during World War II. I enjoyed reading this because the characters were well developed and the plot was engaging. 

What I loved about the writing was that it wasn’t totally obvious how all of the events were going to come together. There was an element of mystery here that worked very well. If a possessed three-year old isn’t making you wonder about who wrote the somber song, then don’t bother reading this. I also really enjoyed the locations that Julia traveled to in Italy, especially Venice, which let me relive my own trip there! Julia and Lorenzo were great protagonists in their own stories because they were imperfect. They messed up, made bad decisions, and caused the problems they faced later on. Although Lorenzo’s story did tell about the Jewish experience in Italy, his tale focused on love and music which brought a human element to a retelling of the WWII horrors.

This was my first novel by this author and I liked it. I would recommend this, especially to music lovers.

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