Pippo and Clara by Diana Rosie @MantleBooks @publicityhannah #PippoandClara #DianaRosie #HistoricalFiction #BookReview #February2021Publications #TheClqrt #BookBlogger

Mantle Books 4th February 2021

Book Description

Italy, 1938. Mussolini is in power and war is not far away…

Pippo and Clara have woken to find their mother is missing. Determined to find her, the two young siblings leave their home behind them. Pippo turns left on the street, Clara right. A choice that will change their lives forever.

Lost on opposite sides of the rising revolution, Pippo and Clara must learn to navigate their new lives and the changing world around them. Yet neither sibling can forget the other.

Can the threads of fate remain strong in the face of war? And with more than just time threatening to seperate them, will Pippo and Clara every find each other again?

My Thoughts

Thanks to Book Break UK for sending me this proof copy of Pippo & Clara. An original and moving piece of historical fiction set in Italy during the second world war. Mussolini is in power and the country it divided, as time progresses Italy joins the war aligned with Germany, creating further divides in the already fragmented country. Hit by the poverites of war, food is short as is medicine, work is scarce and money is tight. Times are hard.

Pippo & Clara lose their mother on arrival in a new city, very quickly they lose each other after they both separately go looking for their mum taking different routes that take their lives on very different journies, shaping their lives forever.

The story is told through alternate chapters from the perspective of each child spanning 7 years with an epilogue some years later. The children miss each other and their mother and despite both being taken in by kind families, their loss is tangible. Their experiences of war are diverse but they both experience significant losses and I think for me this was a reflection of the impact of war crossing obvious divides, such as class and poverty.

The relationships both children experienced with their informal carers were heartwarming, although in their own unique way and I really liked that both children were protected from state care by the kindness of strangers. A slightly different take on stories told about the 2nd world war made this book original and the children’s 2 different experiences offered a broader story for the reader, told in parallel.

Heartbreaking moments when the children nearly found each and the kindness of others at such a difficult time made this an incredibly moving story and if you are anything like me you can expect to shed a few tears. With themes of loss, death, race and war this is a strong work of fiction that I highly recommend.

For fans of historical fiction and anyone who has enjoyed The Book Thief!

About the Author

(Taken from http://www.dianarosie.co.uk)

An early school report noted I wrote interesting, imaginative stories. Despite this clue, I went to art school and began a career in advertising.

As a copywriter, I wrote for every kind of client from rebranding Nigeria, to helping health professionals prescribe viagra. Copywriters are well known for secret aspirations of becoming authors. Not me.

The penny finally dropped when I was made redundant and, looking for something to fill my days, decided to try writing a book. That book was Alberto’s Lost Birthday, which was published in 2016.

Alberto was an elderly Spanish gardener called Pascual I met when I was a child. Because of the civil war, he didn’t know how old he was – a thought so incredible to my seven-year-old self it never left me. A nugget of truth with which to begin my story.

Since Alberto, I’ve written my second novel, Pippo & Clara, assisted by my brilliant husband, regularly interupted by two kids, a dog and six chickens.

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