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The Light in the Ruins by Chris Bohjalian
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The Light in the Ruins (original 2013; edition 2013)

by Chris Bohjalian

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
9437613,980 (3.71)40
Member:janna_voss
Title:The Light in the Ruins
Authors:Chris Bohjalian
Info:Doubleday (2013), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 320 pages
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned
Rating:**
Tags:WWII, soloders, Italy, World War II, Germnay, Germans, 1940's, 1950's, Florence, historical fiction, war fiction

Work details

The Light in the Ruins by Chris Bohjalian (2013)

  1. 00
    A Thread of Grace by Mary Doria Russell (jamaicanmecrazy)
    jamaicanmecrazy: WW II in Italy
  2. 00
    A Trace of Smoke by Rebecca Cantrell (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: There's a sense of inevitability in these historical mysteries, which take place at the close (The Light in the Ruins) or just before (A Trace of Smoke) World War II and star female leads with personal ties to their investigations.
  3. 00
    The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes (Iudita)
  4. 00
    The Garden of the Finzi-Continis by Giorgio Bassani (silverbooks)
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» See also 40 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 76 (next | show all)
I'm not sure if I want to rate this a 3 or 4. I couldn't put it down. The story certainly moves right along. Brutal and sad-a truly tough one to read. ( )
  melanieklo | Jul 25, 2018 |
Very good!
pg 70 — 50's Italy new murders of Marchess's Family — traced back to Nazis in Italy + murder 10 yrs later — cutting out their hearts — very suspensful!

1943: Tucked away in the idyllic hills south of Florence, the Rosatis, an Italian family of noble lineage, believe that the walls of their ancient villa will keep them safe from the war raging across Europe. Eighteen-year-old Cristina spends her days swimming in the pool, playing with her young niece and nephew, and wandering aimlessly amid the estate’s gardens and olive groves. But when two soldiers, a German and an Italian, arrive at the villa asking to see an ancient Etruscan burial site, the Rosatis’ bucolic tranquility is shattered. A young German lieutenant begins to court Cristina, the Nazis descend upon the estate demanding hospitality, and what was once their sanctuary becomes their prison.

1955: Serafina Bettini, an investigator with the Florence police department, has her own demons. A beautiful woman, Serafina carefully hides her scars along with her haunting memories of the war. But when she is assigned to a gruesome new case—a serial killer targeting the Rosatis, murdering the remnants of the family one-by-one in cold blood—Serafina finds herself digging into a past that involves both the victims and her own tragic history.
  christinejoseph | May 17, 2018 |
An alternative view of World War II, set in Italy. The Rosati family villa is commandeered by the Germans during a final showdown with the British. A decade later, a serial killer enacts revenge on the Rosatis. I think the cover of the audiobook said something about "moral ambiguity," and it was only after I was completely done with this audiobook that I saw the point. The Italians who weren't collaborators or rebels did what they had to do to survive, some with disastrous results. It was an interesting point of view, one the author carried off without too much judgement of his own. ( )
  gossamerchild88 | Mar 30, 2018 |
What is it about a Chris Bohjalian book that keeps you reading? Is it the building of the story the way an orchestra builds to the finale? Is it the character development with snippets of information about each one? Is it the history of the time period with lots of facts mixed in with some fiction mixed with your own imagination?

Yes to all of the above!

With this story you get to follow an Italian family's struggle with the occupation of their villa, Chimera by the Nazis during WWII. Struggle is such an understatement of what the Rosatis went through during that time and after the war. How can one split second decision in the beginning by Anthony effect the family for the rest of their lives?

There is so much to this book that I am struggling to put into words. There are strong family bonds even when a family does not exist. There is loyalty to country and land even when it is all gone. And the betrayal and heartache is overwhelming at times. There were parts of this book that made me gasp out loud.

I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading about WWII, serial killers, romance, etc...It is all here in this one book.

Many many many thanks to Doubleday and Netgalley for this ARC.

( )
  PamV | Mar 27, 2018 |
I love CB's writing, especially his earlier books that take place in New England.

The only reason I gave this one 4 stars instead of 5 is that I had a hard time getting into it. The first several chapters didn't grab me, and I'm not sure why. The first brutal event should have, and Serafina was an interesting character right away. I think it may have been that the history was a little densely packed. But once it got rolling, the story was gripping.

I'm happy to be passing this book along to other family members who love CB as much as I do, I'm sure they'll get as much enjoyment from The Light in the Ruins as I did. ( )
  SoubhiKiewiet | Mar 20, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 76 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Chris Bohjalianprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bramhall, MarkNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Campbell, CassandraNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Andy Bohjalian and - - once more - - for Victoria and Grace
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A woman is sitting before an art nouveau vanity, brushing her hair in the mirror.
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Book description
From the New York Times bestselling author of Midwives and The Sandcastle Girls comes a spellbinding novel of love, despair, and revenge—set in war-ravaged Tuscany.

1943: Tucked away in the idyllic hills south of Florence, the Rosatis, an Italian family of noble lineage, believe that the walls of their ancient villa will keep them safe from the war raging across Europe. Eighteen-year-old Cristina spends her days swimming in the pool, playing with her young niece and nephew, and wandering aimlessly amid the estate’s gardens and olive groves. But when two soldiers, a German and an Italian, arrive at the villa asking to see an ancient Etruscan burial site, the Rosatis’ bucolic tranquility is shattered. A young German lieutenant begins to court Cristina, the Nazis descend upon the estate demanding hospitality, and what was once their sanctuary becomes their prison.

1955: Serafina Bettini, an investigator with the Florence police department, has her own demons. A beautiful woman, Serafina carefully hides her scars along with her haunting memories of the war. But when she is assigned to a gruesome new case—a serial killer targeting the Rosatis, murdering the remnants of the family one-by-one in cold blood—Serafina finds herself digging into a past that involves both the victims and her own tragic history.

Set against an exquisitely rendered Italian countryside, The Light in the Ruins unveils a breathtaking story of moral paradox, human frailty, and the mysterious ways of the heart.
[retrieved 9/8/2014 from Amazon.com]
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Hoping to safeguard themselves from the ravages of World War II within the walls of their ancient villa in Florence, the noble Rosatis family become prisoners in their home when eighteen-year-old Cristina's courtship by a German lieutenant prompts the Nazis to take over the estate, a situation that leads to a serial murder investigation years later.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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