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Informative,
Dramatic,
Beautiful

5 reviews

The Light in the Ruins
by Chris Bohjalian

Published: 2013-07-09
Hardcover : 320 pages
23 members reading this now
15 clubs reading this now
10 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 5 of 5 members
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 ...
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Introduction

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.

Editorial Review

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Excerpt

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Discussion Questions

Suggested by Members

1. How does forgiveness play into healing and recovery?
2. How much does the past shape us? Why are some people broken by events and others become stronger because of them?
3. Was Cristina really in love? How do you know?
by Shelfishness (see profile) 08/06/13

What is the role of revenge in our lives?
Italy after WWII
Mystery
by peacejanz (see profile) 08/05/13

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

No notes at this time.

Book Club Recommendations

a lovely book
by peacejanz (see profile) 08/05/13
Anything Italian

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
by KM (see profile) 06/16/16

 
  "Light in the Ruins"by ginnykin (see profile) 02/25/14

Great historical fiction!

 
  "The Light in the Ruins"by kblinderman (see profile) 08/30/13

I love Chris Bohjalian's writing style. This book integrated two seemingly separate stories and made me curious about the impact of WWII on places like Italy.

 
  "Powerfully Written Historical Fiction"by Shelfishness (see profile) 08/06/13

Chris Bohjalian is known for crafting stories that are historically accurate and emotionally touching. He also is known for exploring subjects which are often ignored in literature. The Li... (read more)

 
  "The Light in the Ruins"by peacejanz (see profile) 08/05/13

The Light in the Ruins – by Chris Bohjalian copyright 2013

This is a lovely mystery, well written and more than a story. The author describes the setting south of Florence so well th

... (read more)

 
  "The Light In The Ruins, Chris Bohjalian"by thewanderingjew (see profile) 08/02/13

The book opens in 1955 with the description of the brutal murder of a still good-looking, middle-aged woman, details of which, using italics, are related to the reader by the actual murderer... (read more)

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