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Excerpted from The Day Before Happiness by Erri DeLuca Copyright © 2011 by Erri DeLuca. Excerpted by permission of Other Press, a division of Random House, Inc.
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Posted October 18, 2011
I read this book in Italian, and it really is a masterpiece! Its' a magnificent story about love, blood, passion, in the middle of the popular uprising against the nazi occupiers in July 1943, in Naples. A MUST READ book!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 14, 2011
During the war, Naples building super Don Gaetano befriends a boy. When the lad errantly kicks his soccer ball, he climbs a drainpipe to retrieve it. There he sees Anna a Jewish girl inside a room hidden from view except his lofty position.
Residents of Naples want to move on now that WWII is over although signs of the combat and atrocities are everywhere. The orphaned youngster realizes his mentor Don, who was in danger of Fascist execution during the war, hid a Jewish child there. He hopes his Anna will return soon. When she does, he knows she is his love, but though they share a heavenly tryst, she has a gangster boyfriend and lost her mind as her madness comes from her years of concealment.
The Day Before Happiness is not an easy read though it is a well written late 1940s historical thriller. The story line is character driven by four people and with a nod to The Diary of Anne Frank, Erri DeLuca captures the battered soul of a people, a country and a continent struggling to deal with turning blind during the Holocaust.