March 10, 2008


Inheritance by Natalie Danford
Contemporary Fiction
2007 St. Martin's Press
Finished on 3/2/08
Rating: 2/5 (Below Average)

Book Description

This exquisitely written novel asks a simple question: how well do we know our parents? One half of the story begins after the death of Luigi Bonocchio, an Italian immigrant whose daughter Olivia discovers a mysterious deed among his possessions. The deed is to a house in Urbino, Italy---the hometown he barely spoke of. Intrigued, Olivia travels there. At first she is charmed by the historic city, the relatives she’s not met before, and the young lawyer she’s hired to help her investigate the claim. But when Olivia tries to sort out the deed, she is met with a puzzling silence. Everyone in the town remembers her father, but they are not eager to tell his story. However, Luigi tells his part of the tale directly to the reader as the chapters alternate between Olivia’s search for the truth and Luigi’s account of his history. By the end of this skillfully constructed book, the reader understands both sides of a heartbreaking, yet ultimately satisfying love story.

It's been over a week since I finished this novel and I'm not too excited about writing a review. I didn't hate the book, but it sure didn't do much for me. I doubt I would've finished, had I not been reading it for a book group discussion. (A discussion in which I'm the moderator!) I certainly didn't find it to be an "exquisitely written novel" or a "compelling" read, as one reviewer noted. Meh. Fortunately, it wasn't terribly long and I zipped through it in just a few days.


  1. I hate it when a book group book is so meh. Oh well, maybe it'll still spark some good discussion.
    I do kind of like that book cover.

  2. Perhaps others in your book group found something in it that you did not. I suppose not particularly liking a book would not be a hindrance to a lively discussion, anyway.

  3. Too bad. The premise sounded good.

  4. Iliana - I'm hoping it will be a lively discussion! It'll be interesting to hear what the others in the group thought.

    You know, the cover really doesn't fit the book, although I do like it, too.

    Janet - That's what I'm hoping for. In some ways, I think it's better to have a divided response to a book. Makes for a more lively discussion. If we all loved it, there might not be as much to discuss.

    Tara - Yah, it had great potential. Oh, well. Maybe she'll write something I enjoy next time around.


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