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The Jewish Husband

3.68 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  74 ratings  ·  21 reviews
It is 1938 and fascist Italy has imposed its infamous race laws. A young Jewish professor entertains a tormented passion for the beautiful and enigmatic Sonia. She is everything that he is not: the privileged daughter of a family that is wealthy, prominent, and above all, gentile. He wins her affections, but the price is great. He must deny his origins in order to enter th ...more
Paperback, 209 pages
Published August 25th 2009 by Europa Editions (first published 2001)
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**** 1/2

Powerful, sad book about the Jewish experience in pre- and Fascist Italy. My only quibble with this book is the that Levi spent a lot of time, particularly early on, explaining *what* she was going to do and why, rather than just doing it. One of the most important rules of fiction to to "show, don't tell" and I found this to be distracting. The book was sufficiently strong otherwise that this flaw didn't overwhelm the rest of the story. I'm not certain the letter format was the most eff
Doriana Bisegna
This novel offered answers to some questions that I had about the Jews of Italy during WW2. This novel is well written and the whole book is a letter written by the father to his son. He recounts this story to his son in order to explain what happened during the war that caused him to be absent from his life.
I was delighted to have discovered this author at a book festival and I made the right decision in reading this book right after seeing her. It is a pleasurable and easy read and the pages f
Maureen Prindiville
Beautifully written,a poignant tale of yet another of life's tragedies stemming from the holocaust
The jewish Husband moves slowly, but the prose is intense within many of the pages, more so during the last half of the book. I attribute the slowness to the fact that the book is written as a series of letters, and Dino is trying to tell his story in an exact manner.

There are predictable moments, yet, for some readers, there might be one or two surprises within the story line. Levi writes with forthrightness and vivid imagery, as she tries to inflect how daily life played out during a tumultuo
In the Italy of the thirties, a young Jewish man, romantic, dreamy, and passionate, falls in love with a young girl who belongs to a high-society family affiliated with the fascist regime. This love will be his undoing – and almost destroys him. Yet, hope, born out of wisdom and resilience, shines at the end. What has been lost cannot be re-conquered, but maybe peace – with oneself, with the others – can be achieved, and tentative reconciliations may take place. Levi has written an interesting, ...more
Barbara A
I quite liked this book. It's an extremely quiet, controlled, epistolary novel by a well known Italian writer, and I cannot, for the life of me, remember when or why I bought it. Was I meaning to buy Francisco Goldman's "The Divine Husband"!? Did I succumb to the lavender cover? Did I grab it because I'm so impressed by Europa Books? This is the third book by this discriminating publisher that I've enjoyed, the other two being "Old Filth" by Jane Gardam and Muriel Barbery's "The Elegqnce of the ...more
The Jewish Husband by Lia Levi
Europa Editions
The cover of the book is evocative of a beautiful and graceful Sophia Loren--I loved It!

What a wonderful surprise this book was! I've read many stories about WWII and the holocaust but not one about what life was like during Facist Italy. Dino Carpi, now David Katz and living in Israel, is writing a letter to his son, Michele. A letter to try to explain his abandonment of his family before WWII sweeps throughout Europe. A story of love for Sonia and t
Good Book Fairy
an interesting look at facist italy during the 1930's and a love affair between a privileged italian girl (her last name is Gentile) and a jewish teacher. the Pauline law takes place to allow them to marry and the short book takes you through the conflicts that arise during this time period. i found the translation inspiring and some of the quotes from the main character quite provoking.
"But hatred is a poison that moves terribly quickly because, unlike love, it need waste no time seeking a soul
A very enlightening novel...about a mixed marriage takes place in the onset of the Fascist movement.
A lovely sad book.
The time is 1930, the place fascist Italy. A young Jewish professor falls in love with the beautiful Sonia. She is everything he is not; a privileged daughter of a wealthy, prominent Gentile family. He must have her at all costs, which he does at great cost to his religious nature. These costs snowball into even greater ones as Hitler makes his presence felt in Italy and the world.
Nancy Hand
One of the best books I've read in the last few years!
If not for the fascinating historical setting--Italy in the 1930s as Fascism increasingly determined political, social, and personal relationships--I might not have finished this book. Despite a wealth of information about all the main characters, I never felt that I really knew them or cared about them.
It took me a little while to get into this one however I'm glad I stuck with it. It was a thought-provoking and compelling novel about a Jewish-Italian teacher who falls in love with a privileged Catholic woman in the 1930s and the consequences of the compromises/sacrifices he makes so that they can marry.
A very uniquely written book from the perspective of a Jewish man in Israel looking back 30 years on his experience as a Jew in Fascist Italy. The beginning dragged a bit , but the end of the novel was engrossing with a good twist. A fairly easy read that I would classify as another good "airplane read".
Sue (booknbeachbag)
I thought the story was interesting, but the language was extremely cumbersome. It's possible that's because it was translated from Italian into English.

I also wonder how or why it was so easy for Nico and his parents to get visas to Palestine so quickly.
This one kind of crept on me. It is quietly told but gathers force as the story mvoes to the ultimate conclusion-rahter like watching a wave break on shore.

I hope more books by this author are translated.
Geri Shaw
Well written. I very much enjoyed it, but got a little frustrated with how the main character is so accepting of restrictions imposed upon him by his in-laws, and never speaks up.
This was an entertaining read, but more of a love story than an account of Fascism during WW2. I really liked it, but was wanting a little more historical substance.
Feb 04, 2010 Sue rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Sue by: Priya
Shelves: jewish-themes
A rather different story about life & love in Fascist Italy.
Quick read. Interesting. Something different.
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Goodreads Librari...: 978-1-933372-93-8 3 18 Apr 13, 2014 12:59PM  
Una valle piena di stelle Una bambina e basta La sposa gentile Da quando sono tornata La lettera B: i sei mesi che hanno sconvolto la mia vita

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