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3.24  ·  Rating details ·  68 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Adriana Nardi is only 10 years old when Allied forces occupy her lush island home during World War II, plaguing the quiet Italian village with violence and uncertainty. Amdu is a Senegalese soldier who abandons his comrades and befriends Adriana after witnessing an unspeakable act that has far-reaching repercussions.

Decades later, on a commuter train bound for Penn Station
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published September 3rd 2007 by Little, Brown and Company (first published 2005)
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Average rating 3.24  · 
Rating details
 ·  68 ratings  ·  12 reviews

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Walter Polashenski
Jun 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
At first I thought the story was a little contrived, but it got more compelling as it went on. Still not sure the story in the present added much.
Mar 27, 2009 rated it did not like it
Book #7 of 2009
I did not like this book much. I borrowed it because most of it is set on the island of Elba. I remember Elba being a magical place where I spent a weekend the summer I stayed in Italy. The book though, was rather dull. The perspective switched between Adriana Nardi, 10 years old - almost 11 - at the time of the Liberation of Elba, her mother Guila, her uncle Mario, a Senglenese soldier Amdu Diop who Adriana and Guila nurse back to health after he develops a fever, and Mrs. Rundel
Jun 23, 2012 rated it it was ok
This almost ended up in my DNF pile - a few chapters in it was just all over the place - hard to explain but I didn't like it at all. However I stuck with it (it's very short which helped) and the story finally did settle down to be interesting - never thought about Elba other than Napoleon - so that was interesting. And a little magical. I never did make the connection between the present day and past other than the main character and learning where she ended up. Probably a 2.5 stars. ...more
Sep 30, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I wanted more. Relatively nice writing- not too surface level, not too flowery. The characters were clear and interesting, but not nearly as full as I would have liked them to be. I rarely felt I was getting the meat of the story. Even so, the way humanity met imagination carried me through to the end. Oh, to be a 10 year old girl again.
Mar 11, 2009 rated it liked it
Written by a Brighton author which was fun. Narrative switched from a young girl's perspective during the liberation of Elba durng WWII by Sengelese soldiers, to that same girl many years later. Slow at times, but worth the read. ...more
barbara hinderer
Feb 24, 2014 rated it did not like it
Really hard to get into and not a very capturing storyline. Good writing, but needs more story development.
Aug 16, 2015 marked it as abandoned
I didn't care for the long rambling sentences so I abandoned it. ...more
Feb 15, 2011 rated it it was ok
A decent read that takes the reader between the past (specifically WWII Italy as the island of Elba is liberated by French Colonials) and present day America. A quick, easy read.
Jun 28, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A little difficult to read in parts. One entirely unexpected and undeveloped narrative voice. Just okay.
Lewis Weinstein
Jul 24, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction-general
Nice premise; threads of story between WWII and 60 years later not tied as powerfully as they might have been.
Sep 20, 2012 rated it it was ok
liked the premise of the novel but found it a bit dry.
Feb 10, 2008 added it
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from the backcover:
Joanna Scott is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Rochester. She has also taught in the creative writing programs at Princeton University and the University of Maryland. She was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship during the writing of Arrogance.

Librarian note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.


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