Sophie's Reviews > Twice Born

Twice Born by Margaret Mazzantini
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's review
May 01, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: first-reads, 2011, adult-fiction, contemporary-literature, historical-fiction
Read from June 22 to July 14, 2011

Thanks to goodreads First Reads for the free, advance reader's copy of this book.

I think that for most American readers, Mazzantini's Twice Born is a harder read. For starters, I personally didn't have much to go on to place this story in context - I'm not super familiar with the region, and have never read anything about the turmoil in this area recently or historically. The narrator doesn't help in that regard; a few names are dropped, and nothing more. While I understand not wanting to bog the story in side story details (does which war really matter?), it was hard to wade through so disorientated.

Another reviewer made the point that had this been an American novel, the focus would have been largely on Gemma and Diego's relationship - the love story. Instead we get a much more complex story with heavier emphasis on all the relationships. It's unexpected, but refreshing. Even though the narrative kept me jumping (and to be honest, I was wishing for just a bit more cohesiveness), the overall effect works. This was heartbreaking and the slow pace steadily drew me in to the story.

Overall I really enjoyed this novel. It's different, it's compelling, and despite any criticism I might have, it was tough to put down. I look forward to reading Mazzantini's other works.

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Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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Susan Forrest yes...without a knowledge of recent history, it would be hard to understand the reader has to bring some cultural knowledge with her.

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