Lisa's Reviews > The Evening of the Holiday

The Evening of the Holiday by Shirley Hazzard
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it was amazing
bookshelves: australia, c20th

Shirley Hazzard is the acclaimed author of The Great Fire, which was longlisted for the 2004 Man Booker Prize for Fiction; shortlisted for the 2005 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award; and won the 2003 American National Book Award for fiction and subsequently the 2004 Miles Franklin Award. I am ashamed to realise that it took an American award for me to discover this very fine writer and her small but very interesting body of work.

The Evening of the Holiday is an enchanting book. Set in Tuscany, it brings back memories of the glorious landscape:

Endless golden hills were posted with clusters or straight lines of black cypresses and sometimes, magnificently, with one splendid tree. A handful of cooperative farmhouses, painted white, faced them on an approaching hillside, but the few other buildings were isolated, ancient and of grey stone. From the fields the scents were of the dry red earh and the cut grain and of rosemary. (p40)

But this, Hazzard’s first novel, is not a romantic Frances Mayes’ nostalgia trip. This is the sharply observed story of a love affair between English-Italian Sophie, and Tancredi, a sophisticated Italian whose wife has left him. It traverses their hesitations, their passion and the inevitable end of the affair with clear insight.

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Reading Progress

Started Reading
April 15, 2009 – Finished Reading
March 26, 2010 – Shelved

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