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Group Read Books - archive > Group Read - Playing with Fire Chap 4-8 Spoilers welcome

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message 1: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14396 comments The first person(s) to post please summarize this segment to guide the discussion.
Chapters 4-8 Lorenzo


message 2: by Shomeret (new)

Shomeret | 1371 comments The Lorenzo sections take place in Italy in the 1930's. Lorenzo Tedesco is a talented young violinist. He and cellist Laura Balbini rehearse a duet for a competition. They are certain they will win. Unfortunately, Lorenzo is Jewish and they are disqualified. They insist on going onstage and playing anyway. Afterwards, Lorenzo is beaten and hurled on to the street. The family had been advised to leave the country, but his father and grandfather consider Italy their home. Only Lorenzo's older brother Marco is willing to consider leaving. He asks Lorenzo to go to Spain with him, but Lorenzo can't leave his family behind.


message 3: by Shomeret (new)

Shomeret | 1371 comments Once I knew the historical period, I could see their disqualification coming a mile away and wondered why more of the characters didn't realize that this would happen. Laura's father, for example, seemed to be very aware of what was going on, but he still thought that Lorenzo and his daughter would win the competition.

Marco wasn't as smart as he thought. Going to Franco's Spain wasn't such a great idea. Spain hasn't been friendly to Jews ever since they were expelled in 1492. I actually would recommend Shanghai. They were taking Jewish refugees when no one else would.


message 4: by Sue (last edited Dec 13, 2015 01:27PM) (new)

Sue | 26 comments I was actually surprised that this was turning out to be a WWII storyline. I must admit I was less interested in Lorenzo storyline and prefered Julia storyline and I did wonder how their stories would come meet and did wonder if they were related in some way.

The music competition did remind of the 'Sound Of Music' and I think I could see the disqualification coming.


message 5: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14396 comments By the end of this segment the story of the cello and violin duet practice sessions and budding love between Lorenzo and Laura has pulled me in, and while a surprise, the WWII storyline is compelling.

The disqualification was reminiscent of the Sound of Music. If Lorenzo couldn't perform then why was his family welcome in the audience. Perhaps it is too soon in the evolution of the insidious takeover. What a terrible time.


message 6: by Anne (new)

Anne | 143 comments I agree with a lot of the comments already said here. I'm thinking, though, that this part of the story may become more significant later on. I loved the world of music and fascinated by the timelessness of it - no matter the period in which it was written nor the nationality of the composor. Yet here such freedom is no doubt jarring against the political atmosphere.


message 7: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14396 comments Anne: yes! the beautifully inspired music from Lorenzo and the sessions with Laura did make this segment very compelling and the Nazi threat seems to foreshadow future events.


message 8: by Sherry (new)

Sherry  | 3617 comments Ann wrote: "Anne: yes! the beautifully inspired music from Lorenzo and the sessions with Laura did make this segment very compelling and the Nazi threat seems to foreshadow future events."

Oh, totally. I am anxious to see how the music piece plays into the story later.- and what happens to Lorenzo and his family. I also saw that disqualification coming a mile away. As for his family being in the audience, I am assuming that the audience was kind of "anonymous" and that no one knew specifically who was there. Although, on the other side of my own thoughts, Lorenzo's grandfather had taught at the school and would have been s well know figure there.


message 9: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14396 comments I wondered about that possibility, Sherry where Lorenzo's family didn't realize, and also assumed it might indicate that most people were more tolerant and disagreed with the treatment of Lorenzo and the other Jews who were their neighbors and friends; though quietly it seems, likely for their own protection. Such a terrible thing.

Sherry wrote: "I also saw that disqualification coming a mile away. As for his family being in the audience, I am assuming that the audience was kind of "anonymous" and that no one knew specifically who was there.."


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