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The Garden of the Finzi-Continis
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1001 book reviews > The Garden of the Finzi-Continis by Giorgio Bassani

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message 1: by Diane (last edited Mar 31, 2019 10:47AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Diane | 2022 comments Rating: 5 stars

This is my favorite book of the month, but I may be a little biased since I had the opportunity to travel to this setting recently. Unfortunately, although I brought this book with me on my trip to read, I didn't read it until after I visited Ferrara. Had I read it first, I would have made sure to visit the landmarks mentioned in the book.

I sometimes skip book introductions (shame!), but I am glad I didn't skip this one. The introduction mentions the impetus of the author for writing this book. While taking a Sunday drive with a group of family and friends, the author visited an ancient Etruscan grave site. A young girl in their party made a comment about why you feel different visiting ancient grave sites than you do more recent cemeteries. The child's father surmised that this is because people in ancient burial sites are long forgotten by those who once knew them and never living people to you, as opposed to cemeteries that contain people you actually knew and loved. This made the author think of a family from his youth who no longer existed. He wrote this book as a tribute to their memory.

The Finzi-Contini's were the most prominent family in town. They led an idealistic life. Their home with its beautiful garden was a sanctuary to the outside world. The narrator was in love with their beautiful daughter. The Finzi-Contini's were also Jewish. (view spoiler).

Overall, a beautiful and emotional story of a bygone era, lost innocence, unrequited love, and a heartfelt tribute to a lost family.


message 2: by Diane (new) - added it

Diane Zwang | 1218 comments Mod
Diane wrote: "Rating: 5 stars

This is my favorite book of the month, but I may be a little biased since I had the opportunity to travel to this setting recently. Unfortunately, although I brought this book with..."


Sounds like a great book.


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