Published Jan 1, 2014
Trade paperback, 352 pages
I was instantly attracted to this book for several reasons. It's got a great cover, it's set in Italy during WWII and it's about the Monuments Men, a topic I have not read about before. We have the promise of a strong heroine, an American photographer who sets out to take photos dangerously close to the front lines with the hopes of also finding the father she never knew.
I dug into this story with high expectations but soon found myself struggling with it. I definitely liked that the story revolves around the efforts to save great works of art during the war. This really lent a good angle to the story. And Italy's works of art are priceless! I did not realize what people did to preserve them from the bombings. It made me curious to know more about the Monuments Men who fought to do their job because the army wasn't always supportive.
Unfortunately, I couldn't resonate with any of the characters. I felt the characters needed more development. Rachel and Scott fall for each other but many times acted contrary to their feelings, and not much happens between them. It was a boring romance. The plot is weak initially (Rachel leaves her dying mother to find, in war-torn Italy no less, a man she never knew with the only clue being a sketchbook?) but picks up toward the end with more action and intrigue. I liked that Rachel was a talented photographer, but at times she came across as juvenile, using expressions such as "wondering what it would be like to have a daddy..."
The story is set in Italy but very few Italian expressions are used and several times they were wrong. I wasn't transported to that era the way I thought I would be. There's a lot of focus on Rachel finding God and suddenly she does, which always makes me roll my eyes to think that without opening up a Bible or attending some form of worship, a person suddenly finds God. Anyhow, that's just how I see it.
Overall, the premise of this book is good, and I'm happy to have learned more about the Monuments Men, but the story itself fell flat for me. But I think I'm in the minority here, so be sure to also check out the reviews of those who loved this book.
Note: This book is rated C = clean read.
Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/sCIbG
About the author:
Cara C. Putman graduated high school at 16, college at 20, and completed her law degree at 27. The best-selling author of more than a dozen books, Cara is active in women's ministry at her church, teaches graduate courses at Purdue University, practices law, and is a homeschooling mom. She lives with her husband and 4 children in Indiana.
Learn more about Cara at: http://caraputman.com
Reviewed by Laura
Disclosure: Thanks to Litfuse and the publisher for sending me this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.
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