Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Leon, Donna (The Girl of His Dreams)

If you read back through my posts, you'll see me waxing rhapsodic on Donna Leon's novels. I'm not going to repeat myself here. Instead, I'll say, sadly, that I think Leon peaked in "Suffer the Little Children" and "Through a Glass, Darkly". Both of these offered deft social criticism as well as an entrancing mystery. This novel tries to do the same but feels tired, as if she's saying "oh, have I not written about the Rom before, ok, let me get that out of the way."

It's certainly a depressing subject, and as per Leon, she tries to provide all sides of the issue-- not making them heroes and not making them villains, which I admire. I know it's difficult for some folks to read about, so I'll point out that this novel revolves around the death of a child, in somewhat graphic detail. Not the death per se, but the aftermath, which is nearly as bad.

So, if you haven't read the two I recommend above, I'd pass this one up for those. The themes remain the same: food, family, honor and loyalty, and, Commissario Brunetti reading classical literature. Always a hoot.

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