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REVIEW: The Sound Of The Hours by Karen Campbell

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A sweeping and romantic novel about love, loss, and conflict in an occupied Italian town during World War II.

Trapped in Tuscany as war rages along the Gothic Line, Vittoria Guidi doesn't understand where her allegiances should lie. With her Scots-Italian father or Fascist mother? With Mussolini, or her King? With the life she wants, or is told to live?

As Germans occupy the mountains round Barga, and US Buffalo soldiers draw near, loyalties are tested and families torn apart. Frank Chapel, a young, black soldier fighting for a country that refuses him the vote, is unlike anyone Vita has met. In the chaos, they find each other--but can their growing love defy prejudice and war?

The Sound of the Hours is an all-consuming tale of romance and loss. It is at once an intimate and tender portrait of first love and a sweeping evocation of an extraordinary, devastating moment in history.


TITLE- The Sound Of The Hours
AUTHOR- Karen Campbell
PUBLISHERS- Bloomsbury
FORMAT- Paperback

*Thanks to the Publishers for a paperback review copy.*

This is the first book that I have ever read, set up in world war II. I love historical romances but before this, I have never ever read anything about the wartime, that too a war with such long-lasting after-effects.

Set up in the era of WWII, the story revolves around Frank, a black soldier in the American army, who is looked down by the white people because of his color. Tortured by the cultural racism, he is struggling to prove his worth and is fighting his best to liberate his country from the shackles of war. Enters Vittoria(Vita), a half Scottish/half Italian girl who is going through her own struggles to survive the turbulent war. She is a headstrong woman who puts others first and has that patriotic vibe. She is brave-hearted and stands up for what she really believes in.

The first half of the book covers different aspects of war: blood, loss, tragedy, racism, mental, emotional and sexual traumas. The romance thing actually begins halfway through the book when Frank saves Vita from being sexually exploited at the hands of his fellow soldiers. This scene marks their first meeting and the beginning of the romance element in the book.

As the book paces, Frank and Vita fall hopelessly in love despite their racial differences. They try hard to stay together during tough times and I believe that it is their love that keeps them going despite all the heartache and loss.

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I was so keen on reading this book after I read the blurb. Initially, I thought that I'd love this one but it didn't meet my expectations as such. I loved the concept and I understand that the author might have done lots and lots of research to construct a plot like this but I felt like the book was a lot stretched out than required. The first half of the book was basically all war and the characters didn't even meet until half of the book. I would have liked it much more if the characters would have met earlier. Also, I felt that the supporting characters were quite vague and dull.

Talking about the storytelling, the author has done a wonderful job at it, all the emotions are well described and I was able to feel it all to the core. Believe me when I say that the couple has to go through a lot! This book is full of heartache and loss.

Wrapping up, I'd like to say that it was a fair read for me, though I got agitated because of the stretchy plot but still, I enjoyed certain parts more than the others and as this book was criticized a lot so I'd just like to say that we always find something good in every book. No book well-written is a waste of time.

Strongly recommended to historical fiction lovers. Pick up this book only if you have the patience to read a stretched-out story because if you are patient enough only then you'll be able to enjoy it.





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