Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis DeBernieres

Corellis MandolinIn my last post I mentioned my disappointment with books considered more contemporary literature so I was concerned when I found that Corelli’s Mandolin was published in 1994.  The book, however, was highly recommended, including by those in the blogosphere, so I agreed to include it in my second list.  This is advice I am certainly glad I followed.

During occupation in Greece in WWII, a young Greek woman falls in love with an Italian captain.  His love for music and disdain for the war makes this unlikely love interest all the more appealing.  The eventual presence of the British and Germans, however, cause civil unrest and the duties of war separate the lovers.

Daughter to the town’s unofficial doctor, Palagia is engaged to a Greek soldier out in battle and becomes attracted to Corelli, the Italian captain who is living in her home.  His love of music and clowning endear him to her and she eventually reveals her true feelings for him.  She admires her father who treats her with respect and shares his knowledge of medicine with her when she declares her intention of becoming a physician.

Captain Antonio Corelli is liked by most who meet him as he never takes himself too seriously.  He is open to others and fun to be around and adapts easily to changing situations.  He makes no secret of his feelings about the war and his disgust for it is shared freely.  Who couldn’t fall for a guy who names his mandolin?

The tragic Carlo Piero Guercio is a closeted homosexual who keeps his feelings to himself and suffers a great deal after the man he loves is killed.  He comes out of his grief after meeting Corelli and pays the ultimate price for the new man he has come to adore.  A hero if ever there was one.

It’s pretty evident after reading Corelli’s Mandolin that Mr. DeBernieres is a musician so I’d love to hear him play his mandolin, have a light meal and then have some serious debates on the current affairs of the world.  Seemingly a man of many talents, I would hope he would share some of his writing skills.

My rating for Corelli’s Mandolin is a 9 out of 10.

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Next up, John Cheever’s The Wapshot Scandal…The Wapshot Scandal


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