Book Reviews,  Europe,  FICTION,  FOUR STARS ****,  History

Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis De Bernieres **** (of 4)

On its surface it is a story of the Italian occupation of the Greek island of Cefalonia during WWII. Captain Corelli, of the Italian armed forces, is billeted in a simple Greek home inhabited by a doctor, his sagacious daughter, and a pine martin that acts like a cat. De Bernieres incomparably constructs characters through who’s eyes we see the dehumanization of war and the simultaneous unfolding of love between father and daughter, and daughter and Captain; a love built, as the doctor says, “when the roots of neighboring trees intertwine to form an inseparable entanglement.” I laughed out loud in places, and in others, I was glad I was listening to the recorded book alone, so no one could see the tears welling in my eyes. July 2006.