Elsa's comfortable life in Mussolini's Fascist Italy changes remarkably in 1934 when she and her husband purchase the Pensione Alexandra overlooking the Mediterranean in Naples. Travelers from throughout the world come to their door, each with their own story, mystery, or surprise. Nearly all have been touched by the ominous changes occurring to the north, in Nazi-controlled Germany. When war breaks out, her fears are quickly realized as they attempt a desperate journey to safety in America.
Plot: This book is well structured and moves along at a good pace. Readers will be engaged throughout.
Prose: The prose is clean and crisp, but fails to distinguish itself. Additionally, the author is prone to moralizing, which at times takes away from the story.
Originality: Webster creatively mixes historical storytelling with a personal story. Also, the first-person narration is original and compelling.
Character Development: The character development here is strong, particularly that of Josef and Kaethe, both of whom are vividly drawn.
Date Submitted: April 10, 2018