Shelf Control #5: When We Were Romans by Matthew Kneale

Shelf Control is a weekly book meme @ Bookshelf Fantasies in which we write about one book that we want to read and already own. Read our hostess Lisa’s choice for this week over here.

Nine-year-old Lawrence is the man in his family. He carefully watches over his willful little sister, Jemima, and his mother, Hannah. When Hannah becomes convinced that their estranged father is stalking them, the family flees London and heads for Rome, where Hannah lived happily as a young woman. For Lawrence, fascinated by stories of popes and emperors, Rome is an adventure. Though they are short of money, and move from home to home, staying with his mother’s old friends, little by little their new life seems to be taking shape. But the trouble that brought them to Italy will not quite leave them in peace.

Narrated in Lawrence’s perfectly rendered voice, When We Were Romans powerfully evokes the emotions and confusions of childhood—the triumphs, the jealousies, the fears, and the love. Even as everything he understands is turned upside down, Lawrence remains determined to keep his family together, viewing the world from a perspective that is at once endearingly innocent and preternaturally wise. (goodreads)

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I absolutely loved the author’s English Passengers [if you haven’t read that, do yourself a favour and read it 😀] and was so eager to read anything written by him that I bought it without even reading the blurb. And now it remains unread because I am just a little bit wary of children who have to act like adults.

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Have you read it? Do you like children-centric books?

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6 thoughts on “Shelf Control #5: When We Were Romans by Matthew Kneale

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