Recommended by The Grove Bookshop: Devotion by Louisa Young

December 21, 2015

Mike Sansbury, bookshop manager of The Grove Bookshop, recommends Devotion, the new novel from the bestselling author of My Dear, I Wanted to Tell You and The Heroes’ Welcome. Devotion is a novel of family, love, race and politics set during the electric change of the 1930s.

Tom loves Nenna. Nenna loves her father. Her father loves Mussolini.

Ideals and convictions are not always so clear in the murky years between the end of the First World War and the beginning of the Second. For Tom and Kitty Locke, children of the damaged WW1 generation, visiting their cousin Nenna in Rome is a pure joy. For their adoptive parents Nadine and Riley, though, the ground is still shifting underfoot.

Nobody knew in 1919 that the children they were bearing would be just ripe for the next war in 1939; nobody knew, in 1935, the implications of an Italian Jewish family supporting Mussolini.

Meanwhile Peter Locke and Mabel Zachary have found each other again together in London, itself a city reborn but riddled with its own intolerances. As the heat rises across Europe, voices grow louder and everyone must brace once more to decide what should bring them together, and what must drive them apart.

Mike’s recommendation

“Louisa Young manages to catapult us forwards twenty years from the events of The Heroes’ Welcome, weaving a tale of love, honour and duty. The wonder of this book is that every character is rounded; the supposed heroes are flawed and real, while perhaps the most tragic, Aldo, tears the heart apart as he struggles to combine his two loves, his family and Il Duce. This is a remarkable end to a wonderful trilogy, and I can’t recommend the three books strongly enough.”

Louisa Young

2 June 2015
The Borough Press

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