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Still Life, Sarah Winman

Italy 1944. Bombs are falling when a young British soldier, Ulysses Temper, has a chance encounter with 64 year old art historian Evelyn Skinner. It’s a meeting that will shape the rest of his life, and the lives of those around him.

A slow burn but one that drew us all in. A really beautiful collection of eclectic characters forming their own unique family. A book full of love, kindness, generosity and loyalty, of imperfect people doing the best they can. Strong male relationships, cross generational bonds and enduring friendships. A close-knit group where connections matter more than age, race, gender or sexuality. Well-drawn, memorable and warm characters. Fabulous descriptions of Florence and East London, and a palpable and infectious delight in all things Italian. Coincidences and quirks that in other circumstances would feel jarring and unrealistic, somehow work and add to the depth and warmth of the story. An unsentimental but highly visual and evocative writing style. 

You can tell how we felt about the book from some of our comments…

‘Just magnificent’
‘I loved it’
‘Lovely interactions between characters and lovely descriptions of Florence’

Overall score: 8.4

Range: 7 – 9.5

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