Derek Hansen – Lunch with Mussolini (07-021)
Only a short trip, yet I finished both my books before I knew it. Then, in the supermarket, I bump into this book, hidden amongst the usual pile of bestselling authors one finds in foreign supermarkets geared at tourists. Having read Hansen’s debut novel ‘Lunch with the Generals’, the choice was easy, I just had to read this book in the flight back home the next day.
The idea is simple, as in his first book, with the same characters, the storyteller tells his story to his friends every Thursday over a meal in a restaurant in Sydney. It takes seven weeks to complete the story, the listeners later find out why.
The story is about a girl from Italy who fled to Australia after the war to marry another Italian immigrant she hadn’t met before. There must have been something in her past, probably something to do with the war. He never asked.
Fifty years later Colombina meets someone in Sydney she recognizes. But is he the same man as the one she remembered so well from the Second World War?
Hansen is a storyteller himself, one can easily imagine this story being told to others, it is no surprise he chooses this form to write a book. He certainly knows how to entertain his public, how to drag someone into a story. I might have to do an effort to find the third and fourth book in the ‘Lunch with”-series.
Title: Lunch with Mussolini
Author: Derek Hansen
# Pages: 432 (3871)