Nada. A historical thriller by Arthur J. Penn

Rating: 5 Stars
Genre: Historical Thriller
ISBN-1492831255
Pages: 330
ASIN: B00G13ZNLG
File Size: 423 KB

Nada. A historical thriller by Arthur J. Penn is perhaps the best debut novel I have read in a long time. Because I was unfamiliar with the “Mamuthones” and Sardinia, Mr Penn piqued my curiosity from the beginning—what were these creatures, what were they doing, who was Edo, and why was he killed?

The setting is Sardinia in the 1930s. Mussolini is coming into power. Few Italians can resist his call, and those that do are at risk. Can one person make a difference? Events in Eleanor Cardinale’s life transform her from a young, obedient, church-going Italian teen into an enlightened woman involved in the resistance. I fully enjoyed watching this transformation, even though it came as a result of a series of cruel and atrocious events.

The story is complex, with many undercurrents: love and betrayal, the church and patriarchy, racism, feminism, coming of age, Fascism, the ugliness of war, the belief that nothing exists after death, and much more. Mr. Penn weaves the historical and geographical backdrops into a page-turning tale that I could not put down. I highly recommend this book.