My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Set in WW2 Italy, Early One Morning tells the story of a young Catholic Italian woman who intertwines her life with that of a small Jewish boy. Having made eye contact with his mother, she instinctively claims him as her nephew, saving him from transport to the death camps.
I was expecting this to be a sweeping tear jerker, a holocaust romance of brave saviors and loss (which would not have been a bad thing). This book was a pleasant surprise. Baily’s writing is full of delicious details of 1940s life in Rome and in the countryside. Chiara is a beautifully real character, even if Daniele and Maria are not as well realized. This is a story about love, obligation, and loss, the messy ways our lives connect, loving people despite the ways they fail us, and making at least a little peace. I enjoyed it tremendously.