Sometimes you start reading a book, and know within a few pages that you’ve got something special in your hands. Virginia Baily’s Early One Morning is one of those books.
Early One Morning starts during the Second World War, and gives an interesting perspective on the conflict. We see soldiers who have run away from battle, prisoners on trains, families who have been ruined by war, and of course Daniele. Instead of showing victims from the battlefields, Baily shows us the everyday victims of the war, and their suffering is just as awful. Chiara and her family must carry on living their lives as normally as they can, even though absolutely nothing is normal.
Baily gives us a story about family, blood and that which we make ourselves, and Chiara has both. As we delve into the past and find out about Chiara’s parents and sister, we see why she is so determined to protect Daniele, even sacrificing others who are close to her. I don’t want to spoil it, but discovering what has happened to one of Chiara’s family members is just so, so devastating.
Early One Morning is a sweeping story, played out in two continents and two different times, each charged with equal emotion. It isn’t a book that breaks your heart. It’s a book that chips away at your heart with a tiny hammer until you’re left a shattered mess, and only Baily can piece it back together again.
•Early One Morning is out in the UK on July 23, 2015.
How I got this book: From the publisher, Virago. This did not affect my review.