I have just finished reading The Children’s Train by Viola Argone which has been translated from Italian by Clarissa Botford. The book is classified as historical fiction and takes place after World War II. Italy was devastated by the war. Our story is told by seven year-old Amerigo Speranza who lives with his mother who is trying to figure out how to live day by day. The reader is immediately sympathetic for this little boy who searches for rags and has no shoes that fit him. Left to wander the streets, we have a view into his life. His mother makes the decision to send him to live in communist northern Italy to live with a family. The descriptions of Amerigo getting his own shoes even though they are too small for him, and getting food that he has never had makes the reader feel very sympathetic. On the train, one of the children thinks that the ground is covered with ricotta cheese.
I found this book very hard to read and I had to set it down several times. This could be the translation. My thanks to Bookishfirst and Harper Via for an ARC of this book. The opinions in this review are my own.