One autumn in the late 1920s, Constanza boards a train in Italy en route to Brussels and a new marriage. With her is her young daughter Flavia. Through an odd incident Constanza makes a casual decision that changes both their lives.
This novel opens up in the late 1920’s with Constanza and her daughter Flavia in the French Riviera. Neither of them have any real idea of what they are doing, or indeed where they are. The loss of a ring leads Constanza to make a life altering decision. Then, the story moves back, to Constanza’s childhood, her life with warring parents, a New England heiress and an Italian prince.
This novel I found to be quite confusing at times to follow as you are getting your head around these characters and the time change.
Oh my god, we get it that the parents had an odd relationship however I really disliked Constanza’s point of view of cheating within relationships.
Constanza, when she has an open-relationship point of view about her mother leaving her father when he lied to her for 17 years by having an affair. I disliked this very much as Constanza thought it is okay to have fun and that people are not owned.
When you commit to someone. Whether it is on paper or you just commit to them before it leads to something like that it is very important because no, you are not owned however you made the commitment to commit to only that person. They do not own you but you committed to only them is what Constanza cannot seem to understand.
However, I did enjoy this novel in terms with how it was written, for the most part however it took me a good while to finish this novel. Constanza marrying for the sake of it – having to be pushed into it then realising she does love him but doesn’t in that way? Oh she infuriates me.
I like that this novel tries to tell it in an elegant way however there are some silly opinions that are supposed to show the younger and fresh generation at that time’s point of view.
After the war and everything that happens throughout, the novel closes with Fascism taking over, where the specter of Marxism causes the Italian aristocracy to make unhealthy allegiances with Mussolini, and the fate of Europe is uncertain by the end.
The only thing that has been consistent in this is that Flavia and Constanza have no real desire to settle down