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AD-gifted | Have you ever been to Florence? Still Life is a mesmerizing, chara…

2 min read

AD-gifted | Have you ever been to Florence? 🦜🎨🍊🍋
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Still Life is a mesmerizing, character-driven historical fiction about a few people’s lives in a post-war world.
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It’s 1944, and in the ruined wine cellar of a Tuscan villa, as the Allied troops advance and bombs fall around them, two strangers meet and share an extraordinary evening. Ulysses Temper is a young British soldier and one-time globe-maker; Evelyn Skinner is a sexagenarian art historian and possible spy. She has come to Italy to salvage paintings from the ruins and relive her memories of the time she encountered EM Forster and had her heart stolen by an Italian maid in a particular Florentine room with a view. These two unlikely people find kindred spirits in each other, and Evelyn’s talk of truth and beauty plants a seed in Ulysses mind that will shape the trajectory of his life – and of those who love him – for the next four decades.
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After finishing the story, I believe that the title perfectly represents my feelings about the book – it is a slow, character driving story spanning multiple decades. Sometimes, it felt like examining a painting – every scene is masterfully crafted and beautifully written, so you could just sit back and admire it. I barely noticed how decades went by chapter after chapter. I felt like just in a real (sometimes still) life, you can just stop and take it all in.
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Characters were masterfully created, and I was genuinely engrossed in the chapter about flooding in Florence, which I needed to research more about it after reading! This book felt a bit like fresh air – filled with art, food and unbreakable friendships – a fantastic read.
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Overall a delightful and emotional book, but it could be a little prolonged at times.
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Review by Ingrid 👩🏻‍🦰

Thank you @4thestatebooks for proof copy 💕🍋

Publishing date: 1st June 🎉