Steal You Away

My dad has a friend who is an avid reader – he is never without a book and has been known to stand in the shower, reading (as he washes himself) from a book at the end of his outstretched arm!

I haven’t yet managed to perfect that art, but I do sympathise with the urge. Sometimes you get a book that you don’t want to tear yourself away from and even five minutes .

I’m not sure Steal You Away was quite a ‘read it in the shower’ book (not least because I read it on my Kindle), but it was very close and certainly kept me completely engrossed over the Easter weekend.

It’s written by Niccolo Ammaniti, who wrote I’m Not Scared (one of my favourite books and one I know a lot of hush customers have enjoyed too) and is similarly set in small town Italy.

I’m not sure whether it was from my knowledge of that story or from reading the reviews on Amazon prior to downloading it, but I had a deep sense of foreboding throughout rather like I did when reading The Kite Runner.

I knew something terrible was going to happen, but I didn’t know what - and rather than lessening the impact of the plot, it actually heightened my enjoyment.

It was like that feeling you get in a scary movie when the music tells you something bad is about to happen,

However, until we get to that point, I should say that the book is very funny and hugely enjoyable - I loved the different characters the author introduces, all of whom have an interesting backstory but all of whom are eminently believable.

In fact, the whole thing feels very cinematic. While reading it, I almost had the feeling that I had seen it on screen before, so it is something of a surprise that it hasn't been turned into a movie.

But maybe they couldn't find someone to play Graziano Biglia, the grotesque ageing Latin lothario with whom Ammanito is surely poking fun at his countrymen...