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Article

When We Were Romans

Posted on

When We Were Romans

type:
Book
Current Status:
In Season
author:
Matthew Kneale
publisher:
Nan A. Talese
genre:
Fiction

We gave it a B+

Nine-year-old Lawrence, the precocious narrator of this polished novel, flees Britain with his quixotic mother, bratty kid sister, and cherished collection of Tintin books. Their destination: Rome. Their ostensible goal: to escape Lawrence’s estranged, possibly menacing father. But what is really happening becomes sadly apparent as we watch the family career haphazardly around the Eternal City, crashing in random apartments, making and losing friends, all while running chronically short of cash. How much Lawrence understands of his family’s tribulations is When We Were Romans‘ central, poignant mystery; the consummate artistry with which Matthew Kneale captures this child’s voice, its chief pleasure. B+