I love historical fiction, and lately I’ve been trying to find more historical fiction written about the late 19th century and early 20th century. I was in the middle of the Bronze Horseman series when I saw that Elizabeth Street by Laurie Fabiano was available as a free “lending library” download on my Kindle.
The book covers 20 years in the life of Giovanna — from 1890 to 1910. It starts with her life in Southern Italy and then follows her to the United States. It also tells the story of her childhood sweetheart.
The biggest problem with the book, and its narrative, is that many chunks of the book are told from the point of view of Giovanna’s great-granddaughter. But, the chunks are from two different times — some when the great-granddaughter is a pre-teen and some when the great-granddaughter is a young adult. It makes for a very confusing narrative.
Aside from the confusing narrative, I also found the story and characters to be really flat. Most of the story that takes place in the 1890-1910 timeframe is from Giovanna’s point of view but there’s no depth to any of the other characters. There’s a 2nd husband that is central to many of the plot points in the 2nd half of the book, but we learn nothing about him before he met Giovanna and his portrayal in most of the rest of the book is almost non-existant.
If you had to actually pay for the book, I wouldn’t recommend it.
Title: Elizabeth Street
Author: Laurie Fabiano
Book Type: Historical Fiction (early 20th century)