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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Above The Walls is a dramatic work of historical fiction penned by author Steve Physioc, and is the sequel to the novel The Walls Of Lucca. Following a secret affair that preceded the events of the Second World War, the fascist politician Alfredo Obizzi is now developing his powers in 1938, ready for the shift that is yet to come. Obizzi is embittered by his experience at the Martellino vineyard, and ready to exact revenge on the family dynasty which own it. Meanwhile, the young generation of the families there are discovering new things for themselves, as childhood friends DeAngelo and Lily grow into a war-torn world that encourages them to cling together.
Having read The Walls Of Lucca last year, it was a delight to step back into the Martellino vineyard and to author Steve Physioc’s unique blend of romantic drama and harrowingly austere pre-war conditions. The research into the lives of 1930s Italian people is stellar, bringing to life both the intricate processes of vineyard living and the wider arc of political oppression in the growing climate of fascism. DeAngelo and Lily are innocents in a world they didn’t ask for, and their tender story plays out well alongside matriarch Susanna’s more complex and dark affair with Obizzi. Viciously drawn but without resorting to cartoons or stereotypes, Obizzi is a powerful villain who makes a chilling impact on the plot overall, and that’s before the real war draws in. Above The Walls will appeal to all readers looking for realistic and emotive historical drama.