Reviewed by Steven Robson for Readers' Favorite
Molto Grande by Dick Franklin, as the name suggests, is a very big adventure into a life far removed from our perception by the passage of time; twin journeys of two young Italian brothers, originating from a small village called Little Ariccia in the year 1693. Vast in scale, this is truly an epic experience of discovery, where the circle of life unfolds before thirteen-year-old Luca Giordano and his twelve-year-old brother Nicolo, as they become separated through the disparity of age and are swept across Europe by the tides of human influence. In a time of great unrest, where oppression of human rights is common, and brutality, poverty, and despair are constant companions to many, what shines beyond all of the darkness is the power of love. Love that will drive both young men to a future that will shock their senses and leave them in speechless wonder at just how amazing life can be, as they complete their own circle in life’s passing existence.
Dick Franklin, in Molto Grande, has created a masterpiece of entertainment on an incredible scale. The way Mr. Franklin weaves the plot through famous places and historical personalities is quite deft, and the net effect is to immerse you in a period in history full of unprecedented dangers and awe-inspiring wonders. The characters are built superbly and definitely grab the reader’s empathy, enabling all of the emotions to play out through their experiences; there are many moments when tissues may be required. What is even more impressive are the subtle and surprising twists that unfold for the reader, but remain hidden from the main players, as they are propelled to shocking revelations that you know will lead to a dynamic and explosive climax. I loved so much about this book, but possibly the most astounding aspect of all is that there were so many wonderful characters brought to life; real personalities from which I would find it extremely difficult to name a favorite. This is the quality of Molto Grande.