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Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite
The Time of No One by Tom De Poto is a brilliantly imagined and expertly written historical novel that plunges readers into a tense moment in Italy during WWII. Set against the backdrop of Rome in 1943, the story follows the dangerous adventure of an American in a world in turmoil. The Nazi soldiers are streaming into the city, with the prime minister in exile and the king nowhere to be found. Pope Pius, a son of the church, is caught in the conflict. But in a world filled with fear and uncertainty and no leadership, who can save the people from the encroaching darkness?
While creating a great historical setting and offering vivid images of the effects of the Nazi invasion in Rome, Tom De Poto doesn't fail to entertain readers, adopting a narrative style that reinforces the humor, exploring the sense of despair in the characters, and considering, with forensic clarity, the social conditions during war. The themes of war, political strife and antisemitism are deftly handled. The characters are elaborately developed but it is the social and political commentary that sets this narrative apart. The Time of No One will have a strong appeal to fans of historical novels, especially those featuring historical characters. This is a great literary achievement, entertaining and utterly engrossing; a story that revisits a moment of history that changed nations irrevocably. I particularly loved the strong narrative voice, the skillful handling of conflict and the author's ability to write history into the drama.