by William Trevor
Mrs. Emily Delahunty–a mysterious and not entirely trustworthy former madam–quietly runs a pensione in the Italian countryside and writes romance novels while she muses on her checkered past. Then one day her world is changed forever as th train she is riding in is blown up by terrorists. Taken to a local hospital to recuperate, she befriends the other survivors–an elderly English general, an American child, and a German boy–and takes them all to convalesce at her villa, with unforeseen results.
I am never disappointed with a William Trevor novel. This is a lovely story. My copy is the HBO movie version so there is a picture on the front cover of Maggie Smith as Mrs. Delahunty. I would have preferred to not have that vision in my mind as I read. I’d have liked to visualize her from the words, but having said that, I did watch the movie on Youtube yesterday and Maggie Smith did a wonderful job of portraying her! On the other hand, Quinty was such an unlovely character in the book and Timothy Spall’s portrayal in the movie was so much nicer than the visual I got from reading. They changed a few thing up in the movie to be able to get the storyline in in a set period of time I believe and they changed the end completely. But it was very good. You can watch it by clicking the link above. I’d read the book first then the movie.
Back to the novel… I really liked Mrs. Delahunty. Would have loved to go to her house in Umbria and visited with her. She had an interesting life. Such a caring heart she had even though life had been hard to her. I enjoyed watching the relationships and healing taking place between the victims of the terrorist attack on her train. And surprised and saddened by the revelation at the end. A good book and a good movie!