The Garden of the Finzi-Continis, Paperback Book

The Garden of the Finzi-Continis Paperback

Part of the Penguin Modern Classics series

4.5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


This is a haunting, elegiac novel which captures the mood and atmosphere of Italy (and in particular Ferrara) in the last summers of the thirties, focusing on an aristocratic Jewish family moving imperceptibly towards its doom.

Vittorio De Sica turned the book into a film in 1970, winning the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1974.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • ISBN: 9780141188362

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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

An Italian friend said "Oh, that's a book we read at school" when I mentioned it to her; despite that, I liked it, even if it felt a bit like an Italian version of <i>Brideshead Revisited</i>. You know the sort of thing &amp;mdash; young man with literary aspirations ingratiates himself with grand-but-doomed family. But there's lots of very enjoyable detail, symbolism that works but doesn't thrust itself down your throat, and political, artistic and emotional storylines that complement each other very stylishly. Jamie McKendrick's translation for Penguin Modern Classics also seems to work very well, hinting at the linguistic complexity of the original but not getting too adventurous in rendering it into English.

Review by

A historical novel set among an Italian Jewish community in the Second World War, this book has lyrical descriptive passages and a moving elegiac storyline. Very enjoyable.

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