BOOK REVIEW / Paperbacks: Nocturne - Lisa St Aubin de Teran: Penguin, pounds 5.99

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The Independent Culture
An Italian Les Enfants du Paradis, this is the story of peasant Alessandro, blinded by passion for a gypsy girl. Years later, a maimed and literally sightless war veteran, he recounts the story of the love which has sustained him to a young soldier, Stefano. As the mystery of Alessandro's mutilation is resolved, Stefano, the sensitive son of a strict magistrate, is reconciled to his own sorrows. Italian village life is brilliantly evoked but the young boy's emotional healing is less convincing.