MixedThe Jewish TimesKind of a drag ... The writer’s powers of description are impeccable, even in translation, and her sense of the dramatic is on full display in her tale of a Genoan Jewish family caught up in the gears of Italy’s fascist turn. But confusion reigns in this short novel, which introduces characters and plot lines that are quickly dropped, as if Levi, overflowing with ideas, had trouble deciding which to include ... In the chapters about him, you can see the outline of an interesting book, with grand machinations of history and familial strife seen through the eyes of a precocious little boy. But Levi finds so many other characters to inhabit that we don’t spend as much time with Alessandro as we’d like. In such a short book, far too much real estate is occupied by far-flung cousins and other minor characters.