Terribilita by Benjamin Shore tells the story of three generations of the Ferrando family and opens in Genoa, Italy in 1881. These men are Grandfather, known as Old Bull because of his activities in the Italian revolution, Enzo, his son, who is a military man, and the youngest, Lucca, who becomes the main character in the story. An artist at heart, at the age of twelve, Lucca is sent to work on a ship to learn navigation, cartography, and the general tasks on board, where he meets the captain’s daughter, Grace, who is also learning to become a pilot. Over the course of five years, Lucca learns the ins and outs of life at sea and falls in love with Grace. Meanwhile, his father Enzo is hard at work turning a ragamuffin battalion of men into a top-notch group of soldiers. Shore has intertwined true facts with fiction in this action-packed tale that takes place on the high seas and the shores of Eritrea, all the way to the snowy Dolomite mountains. His use of visual details brings readers deep into the story and his dialogue flows naturally. A more thorough edit would have eliminated some of the repetitions of words and awkwardness found in the text. The switching points of view prior to solidifying into Lucca’s point of view can be confusing. However, none of this should deter readers from enjoying the story. Romance, adventure, pirates, murder, and mayhem are all intertwined to create a fast-paced narrative in this historical fiction novel.
Author: Ben Wyckoff Shore
Website: Cinder Block Publishing