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Mystery set in 1980s ROME

22nd February 2023

Birthright by Charles Lambert, mystery set in 1980s Rome.

Mystery set in 1980s ROME

This is the story of twins – Maddy and Fiona – seemingly separated at birth.

Fiona sees a photo of a child that is the spitting image of herself but she knows it cannot be her because the woman, with whom she is depicted, is not her mother. Nor does she recognise the setting. The mother and child appear to be at a concert in Hyde Park, so it is perhaps taken in the 1960s. Fiona is mesmerised by this photo and knows she has to unravel the mystery, something that feels so personal to her.

After a little investigation, she discovers the identity of the child and that she now lives in Rome. Fiona throws caution to the wind, gives up her PPE studies and takes up Italian, with the clear intention of moving to Rome. Her old friend Ludovico ably assists her in finding accommodation and now, working at the Uni, she fortuitously comes across Maddy. But as anyone can imagine, the shock of discovering someone, who is so similar to yourself, takes quite some managing. It is not an easy encounter and Fiona’s determination to meet Maddy’s mother, who just has to be her ‘real’ mother, becomes overwhelming, bordering on obsessive. Fiona has a very poor relationship with her own mother, and is glad to be out of her clutches. Maddy herself is looking after her mother, who has alcohol issues and struggles to cope with life.

As Fiona is trying to manage this new-found relationship, Patrick, a boyfriend and ne’er do well from her past, turns up and the growing group of friends dance around each other like a dipping and diving murder of crows, scheming and planning next moves.

The author is a compelling writer who keeps the sense of mystery around the young women’s separation at the heart of the novel. An intriguing and engaging read.

Tina for the TripFiction Team

Catch the author on Twitter @charles_lambert 

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