With a brilliant, child-like vision retained, this has been written from the point of view of a ten year old girl who was raised by her Jewish aunt and uncle in Fascist Italy. At a time of chaos which spun a web of unreality for adults and children alike, Penny loved her sister Baby the same as Jesus but more than Mussolini, and Mussolini the same as God. Penny's abrupt, knowing observations of her aunt and uncle, of her teacher, of the servants,- her childish distortions of religion and God, have subtlety and humor in the middle of the tragic events which begin to unfold. When German troops come to the villa, Penny gets one of the soldiers to play with her. But when they leave, Penny and her sister are alone with the maids and their aunt who all lay silent on the floor.... This small prize-winning novel is largely autobiographical, exceptional in its simplicity and careful use of words, and it may easily- regrettably- be overlooked.