A wholly charming, sweetly funny story of one young good-hearted Italian man. It's about life, bicycles, the joy of the journey and the simple beauty of a life well-lived.
'Witty, moving and profound, this is the most enjoyable story I have read this year; a book to be treasured.' toowoomba Chronicle
Luigi's Freedom Ride is a charming treat of a novel - as sunny, light and enjoyable as a strawberry gelato eaten in an Italian piazza on a summer's day.
Luigi is a young Italian boy growing up in tuscany in the 1920s, dreaming of cowboys and adventure, when a young Englishman, passing through on his way to Rome, gives him his first bicycle, thus sparking a lifelong passion. When World War II begins, Luigi enlists with the Bersaglieri, the Italian Army Cycling Corps (naturally), before unexpectedly finding himself fighting alongside the Partisans. Despite encountering great sorrow and tragedy, Luigi's zest for life remains undiminished, and his next adventure sees him cycling through the Holy Land, turkey and Sri Lanka before finding an unexpected home - and an extraordinary surprise - in Australia. An irrepressibly optimistic, sweetly funny story, Luigi's Freedom Ride is about life, bicycles and the joy of the journey - showing how even a small life, lived in the shadow of great events, can be rich in contentment and spirit.
'From the very first page of Luigi's Freedom Ride you know you are in for a treat of a story. this is a delightfully optimistic novel about life, bicycles and the joy of the journey ... gorgeously crafted with a perceptive ear for the flamboyance of Italian life, customs and expression. It traverses the brutality of war, of displacement and the struggle of building a new life in a foreign land, yet cleverly avoids the sentimentality or cliche ... this is a story of hope and humanity with a sweet flourish of humour.' Newtown Review of Books