The wonderful Nicole Clarkston recommended I, Sofia-Elisabete, Love Child of Colonel Fitzwilliam: A Perfect World in the Moon to me and when I heard what it was about, I became incredibly excited about the possibility of reading it.
The book is written in the first person and is told from the point of view of a 4-year-old girl who is the love child of Colonel Fitzwilliam, and a Portuguese woman whom he met while stationed in Portugal during the war. This child is called Sofia-Elisabete and she will embark on a great adventure through Europe in search of her roots, inviting us all to join her in the fantasy world that only a child’s brain can create.
I find this premise particularly interesting for many reasons: as stated above, the main character is Portuguese (the obvious one); she has a connection to one of my favorite secondary characters; and she is a child, making the book evidently different, which is something I have been craving for lately.
As I started reading, I realized that this book would be even more different than I expected and I was thrilled about it. I had never read anything like this in JAFF and I absolutely loved it! The imagination of this child, and the fact that we follow the story from her point of view reminded me of a South American literary style that I usually find in the works of Luis Sepúlveda, and that I haven’t read in a while and never in JAFF. As reality starts to give way to fantasy and events become to unravel in a whimsy manner, we are pulled into the story and cannot get out until we ascertain what the future of this child will be. The main character, Sofia-Elisabete, will conquer readers’ hearts who will cherish for her to find everything she hopes for.
This literary style was one of the aspects I cherished the most in the book because I felt transported into a completely different reality, but also the endearing manner in which the events were described. There is an innocence in this book that is irresistible and that will please readers who are able to keep an open mind towards it.
Another aspect I loved in the book were the Portuguese references, namely the name and descriptions of the towns and the local costumes that were mentioned. It was visible the author did a lot of research because many references were not only difficult to find, but also accurate. I was truly impressed with many details that were added to this book in regards to Portugal and its costumes. The one detail I didn’t like, and that constantly distracted me from the story was the incorrect use of some words such as Sofinha, Papai, me chamo and Con muito gusto. The author would have benefit from having a Portuguese beta reader who could have corrected these small details. Of course, these details will be relevant to Portuguese readers, but will be completely irrelevant to foreign readers, so do not be discouraged by it.
Overall this book is a very interesting story that will appeal to readers searching for something different in the JAFF world, and I recommend it to those who want a good story that doesn’t necessarily involve romance.
You can find I, Sofia-Elisabete, Love Child of Colonel Fitzwilliam: A Perfect World in the Moon at: