A Lily of the Field, seventh and most recent of Lawton's Troy novels is shaping up, like its predecessor Second Violin as, among other things, a touching meditation on the fragility of nationhood as a vehicle of identity:
"Magda was Austrian through and through, Roberto was the son of Italian immigrants, Inge was as Viennese as Magda — but Jewish."
"Since 1926, Imre had worked side by side with Phillipe Julius. A man as Viennese as he was himself, but with origins as mixed as his own. The Voyteks had come west a generation ago from Hungary. The Julius family had travelled east from France at about the same time. Central Europe was less a fixed point in geography — more a flying carpet."(Prepare for A Lily of the Field with Lawton's essay on Second Violin. You'll find a fair sample of his righteous anger, a bit of Wodehousian wit, and a look back at an unedifying episode in England's wartime past.)
© Peter Rozovsky 2010