ABOVE THE WALLS
Independently Published (2019)
Reviewed by Megan Weiss for Reader Views (12/9)
“Above the Walls” by Steve Physioc is the sequel to the powerful debut novel, “The Walls of Lucca,” which followed the story of a young woman named Isabella, who would find her destiny in bringing peace and love to all she encountered in her life. Set against the violent and terrifying backdrop of World War II, “Above the Walls” picks up 20 years after the end of “The Walls of Lucca,” following Isabella, her husband, the Martellino’s and their children as they find themselves entrenched in the turmoil brought by the spread of Fascism in Italy. Over the course of the book, the beloved cast of characters created by Physioc has to figure out who to fight for what is right, while also doing their best to be the bringers of peace. Staying alive long enough to accomplish that may not be easy, however.
I was a little nervous starting “Above the Walls,” because the first book ended so well, and I was worried the sequel might suffer from the dreaded “sophomore slump,” but Physioc certainly came through. “Above the Walls” pulls you in from the first page and keeps reeling you closer until your heart is pounding with each turn of a page, and you can hardly breathe lest you know what happens next to your favorite characters. The imagery contained within the text paints vivid pictures in the reader’s head while venturing through the story, making it feel like they, too, are fighting alongside the character in the novel. The story transitions between several different character points of view, but the pacing never feels too terribly fast and it was always easy to figure out who was telling the current portion of the story. Each different character has a distinctive tone and way of speaking that help personify them and bring them to life on the pages.
“Above the Walls” is an important book for the current times, because it stresses the importance of love over hate and discrimination, of peace over war. The book’s theme is important in helping readers remember that we are all made of the same essence, regardless of race, nationality, religion or political beliefs. No one group is superior than another, and no one group is less deserving of compassion or aid. “Above the Walls” by Steve Physioc rolls quietly into the minds and hearts of readers and plants a seed which quickly grows to a large, warm, guiding light through which we can see our own world.