I really, really liked this.
Its a story of two brothers (orphans), age 10 and 12 who run away to sea. We meet up with them ten years later when they're strapping men, blonde blue eyed Italians who can break a horseshoe with one hand or snap a coin in half with two fingers.
The older, Ruggerio, is slightly larger and more fiery dispositioned. He does nothing half heartedly. So when he falls in love he thinks there is something terribly wrong, his heart pounds so erratically...
His brother is almost as physically strong as Ruggerio but more easy going and of a gentler disposition. He also falls in love but it is a more like a walk in a sweet smelling garden as opposed to a hurricane's violence.
Of course, the men's choice of women has something to do with their ease or lack of. For Ruggerio has fallen hard for a woman too far above him in station for his longing to ever be realized, not to mention the small matter of her fiancee....
I can't say any more without spoiling things but I grew to really love these two brothers and I had a hard time putting this book down.
The ending is rather sudden and I hoped for a somewhat different conclusion which knocked it down a star for me. But I don't regret reading this at all. Francis Marion Crawford is a wonderful author and can truly spin a tale.
This is a very difficult book to find in hard copy but thankfully available for free on Amazon kindle and other public domain sites.