My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - 2 days
Pages - 384
Publisher - Headline Review
Source - Vine
Blurb from Amazon
Venice, 1943: Under the Nazi occupation, life is increasingly perilous for Italian Jews. Antonina Mazin has but one hope to survive - to leave her beloved parents and hide in the countryside, posing as the bride of a man she has only just met.
Nico Gerardi was studying for the priesthood until circumstances forced him to return home to run his family's farm. A moral and just man, he refuses to remain a bystander to Nazi and fascist atrocities. The only way to keep Nina safe - and protect secrets of his own - is to convince prying eyes that their sudden marriage is a love match.
But farm life is not easy for a cultured city girl who dreams of becoming a doctor like her father, and Nico's provincial neighbours are wary of this soft, educated stranger. Even worse, their distrust is shared by a local Nazi official with a vendetta against Nico.
As Nina and Nico come to know each other, their relationship deepens, transforming into much more than a charade. Yet both fear that every passing day brings them closer to being torn apart...
World war two is well underway, it is 1943 - Nina wants nothing more than to stay with her father, helping patients and her mother. To keep her safe her father sends her away to stay with Nico, a friend of their priest. Under the guise of newly weds in love Nico and Nina head to Nico's home, a farm. Nina has to deal with the fear of being discovered, slotting into the hard labour of working on a farm, missing her family and the scrutiny of her new sister in law. As the German soldiers close in and horrors looming Nina realises there is more at risk than just herself.
This is a story of love, family, relationships, bravery, survival, sacrifice, all under the Nazi rule. We follow Nina through an emotive journey, I had a lump in my throat at some parts - some of it is beautiful which makes the harrowing parts pack a greater punch.
I have been to the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam and read her diary growing up and whilst this is historical fiction all of that comes back to you when you read the concentration camp parts. The author captures the reader with such an authentic feel/descriptors I can't imagine many not being moved reading this. This is my first time reading this author, it won't be my last, 4.5/5 for me this time. I never used to read or like historical fiction but find myself drawn more to them especially when you have an author that takes you on an emotive rollercoaster!
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