But when her brother joins the Resistance, he asks Giovanna to hide a badly wounded fighter who is Jewish. As she nurses him back to health, she falls helplessly in love with the brave and humble Marco, who comes from as ancient and noble an Italian family as she does. They pledge their love, and then must fight a real battle against the Nazis who become more desperate and cruel as the Allies close in on them...
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2011-11-21
- Reviewer: Staff
In Wurtele’s fiction debut, Giovanna Bellini, 17, and her wealthy Italian family cope with the Nazi occupation of Tuscany in 1944. Her mother tries to pretend the war isn’t happening, and her father is keen to support whichever side appears to be winning. Giovanna, who is coming into her own as a woman, flirts with kind Nazi Lieutenant Klaus. Meanwhile, her brother, Giorgio, has deserted the Italian army and joined the resistance. She helps him covertly, but soon gets in deeper than she expected when she agrees to hide Marco, a wounded young fighter who’s also Jewish and with whom she falls in love. Wurtele, author of two memoirs, including Touching the Edge: A Mother’s Path from Loss to Life, offers a strong sense of time and place. However, despite the tragedies of wartime, there’s a certain detachment that comes from her descriptions of the beautiful Italian landscape, and the terror of wartime and the occupation don’t feel as urgent as they should. (Feb.)