This is a good historical fiction book based on true events of the author’s father during WWII. It depicts parts of the war that I haven’t read much about – what was going on in Italy and Sicily during the war and how it affected the country and it’s people. The book focuses on one family’s experiences, ranging from Switzerland, Germany, Sicily, Italian and the United States.
Enzo is from an Italian family that emigrated to Switzerland. He spends his summers in Sicily with his family and enjoys learning their way of life. He attends college in Germany, but when war breaks out, he is drafted by the Italian Army and sent to Rome and a small island as an interpreter. His cousins work as a fighter pilot, a priest in the Vatican who helps refugees, and a partisan during the war, and another cousin comes from America to act as an intermediary between the mafia and the American secret service. This aspect of the war was news to me and I was really interested to read about that, unfortunately this topic was not given much attention in the book. The author also wrote about a woman who’s husband died in the war and developed a relationship with a German officer. Her house was eventually raided by the Germans and she hid out in the Vatican, but this storyline wasn’t fully resolved either.
I appreciated the warmth for family the author portrayed in the book and the up close experiences of the ravages of war. The book feels a lot more personal that most historical fiction books, which is a nice change of pace. I did have issues with the pacing and the lack of follow through on certain storylines, but these issues are minor and did not detract from my enjoyment of the book.
Thank you to Love Book Tours and the author for a complimentary copy of this book and the opportunity to read and review it. All opinions are my own.