Lidia De Angelis has kept a low profile since Mussolini's racial laws wrenched her from her childhood sweetheart. But when the Germans occupy Venice in 1943, she must flee the city to save her life.
Lidia joins the partisans in the Venetian mountains, where she meets David, an English soldier fighting for the same cause. As she grows closer to him, harsh Nazi reprisals and Lidia’s own ardent anti-fascist activities threaten to tear them apart.
Decades later in London, while sorting through her grandmother’s belongings after her death, Charlotte discovers a Jewish prayer book, unopened letters written in Italian, and a fading photograph of a group of young people in front of the Doge’s Palace.
Intrigued by her grandmother’s refusal to talk about her life in Italy before and during the war, Charlotte travels to Venice in search of her roots. There, she learns not only the devastating truth about her grandmother’s past, but also some surprising truths about herself.
A heart-breaking page-turner, based on actual events in Italy during World War II
Trigger Warnings: Death, Miscarriage, PTSD, Rape
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(Stuff you may or may not already know!)
The first time I visited Italy, I was six years old. My parents rented a house in Positano on the Amalfi coast for the summer. I remember swimming in the sea, the hundreds of steps down to the beach, and picking figs from the tree in our garden.
When I lived in Hong Kong, I was privileged to be able to ride ex-racehorses at the Jockey Club’s Bees River stables and take part in show jumping competitions. I fell off on more than one occasion as the horses could be a handful; but I always got back on as riding was my passion.
I love to dance and, for my 50th birthday, friends and family got together for a Salsa disco after a meal in a restaurant near where we live in Italy. Here I am, “strutting my stuff”.
I wore a cat mask and a tricorn hat at the Venice Carnival a few years ago just for a laugh.
When I need inspiration for my writing, all I need to do is look out of the window in my study. On the horizon, if it’s a clear day, I can see the Euganean Hills near Padova, the Berici Hills near Vicenza, and, in the middle, very distant, the start of the Apennines behind Bologna.
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Siobhan Daiko is an international bestselling historical romantic fiction author. A lover of all things Italian, she lives in the Veneto region of northern Italy with her husband, a Havanese puppy, and two rescue cats. After a life of romance and adventure in Hong Kong, Australia and the UK, Siobhan now spends her time, when she isn't writing, enjoying the sweet life near Venice.