Benedetta Carlessimo is no stranger to hardship. Ever since her mother died, the sixteen-year-old Italian girl has cared for her rambunctious younger siblings without complaint. Then World War II arrives on her doorstep, leaving her face-to-face with the most terrible evil she has ever witnessed.
With the Germans and Americans fighting furiously to control a strategic swath of Italy, Nazi forces seize Benedetta’s village, turning her home into a command center—and forcing her beloved father to choose between fleeing or fighting on the front lines.
In the midst of great deprivation, Benedetta struggles to feed both her family and the Nazis, all the while keeping her father’s whereabouts secret. Yet her blossoming love for a handsome young Italian man hiding in the mountains brings a sliver of joy to her life. But with the Americans advancing and the Germans growing increasingly desperate and cruel, Benedetta knows that one misstep could bring horrible repercussions…and only an extraordinary act of courage can save her family.
©2014 Dani Amore (P)2014 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.
The story was compelling. Teenage girl coming of age in an Italian village occupied by the Nazis as WWII draws to its conclusion and she is forced to live with, cook for and take care of Nazis who occupy her home. Her father runs away to join the resistance. She must fend off rapine and crazy Nazis and take care of her younger siblings and, oh yes, she falls in love!
The setting was well drawn. The people of the village were trapped in a situation not of their making with Monte Casino so close by and a major battle of WWII about to unfold.
The narration: Lots of scenery chewing marked by over-the-top breathlessness and refusal to use contractions. And young Dominic sounds like a 45-year-old smoker.
Lots of convenient coincidences: This is OK in moderation, but this novel milks the coincidence to death.
All in all:
I am not returning it, but I can't recommend this. It's only an OK novel and the audible version leaves a fair amount to be desired.
This was a great story, that touches the heart. Reader does a great job portraying the German soldiers & Italian civilians. We all should go through these stories once n a while, to appreciate what we have & what others went through. Great read!
Retired CFO, Army wife, Mom of five, Grandma of six, two sons who served in combat, love to read books that reflect my values and faith, love mysteries, historical, military stories, and books that don't waste my time . . . if it doesn't have an ending that was worth the wait, I'm not a happy camper.
I love historical fiction, and this is the first one for me set in Italy during the second World War. Based on true events, when the Germans invaded Italy and took over the homes of ordinary Italian families, this story of Benedetta, a girl who is caring for her father and younger siblings following the death of her mother, is a tale of horror, devotion, bravery and love.
Very entertaining and informative glimpse into the horrors and hardships endured by Italians during World War II through the eyes of a young girl coming of age.
A wonderful and inspiring story! I'll never forget it. As an American of Italian descent and the daughter of a World War II American soldier, I was enthralled by the bravery of Benedetta and her determination to persevere through such perilous times.
It's interesting to hear how the people in this small Italian village coped with the horrors and injustice of WWII. It really made you think about how everyday people lives were totally changed by an event that they had no control of.
I enjoyed the book very much. I am always interested in WWII fiction. This is the first one I have read about the Italian involvement and perspective. It was moving; I cried.
I have been a book junky my whole life. When I listened to my first audiobook, I fell instantly in love! I have quite eclectic tastes.
I found this book to be a simple, light read. Story about family and young love. Not a deep or historical story.
Wonderful, very personal story of WWII. First time, for me, reading a WWII account from an Italian's perspective. Narrator was smooth and lovely to listen to.
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