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One More Moon: Goodbye Mussolini! One Woman's Story of Fate and Survival

Narrated by: Nina Price
Length: 12 hrs and 18 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)
Regular price: $24.95
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Publisher's Summary

Goodreads Choice Nominee Ralph Webster tells the true story of his grandmother’s desperate journey with her family from her life at the Pensione Alexandra in Naples - after Mussolini and the Fascists join with Hitler - and as countries across the world close their doors to Jewish refugees fleeing the advancing Nazi evil. 

In 1934, at age 51, Elsa’s sheltered life in Mussolini’s Fascist Italy changes remarkably when she and her husband, Paul, purchase the Pensione Alexandria overlooking the Mediterranean in Naples. Though German Jews, they are embraced by their Italian neighbors, and for the next several years the pensione flourishes and becomes their perch to observe the world’s events. Travelers from across Europe and America come to the door, each with their own story, mystery, or surprise. Nearly all have been touched in some way by the ominous changes occurring to the north, in Nazi-controlled Germany. 

When war breaks out in Europe and Italy sides with Germany, Elsa and her family’s fears are quickly realized. The growing sense that the atrocities in German-occupied lands will soon occur in Italy forces them to sell their pensione and attempt a desperate journey to safety in America. The way seems impossible. Day by day, war makes travel increasingly difficult as countries begin closing their doors to refugees. 

Told in Elsa’s words and written by her grandson, One More Moon is the extraordinary story of a woman and her family’s often harrowing experiences in the years before and during World War II.

©2017 Ralph Webster (P)2018 Ralph Webster

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  • R. Klein
  • Rocketville, Maryland - USA
  • 12-06-18

Insight into 1930s Italy from a German perspective

I have been looking for books that describe the war years and the European holocaust from perspectives beyond Germany and Poland. This is one of the better books I've found on the holocaust era in Italy. It traces the life of a woman from Germany to Italy, where she met her husband long before the war years. As Italian citizens, they were initially spared the antisemitism grasping at German Jews. But over time, Hitler's noose expanded around Europe and began to tighten, finally affecting Jews living in Italy. This story catalogs the changes, and daily lives of citizens of Naples. It provides an interesting comparison of the national personalities of Germans and Italians.

I thought the book spent a good bit of time setting the stage, telling the story of how the main protagonist ended up going to Italy, meeting her future husband, and ending up the proprietress of a pensione in Naples. I thought this segment of the book dragged, with too much detail of every thought and decision described in painful detail.

However, once the story began to encompass an account of historical events surrounding the rise of the Italian Fascists and the Nazis in Germany, I very much appreciated the details.

The story provides a glimpse into how political events - the depression, antisemitism, the rise of fascism and Nazism affected ordinary citizens on the street. This is the story of pretty ordinary people, caught in the storm of dictatorships and growing hatreds.

The book describes the day-to-day challenges faced by people trying to keep their heads down, or flee oppression. The descriptions of the specific challenges faced - from having to surrender your possessions and monetary assets to the state to be allowed to leave, the bureaucratic labyrinth to navigate to secure official paperwork, securing a foreign currency (American dollars) to pay for ever-shrinking number of available tickets for passage out of Europe, the sequential closing of ports, the dangers of sailing the Atlantic, and securing visas in an ever-changing maze of political events. The challenges were enormous, as they remain today, for refugees.

This is a worthwhile read for anyone interested in the historical environment for Jews in Europe before, and during the war. It shines a light on the lives of people caught up in the storm, and the trials of trying to escape.

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary, unbiased review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Pure Delight!

We thoroughly enjoyed this book and the Audible presentation. On an extended driving vacation we started listening to it between National Park stops. Our travel companions surprised us with continual requests to restart the book. All of us were captured by the fact that it presented this real life experience in such rich and colorful detail. It is also a commentary on our history of immigration and asylum after WWII. An excellent read!!!

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Wonderful story

A true story with elements of adventure that is an inspiration to all of us that are amazed by the
power of the human spirit to overcome all obstacles.


The Narrator did a good job with the material.




This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful