by Rose Alexander
Publication Date June 10, 2021
Published by Canelo
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Genres: 20th Century, Contemporary, Family Life, Fiction, Historical, Literary, Romance, War & Military, Women, World War II
A secret from the war with the power to change one woman’s future...
1939: War has broken out, and in Albania Bekim’s family take in a Jewish family fleeing from Nazi Austria. The years of war will shape his life in unimaginable ways as Bekim grows to love Hannelore, doing everything in his power to protect her. But will he be enough to keep her safe?
2019: Following a shock redundancy, Ruth is taking an extended holiday in southern Italy where she befriends local Zak. When Zak’s dying father asks them to solve a mystery from his past, Ruth leaps at the chance. Journeying through his homeland of Albania, Ruth and Zak race to find the sacred artefacts hidden in the mountains during the war.
A stunning and emotional novel of love and danger, perfect for fans of Lorna Cook and Rachel Hore.
Another emotional, exhausting, and facinating book. For much of the book, I felt like I was reading two books, albeit two gripping, and interesting stories, tie in together in the end in a beautiful way.
The story starts with Ruth, who is on holiday in Italy after being “let go” from her job as a news presenter in London. All she wants to do is rest and relax and figure out what to do next. She’s booked to spend two months in a seaside village in Southern Italy, her only plans are to relax. There she meets Zak, a friend of the family who lets out her cottage, his good looks, and easygoing charm are plenty to keep her intrigued, and his father’s story of growing up in Albania, during the war, gets her investigative nature back up and running.
The secondary story takes place in Albania in 1939 and is written from Bekim’s point of view, starting from when he turned 11 years old. When Jewish immigrants move to his poor fishing village, he and his family go to extraordinary lengths to protect them from the war.
These stories are powerful, gripping, and emotional. It’s another look at the horrors of World War II and how simple ordinary people went to great lengths to protect those that were being persecuted.
The characters are unique and well developed. The writing is descriptive, but with good pacing to move the story along and kept me turning the pages.
I highly recommend this book for a look into the horrors of war, and the comfort of those that help and protect those that are under persecution.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.