Love. War. Family. Betrayal.
Italy, 1937. Alessandra Durante is grieving the loss of her husband when she discovers she has inherited her ancestral family seat, Villa Durante, deep in the Tuscan Hills. Longing for a new start, she moves from her home in London to Italy with her daughter Diana and sets about rebuilding her life.
Under the threat of war, Alessandra’s house becomes first a home and then a shelter to all those who need it. Then Davide, a young man who is hiding the truth about who he is, arrives, and Diana starts to find her heart going where her head knows it must not.
Back home in Britain as war breaks out, Alessandra’s son Robert, signs up to be a pilot, determined to play his part in freeing Italy from the grip of Fascism. His bravery marks him out as an asset to the Allies, and soon he is being sent deep undercover and further into danger than ever before.
As war rages, the Durante family will love and lose, but will they survive the war…?
An Italian Affair is a wonderful, absorbing historical saga that just draws the reader into the story.
The characters are all very well developed, realistic and I felt I went on a real journey with them through the ages. I didn’t know much about Italian history between the wars so I thought it was fascinating to read about the rise of Mussolini and his fascist party. The historical detail for this time was brilliant and I felt that I could picture all the action, and the wonderful Italian countryside, vividly as if I was witnessing it all first hand.
There was a lot of action in this book which made the book hugely enjoyable and helped ensure the reader was thoroughly gripped, especially in the war years . Even though I knew how some of the things would play out from reading other books based in the second world war, I still found myself caught up in the action and holding my breath as things unfolded. Some of the events are truly heartbreaking especially as by the time it happened I had grown very fond of the characters involved. I actually had to stop reading the book for a little bit as the story had affected me so much.
The ending and the twist was truly shocking and took me completely by surprise which I always enjoy. I found myself flicking back through the pages to see if I should have guessed earlier.
This unbelievably is the author’s debut novel and I’m so excited to read more from this talented author, especially if she creates more stunning historical sagas like this one.
Huge thanks to Alainna from Orion for inviting me onto the blog tour and to Orion for my copy of this book via Netgalley.
About The Author:
Caroline won her first National Poetry competition at 10 years old and from that moment dreamed of being a writer. After juggling motherhood with modelling assignments, she founded an Interior Design Company working on many projects in the UK and abroad. Her second marriage to the widowed Conroy Harrowby brought four stepchildren into her life, giving her a wider audience for her imaginative bedtime stories. As a family they all live at the Harrowby ancestral home, Burnt Norton, which famously inspired T S Eliot to write the first of his “Four Quartets”. At last Caroline has the time to fulfil her dream of becoming a full-time author.