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A young woman finds herself burying her dear grandmother and leaving her husband. She escapes to Florence where her grandmother had taken her many times and tries to bring back all those memories. In the process, she discovers that there is more to her grandmother than she knew. As she dives into a part of her grandmother’s past that she never knew about, she learns of the bravery of many women during the Nazi occupation of WWII. She also learns the bravery of standing up for one’s self.
Taking the reader from present day to WWII keeps the reader on their toes. Each chapter is clearly defined as we watch one woman discover that she has the courage to leave an abusive husband and create a new life and another find that she can help others and fight for her beliefs.
As I was reading, I found myself drawn to the one who fought the Nazis. She struggled with a family who didn’t understand her and a community that struggled to just survive. At an early age, she performs acts that could lead to her death and that of all she cared about. Blood and secrets become too familiar with her. The character was riveting as she pushed forward and found herself in a way few others find.
The modern day character was more of a struggle for me. I felt at times she was too unsure of what she was doing and never quite a solid character. One moment she was determined to stand on her own then questioned everything she did as though she never wanted to leave him. While that can sound valid at some stages of leaving a toxic relationship, it seems that the majority of the story took place well beyond those stages. She was limp as a character with development that felt forced and less fluid than the development of the historical figure.
The story itself was very well done. I did enjoy the modern chapters because of the explorations of the people she was researching and the places she visited. Had me wanting to visit Florence as soon as I can. The scenes were very descriptive and had me wanting to know more about those who joined the resistance in Italy, especially the women who fought for their homes and families.
Overall, a good read. Give it a try. Get your copy here.