Thank you, as always, to Bookouture for inviting me on Debbie Rix’s blog tour, and for supplying me with an ARC.
The sun hung low in the sky, casting pink light all over the city. A faint breeze blew over the rooftops, as flocks of starlings swirled above her, swooping and diving in unison. It seemed unimaginable that, even now, German soldiers were marching along the streets below. It was time, she decided, for direct action. It was time to fight back.
Each morning Livia Moretti makes her way from an apartment overlooking Florence’s famous Duomo to a nearby café, where she drinks espresso and reads the newspaper. To the crowds of tourists who pass by, snapping selfies, nothing about Livia will be memorable. She is simply an old lady. They walk on without knowing the part she played in ensuring the future of this beautiful city. And to Livia now, those dark days feel very far away too.
But today, when she opens the paper, she sees a name she has not heard for a long time. A name that will bring memories flooding back of Nazi troops marching through the city and the dangers she faced as a young woman, carrying out secret missions for the resistance.
A siren of the silver screen, Isabella cultivated all the right connections to ensure her rise to stardom. But when Rome falls to the Nazis, Isabella is suddenly faced with the choice between protecting herself, and all she has worked for, or sacrificing everything to save the man she loves.
As the war rages across Europe, a terrible misunderstanding causes the fates of Isabella and Livia to become forever intertwined. And each woman must decide what they’re willing to risk, to protect the ones they hold dear from a brutal enemy.
What does TWG think?
My first piece of advice to anyone wanting to read this is; make sure your mind is free from distractions beforehand as the storyline requires your attention.
My second piece of advice is not to rush the book. There is a lot of to-ing and fro-ing between times and characters, and time is needed to appreciate those parts for what they are.
‘The Italian Girls’ is a WW2 novel set in Italy. I have read several historical fiction novels that have had Italy as their settings, so i was a little bit concerned about whether they would be similarities between the stories aside from the obvious influences of the war. Thankfully, Debbie Rix has a unique voice within her stories and that is what gave this particular book its own stance.
Livia was such an interesting, multi layered character who constantly surprised me. I loved getting to know her personality and finding out about her life. Its safe to say that she was my most favourite character in the novel.
Debbie Rix has written an atmospheric, heart rendering novel that just kept on giving. I love historical fiction and I am delighted to say that ‘The Italian Girls’ really didn’t disappoint.