Cover Image: The Enemy of Love

The Enemy of Love

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Thanks to netgalley for supplying this advanced copy for the purpose of review.

Set in wartime Italy this was a compelling read. Due to the subject matter it is obviously a dark read but is also an uplifting read.

Was this review helpful?

A book that is set in Italian village during World War 2.

Sophia runs the family restaurant her Father has just died and suddenly Giorgio appears, he has been left the restaurant by her Father. We see the conflict between them but also admiration they are characters who are strong. The Germans have arrived in the village so things will never be the same for the villagers.

I enjoyed the book it was well written the history and it was very descriptive. The book flowed and I was gripped from the moment I started the book .

Would recommend it.

Was this review helpful?

This was a captivating read set in Italy during the war. It was a good exploration of what people fight for and how love is so important, even in hard times. I liked the characters a lot and the focus on food as healing and a sign of unity. I found the ending to be very ambiguous and I hope there is a sequel!

Was this review helpful?

Thanks to for the opportunity to read and review this book

An enjoyable account of war torn Italy, fueding families, the resistance, family tradition, loves and losses, and survival.

#TheEnemyOfLove #NetGalley

Was this review helpful?

An emotionally raw, poignant and sweeping tale of love.

Love, love, loved it!!

Loved the enlightening story, the emotion laced within the pages, and the beautiful writing, I've not read this author before but I certainly will be reading more from her as this book is just incredible!!

I was lucky enough to have been sent a complimentary hardback copy, so I will share my full review and showcase the book on my Insta in the coming weeks!

Was this review helpful?

I really wanted to like this novel, and I'm sure others will, but it just wasn't for me. While I enjoyed the Italian history, I had a hard time keeping characters straight throughout.

Was this review helpful?

A beautiful story set in WW2 Italy, filled with love, intrigue, the horrors of war and the beautiful Italian backdrop. This is a compelling story and it feels as if it was well researched. An evocative story and can recommend to fans of Ww2.

Was this review helpful?

This book is set in a little town in Umbria in Italy which is not too far from Rome. Anyway it’s a small town with a square with a nice restaurant owned by two families, farms in the valley’s and vineyards surrounding the village. Sounding like a nice Italian farming town.

From the two families running the restaurant one of the owners has passed away and he has left his part to the son of the other owner. His daughter Sophia, is not at all pleased with this decision. But she has to deal with it. But working alongside Giorgio seems to be more fun than she had envisioned and together, and with nonna Elena, Giorgio’s grandmother, they run the restaurant. As the story is set during World War Two something is yet to happen.

The people of the village are in the middle of all the struggles and have to deal with German soldiers inhabiting their house. At that time Mussolini rules Italy and as one might know during 1943 the fascist regime fell and Mussolini was defeated. Most of the Italians wanted to end the alliance with Germany and have the Alliance help them free Italy I order to end the war.

In this light it is hard to know who you can trust and the one neighbour who seems friendly might actually become your enemy. Against this backdrop we follow Sophia, her mother and her two siblings and Giorgio, his father and grandmother and his siblings. The story might be small but as I actually not knew that much about Italy during the war it learned me a lot, also because I searched the internet for more information about Italy during WW2, and it gave me a good picture of how life must have been for the ordinary Italian citizen.

Because the war is still going on at the end of the book, I get the idea that it might have a sequel.

Was this review helpful?

The Umbrain town of Amatino in Italy, becomes a strategically important location for the Germans during the Second World War, it has an airfield, train line and it’s close to Rome. For years the di Luca and Capaldi families have been friends, they serve traditional local food at their restaurant Casa Maria and wine from the Capaldi Vineyard.

Sophia di Luca always though her father would leave the trattoria to her, but in Italy, women are expected to marry, have children and not run a business. He's arranged for Giorgio Capaldi to return from Rome, he left Amatino when his wife and unborn child were killed during an Allied bombing raid.

Sophia and Giorgio’s grandmother Elena have been keeping the restaurant doors open, it’s not easy due to food shortages and lack of supplies. Giorgio and Sophia are both suborn and strong willed and it doesn’t take long for the temperature to rise in the kitchen!

When Mussolini’s dictatorship falls, Gruppenführer Messell a senior group leader is sent to Amatino, he and his SS troops are looking for returned Italian soldiers, or men who have ignored their call up papers, Jewish people and members of the resistance. Everyone is worried, Sophia about her widowed mother, sister and her teenage brother Matti. Giorgio is concerned about his brother Russo, his grandmother Elena, her friend Isaac and the people hiding in the churches crypt. The resistance see it as their duty to steal, spy, and engage in acts of sabotage against the Germans and they have no idea this will lead to terrible repercussions for the people of Amatino.

I received a digital copy of The Enemy of Love by Annabelle Thorpe from NetGalley and Aria & Aries in exchange for an honest review. The author takes you back to wartime Italy and what it was like living in a small village, you discover the importance of the thousand year old tunnels built underneath the town and how the resistance hid in the nearby mountains. My favourite characters were Sophia, Giorgio, Elena, Matti, Father Massimo and Isaac, and it’s a story about family, traditions, food, war, and loss, tragedy, finding the strength to carry on and love. Four stars from me. I’m keen to read Ms. Thorpe’s next book and I hope it's about Giorgio and Sophia's relationship?

Was this review helpful?

The Enemy of Love by Annabelle Thorpe was a very moving novel. It was set in Amatino, a small Umbrian town in Italy. In 1943, Mussolini was struggling to maintain his rule over the Italian people. He was finally forced out of power and the Italian people were overjoyed. At the same time, they feared who would take his place. They had every right to be fearful. No sooner had Mussolini been ousted from his rule over the Italian people than the Nazis marched into Italy and reinstated Mussolini’s position. Life in Amatino was about to change drastically.

Two families were bound together by a restaurant they had owned and operated for generations. The patriarch of the di Luca family had just recently died. His daughter, Sophia was grieving terribly for her beloved father. Sophia had been helping her father run the restaurant by doing the cooking, serving and anything else that needed to be done. She had assumed that her father had passed the responsibilities of running their restaurant to her. Nothing prepared Sophia for the shock when she learned that her father had left the trattoria to Giorgio Capaldi. Sophia and Giorgio had grown up together. The trattoria was owned by both the di Luca and Capaldi families. Giorgio had lost his young wife and unborn child in an allied bombing incident. He was still grieving for his wife but came back from Rome to Amatino to honor the dying wishes of Sophia’s father. Elena, Giorgio’s grandmother suggested that Sophia and Giorgio work together. They agree to work as equal partners. That should have been their worst problem but it wasn’t. Unfortunately, the Nazi presence soon became unbearable. The Nazis began to destroy shops owned by Jews. The people of Amatino immediately began to hide their Jewish neighbors from the Nazis. Homes were taken over by German soldiers. Food supplies started to become scarce. Young and disillusioned Italian soldiers returning from the war were forced into hiding so the Germans would not arrest them or kill them. The people of Amatino were not happy with the strong Nazi presence in their town. They banded together to form a resistance movement and fight back. Would they be able to take back their town from the Nazis and if so at what cost?

Sophia and Giorgio, despite their squabbles, differences and denial, were not able to fight the attraction they were feeling for one another. It took them a long while to finally realize that they had feelings for one another. Sophia was so scared to let herself love anyone because anyone she had ever loved had died. She was so afraid of losing someone else that she admitted to being in love with. It took the wisdom of others to open Sophia’s and Giorgio’s eyes to the truth that was right in front of them. Would they recognize their true feelings in time to act upon them?

The ending was left with a lot of questions. Based on that, I assumed that Annabelle Thorpe was planning to write a sequel to The Enemy of Love. I hope that I am right. It would be disappointing not to have the unanswered questions that still lingered tied up. The Enemy of Love was about family, courage, strategic planning, caring, grief and the atrocities the Nazis committed during World War II. It was well written and researched. I enjoyed reading The Enemy of Love by Annabelle Thorpe and recommend it if you like historical fiction that takes place during World War II.

Thank you to Aria & Aries Publishing for allowing me to read The Enemy of Love by Annabelle Thorpe through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Was this review helpful?

I really loved this story by Annabelle Thorpe, it kept me really engaged and I loved the characters and the setting. I would absolutely recommend and will read this author again.

Was this review helpful?

Zum Inhalt auf deutsch: wir sind in der kleinen Stadt Amatino in Umbrien, zu Zeiten des 2. Weltkriegs. Das Herz der Stadt schlägt im Ristorante Casa Maria, das von den Familien di Luca und Capaldi geführt wird. Die Hälfte der männlichen Bevölkerung ist im Krieg, das Essen rationiert, aber Sophia di Luca hat die Casa Maria mit allem Herzblut und kulinarischem Enthusiasmus gemeinsam mit ihrem Vater und der älteren Elena Capaldi geführt. Nun ist ihr Vater verstorben, und Giorgio Capaldi, Elenas ältester Enkel, kommt zurück nach Amatino und soll gemeinsam mit Sophia das Restaurant leiten……keine gute Idee, findet Sophia, die das gerne eigenständig gemacht hätte. Auch Giorgio ist alles andere als begeistert, eine widerspenstige und eigensinnige Co-Geschäftsführerin zu haben. Doch als die deutsche Besatzung über die Stadt einfällt, wird sich der Alltag noch einmal komplett für alle ändern, und Giorgio und Sophia springen über ihren Schatten….und sollen sich ineinander verlieben.
Das ist so im groben der große Erzählstrang. Im Prinzip haben wir hier eine Liebesgeschichte, die sich vor dem Hintergrund eines kriegsbesetzten kleinen italienischen Ortes abspielt. 1943 war der Krieg im vollen Gange, Mussolini wurde in diesem Jahr zum Teufel gejagt, um dann aber wieder aufzutauchen, und die italienische Bevölkerung hatte mit dem Bombardement der Alliierten einerseits und der deutschen Besatzung andererseits zu leiden. Die Männer waren entweder offiziell im Krieg oder als Partisanen versteckt im Untergrund. Der Roman lebt von der – finde ich – authentischen Darstellung dieser Zeiten, und um den Überlebenskampf der Bevölkerung. Emotionale Zeiten, sehr mitreißend belletristisch verpackt. Ms Thorpe schreibt flüssig, bildhaft, gefühlsbetont und weiß Spannungsbögen zu setzen. Das hat mir sehr gut gefallen, das hat sich wirklich gut weg gelesen und ich konnte mit allen Protagonisten mitfiebern.
Was mir den Lesefluss aber immer wieder unterbrochen hat, waren die italienischen und deutschen Einwürfe. Um das Ganze authentisch zu machen (das war wohl die Idee dahinter), werden den Protagonisten des Öfteren italienische oder deutsche Sätze oder Worte in den Mund gelegt und in kursiv eingefügt. Das kann ganz gut ankommen – wenn, ja wenn die Sprache denn auch stimmen würde. Als deutsche Muttersprachlerin und jemand, die italienisch kann, muss ich leider sagen, zu 90 Prozent haben hier aber weder Grammatik noch Satzbau gestimmt. Wenn ich schon den deutschen Wehrmachtsoberst und die deutschen Soldaten authentisch in deutsch sprechen lassen will, dann sollten die Sätze schon stimmen, und sorry, das war maximal ne Google-Translator-Übersetzung, das hat alles nicht gepasst. Im italienischem ähnlich, und das ist dann halt unfreiwillig komisch. Da hätten vielleicht mal Muttersprachler gegenlesen sollen.
Mir war es teilweise auch zu viel der Kulinarik. Sophia und Giorgio (ach eigentlich alle italienischen Protagonisten 😉) sind entweder leidenschaftliche Köche oder Esser, und ich schätze mal, die Autorin auch 😉, und so haben wir hier sehr viele Gespräche darüber, was es jetzt gleich zu kochen und zu essen gibt. Ich esse auch gerne, vor allem italienisches Essen, aber hier hat sich echt viel ums essen gedreht. Ich habe das manchmal schon überflogen.
Abgesehen von diesen wenigen Abstrichen kann ich dieses Buch aber sehr gerne weiterempfehlen. Wir hatten Liebe und Krieg, Freundschaft, Familie und Verrat, das war schon großes Kino!
Übrigens: Krieg ist der Feind der Liebe – falls sich jemand fragt, wie es zum Titel kommt – da wird durchaus am Ende drüber philosophiert. Denn die Liebe ist das Wichtigste, was es im Leben gibt 😊!

Was this review helpful?

The Enemy of Love by Annabelle Thorpe is a wartime epic set during World War II at a time when Mussolini is working with the Nazis, and the Italian soldiers are beginning to feel disillusioned with the war. It centres around two families, the Di Luca family and the Capaldi family. Following the death of her beloved father Luigi, Sophia di Luca expects to inherit her father’s restaurant, only to find that he has left it to Giorgio Capaldi, and she is expected to work with him. It is an Italy that had changed under fascist rule, and where strong women had been encouraged to work, they were being treated like second class citizens whose duty was to get married and have children.

The chemistry between Sophia and Giorgio is irresistably hot, but Giorgio has lost his wife, when she was killed by an Allied Forces bomb, and Sophia had an understanding with Giorgio’s brother Rocco who is a soldier away from home, so there are obstacles to them being together. I found it amusing that everyone around them could sense it more than they could themselves, and even the local Padre was frustrated by them!

The setting, in a fictional town called Amatino, in the Umbrian countryside, was idyllic, and described so wonderfully that I could picture the olive trees, the vineyards and even the funicular leading down to the farms below the town. I particularly enjoyed the imagery of the secret interconnecting caves and tunnels beneath the town, which allowed people to move around without discovery. The atmosphere in the town changed dramatically after Mussolini was deposed, and more Nazis entered the town with a stricter regime which included locating the Jews in the town and executing people they believed were against the Nazis.

The descriptions of the food had my mouth watering as I read this book, although food was scarce in the town, with a secret source of food, Sophia, Giorgio and his grandmother Elena were able to continue to run the restaurant and also secretly help feed some of the struggling locals. Elena was such a strong, vibrant character, a true matriarch, and the glue holding the families together.

The Enemy of Love was a story of family, love, grief, sorrow and the constant desire to survive at all costs.

I was excited to read that there is going to be a sequel to this enthralling story, as there were loose ends, and I feel that there is so much more of a story to tell.

Was this review helpful?

The Enemy of Love by Anna belle Throrpe

Set in the 1940s. Sophia is grieving her father's death and prepared to take over his restaurant, Casa Maria, when Giorgio, a long-time family friend, announces that her father has given him the restaurant to run. Giorgio is in sorrow for his wife and pregnant child, who were killed in an Allied bombardment in their Italian hamlet of Amatino a few years ago. Giorgio informs Sophia that they can run the restaurant as partners because they both learnt authentic Italian cooking at her father's elbow and can carry on his dinners together.

I love both of these characters and thier intreactons it's sweet. Among the horrors of Nazi rule is the love of Giorgio and Sophia, who are both fighting to protect their family and the community. The gorgeous scenes of Georgia and Sophia contrast with the Nazis' brutality and cruel treatment of life. It's a difficult read at times, but it's well worth your time.

#NetGalley #bookstagram #bookreview#goodreads #booktok#fyp #historicalfiction #womensfiction #booklover #booktok#bookclub #romance

Was this review helpful?

An epic family saga set in wartime Italy, full of love, loss, food and how war can change the dynamics of a family.
Based on two families - Di Luca & Capaldi and how they unite and turn aside their differences to fight against the Germans.
An immersive read, with an added bonus of gorgeous descriptive writing on food
You could taste the Italian food and feel as though you were there in Italy
Perfect historical fiction at it’s best

Was this review helpful?

4.5 stars
The Enemy of Love is a beautifully written story of family, grief and war. I loved how we’ve been introduced to the two families and how they’ve united in their fight against the Germans. It’s full of action and at times my heart was in my mouth as we feel intimately involved with Sophia and Georgio and their family.
Food is a huge part of this story and Annabelle Thorpe has described the need for comforting meals throughout the trials they face. The descriptions of the food itself have been mouthwatering and every part of the story- whether in memory of someone or as a reminder of the strength needed.
Wonderful in-depth characters litter the story - adding such colour and warmth to the stark contrast of the Nazis - Elena, the matriarch of the two families is definitely my favourite character - with her feisty, never give up attitude she shows the youngsters how to survive.

Was this review helpful?

This is an epic story set in war-torn Italy in the 1940s. Detailed historical research creates an immersive story that draws the reader into the characters' lives. At its heart is the trattoria, which Sophia's father ran before his death. Sophia expects to run the trattoria and has to share the task with Giorgio. Giorgio is grieving the loss of his wife and unborn child, which initially colours all his actions. It is a story of family, community and the evil of occupation and war. Family division and drama dominate when the village is occupied, but gradually, love heals breaches, and they fight against the common enemy that threatens their culture and liberty.

The evocative and lyrical writing gives the reader a sensory delight of culture and food, contrasting with war's horrors. Betrayal, courage, friendship and romance are explored through the complex characters, and the gentle pacing allows the reader to absorb it all.

I like the setting, description, historical details, and dynamic characterisation.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

Was this review helpful?

My rating:

Plot: 4 out of 5 stars
Writing: 4 out of 5 stars
Character development: 4 out of 5 stars
Overall: 4 out of 5 stars

Recommended for readers of:

Historical Fiction


This is a well written story that gives you an historical insight into life in a small Italian village during WWII. The effects it has on the relationships between family, friends and the other villagers and how each and every one of them has to decide how to deal with and respond to the invasion of the Germans into their village and their lives. Some are willing to do more than others and this creates tensions and dangers for everyone. The main characters are interesting and described in great details, this gave them a realistic feel

The book is very well written, vivid and with great attention to detail. The story flows well, and has the right mixture, of suspense, romance and a bit of mystery to make it captivating.

Review copy provided through Netgalley at no cost to me.

Was this review helpful?

It’s pretty much like any other WW2 book I’ve read. Sophia and Giorgio are in love but don’t really want to admit it. The war comes to their small town and everything changes.
I kinda feel like a few things were left open and were never really resolved. This is a love story set in the middle of a war.
Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the early copy

Was this review helpful?

1943 & Casa Maria sits at the heart of the small Umbrian town of Amatino, famous for its food, wine and the di Luca and Capaldi families who run it. But now Italy is consumed by war and everything must change. For talented cook Sophia di Luca, the discovery her father has left the trattoria not to her, but to the volatile and charismatic Giorgio Capaldi, is a bitter disappointment. Still grieving the sudden death of his wife, and in no mood to compromise, Giorgio's return to Amatino threatens everything Sophia has struggled to achieve. As Mussolini falls and the Germans march in, the two families find themselves in conflict not only with a terrifying new enemy, but also with each other.
A very well written book which drew me in from the first page. The characters had depth & were well portrayed the descriptions of the village & surrounding area made me feel as though I was there & the dishes served in the trattoria mouth watering. I really liked both Sophia & Giorgio but it was Nonna Elena who I loved. At times I found this book to be very emotional as I was so caught up in a village coming to terms with their German occupiers. It’s one of the reasons I don’t read WWII books very often they make me too emotional. I thought this book was a stand alone but there are somw questions which are not answered so I hope the author writes a sequel
My review is for a special copy I voluntarily read

Was this review helpful?