The Girl from Venice
A heart-breaking page-turner, based on actual events in Italy during Word War II
by Siobhan Daiko
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 01 Jul 2021 | Archive Date 06 Sep 2021
From Siobhan Daiko, international bestselling author of The Orchid Tree, comes a gripping new romantic historical novel set in Italy during World War II and the present day.
Perfect for fans of Dinah Jefferies, Kate Furnivall and Rhys Bowen.
Lidia De Angelis has kept a low profile since Mussolini's laws wrenched her from her childhood sweetheart. But when the Germans occupy Venice in 1943, she must flee the city to save her life.
Lidia joins the partisans in the Venetian mountains, where she meets David, an English soldier fighting for the same cause. As she grows closer to him, harsh German reprisals and Lidia’s own ardent patriotic activities threaten to tear them apart.
Decades later in London, while sorting through her grandmother’s belongings after her death, Charlotte discovers a Jewish prayer book, unopened letters written in Italian, and a fading photograph of a group of young people in front of the Doge’s Palace.
Intrigued by her grandmother’s refusal to talk about her life in Italy before and during the war, Charlotte travels to Venice in search of her roots, There, she learns not only the devastating truth about her grandmother’s past, but also some surprising truths about herself.
... wonderfully fast-paced and readable... I would recommend this book to anyone who loves to be transported to a different place and time and wants a thoroughly absorbing read,’ Ann Bennett, bestselling author of The Orphan House.
Each character is beautifully drawn and comes alive on the page so I was living and breathing this book. An evocative tale beautifully told. Highly recommended,' Renita D'Silva, bestselling author of Monsoon Memories.
‘A delightful mix of adventure, romance and tragic modern history,’ Lizanne Lloyd, Lost in a Good Book.
Average rating from 44 members
I really enjoyed this book it was captivating from the very start and left me feeling emotional. The story centres on Charlotte who travels to Italy following the death of her grandmother, as she hopes to find out about her grandmothers’ life of which she knows nothing. The story was well written, had good pacing and flow, good narrative and well-developed characters with vivid imagery all through the story. I enjoyed finding out more about Italy’s role in WW2. I could not put this book down I was gripped from the first page, highly recommended.
Siobhan Daiko grabbed my attention very quickly in her new book The Girl from Venice. It is gripping, well-researched, educational while still entertaining. The book follows Lottie as she travels to Italy to learn more about her late grandmother, while simultaneously going back to WW11 Italy and following the events of Elena's life (Lotties grandmother) The story is fast paced, and the characters are well presented and highly believable. Highly recommend this book if you like a historical romance with a smidge of mystery mixed in.
Medical student Lidia de Angelis lives in 1938 Venice with her father. Political tensions build and soon the Germans occupy Venice. Many had refused to leave when there were warnings as they didn't want to believe the worst would happen to their beloved Italy. But sadly they were wrong. Heinous happenings were witnessed by Lidia starting with the Royal Decree and worsening. She flees to the countryside and is separated from those she loves including her closest friend. She discovers she is capable of more than she had thought. Desperate times, desperate measures. In 2010 ex-pat Lottie makes a fascinating discovery in her grandmother's background and she feels compelled to dig deeper. She flies to Venice to attempt to get to the root of missing information and finds much more. Her first glimpses of the beautiful city takes me back to my many visits there. I could feel the atmosphere and taste the food and see the sites/sights, detail by detail. As Italy is one of my favourite countries to visit, I felt an intense connection which made the story even more real. The author is also an ex-pat and draws from her personal experiences and uses historical bits to base her lovely book upon. I just love the history she includes, informative and non-condescending. My sincere thank you to BooksGoSocial and NetGalley for the privilege of reading this wonderful book!
I have read a lot of World War II historical fiction and this novel ranks in the top five. It is a fascinating story told in the past and present following the life of Lidia in war torn Italy and the quest of her granddaughter, Lottie, trying to learn more about her grandmother. I am looking forward to Siobhan Daiko’s next novel!
The story of Lionessa and her journey through Italy during WWII is quite beautifully written. This story shows not only the events of the people of Italy and the fight against fascism but it also is set in 2010 with Lionessa’s granddaughter and her search for her families history. The book had a lot of Italian in it and that was slightly off putting because it made it difficult to understand some of the book. However the story was still understood and the ending made it all worth it. I would absolutely recommend this book to someone who loves historical fiction, especially WWII because this book varies in the view point of most of those novels as it shows what was happening in Italy at the time.
When the Germans occupy Venice in 1943, Lidia De Angelis, 24, flees deportation to the concentration camps and is taken in by the Zalunardi family in the Venetian hills. Fuelled by anger, she joins partisans and meets an English soldier, David, fighting for the same cause. While clearing out her grandmother’s house in 2010, Charlotte finds a Jewish prayer book, some unopened letters in Italian and a photo taken of young people in front of the Doge’s Palace. Her curiosity leads her to Venice to uncover the truth about her grandmother. ‘Beneath A Scarlet Sky’ and ‘Our Darkest Night’ also highlight the persecution of Jews in Italy. I’d rate this book as the same calibre of writing ~ amazing. Daiko’s impeccable research has led to a thorough understanding of what must have been devastating times. From the first page, Daiko succeeded in drawing me into Lidia’s struggle. I lived her fear, her anxiety and her uncertainty. The atrocities are not glossed over not is the suffering and bravery of those who chose to fight back. Daiko makes sure her readers are in the middle of the action. She masterfully describes Italy at war with such reality and evokes a range of emotions from fear to love. Unique to this book, the author writes about how Italy switching sides and joining the Allies during the war affected the characters. Venice holds a special place in my heart and each trip to Europe involves stopping off here. Knowledge of the city and the ghetto helped me visualize the protagonist and understand a little how difficult it must have been to leave such a beautiful place. I'd eagerly read another book written by Siobhan Daiko.
Firstly, thanks netgalley for letting me read this novel in advance. Now to the review! This book had me feeling all sorts of emotions. I was a mess at the end of it, I loved it! I haven’t seen much work out there in regards to the Italian side of World War Two, so not only was this novel refreshing it was also very informative. I highly recommend a read!
The Girl from Venice by Siobhan Daiko is an historical romance inspired by events built upon what happened in Venice and the Veneto during WW2, that dark period in Italian history. It’s a vivid tale of strength, courage, friendship, love, and betrayal which resonates the depth of horror faced during WW2 and how it then impacted the lives of that generation later by keeping things from the children. I was fully immersed into this story, a great read involving two time lines, Lidia, the grandmother and Charlotte, the granddaughter. When Lidia dies, Charlotte & her mother find a photo of young Lidia which intrigues them both, so then Charlotte goes on a mission to finding out more of Lidia’s life and discovers the true horrors she endured during the war. As aptly stated in the book; “Italians pitted against Italians. Germany pitted against the Allies. Young people fired up by the spirit of insurrection. It was a terrible time in Italy”. It’s a great book which will tug at your heart strings, I definitely recommend it and I look forward to reading more captivating stories from Siobhan. Big thanks to Siobhan Daiko, Asolando Books and NetGalley for this eARC which I chose to read in return for my honest review.
The Girl from Venice is a truly moving tale that follows the life of a young woman living in Venice in WWII and that of her granddaughter as she searches for answers about her grandmother's past and her own heritage. I was moved to tears more than once while reading this masterpiece of historical fiction by author Siobhan Daiko. I fell in love with both Lydia and Lottie over the course of the novel, and found myself really rooting for them in their different stories. The horrors described during the German occupation of Italy in WWII were absolutely heart breaking, and the tales of heroism inspiring and uplifting. Reading about such courage in the face of absolute evil (I think pretty much everyone can agree the Nazis were fully evil) and the effect it can have on future generations was a much-needed lift to the spirits. I went through the whole gamut of emotions on my journey with Lydia and Lottie, and the ending of the book was a beautifully written epilogue that points to hope for the future while celebrating our pasts. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves to read. Prepare to be moved.
This novel of discovering and finding your roots takes us back to WWII in Italy, 1943, and in current times, 2010. A dual storyline, the story of a granddaughter and her grandmother, of secrets never spoken and a past that remained hidden, never told. Upon the death of her grandmother, Lidia, when going through her belongings, Charlotte comes across letters from the past that were never open, a black and white photo of her late grandmother when she was young and a Jewish prayer book. Curiosity and the fact that the past was a subject closed and remained so through the years, Charlotte decides to go to Venice and research her roots and in particular Sant'Illaria. In December, 1943 Lidia managed to convince her father to leave Venice. Under forged IDs they were now Elena and Alberto Moretti, staying with a family, pretending to be relatives and behave as if they were Catholics. However, for her father it was too late, he had already been rounded up by the police with hundreds of other Jews...they would be going to a labor camp. Having no other choice Elena/Lidia was now leaving Venice where she would be staying in Montebelluma at the farm of Rosina Zalunardi's family. Still not sure of her safety at the farm, Elena flees to the mountains where she joins one of the four partisan brigades. Adopting the battle name Leonessa, she now became one of them. It was there that she met David Roden an Englishman who had parachuted near the partisan camp. Because of her knowledge of English, she was asked to interpret when he was interviewed. Where were others from his unit? Was he a German spy? She was happy to learn he was fighting for the same cause. For Charlotte learning about her grandmother's past was not only devastating but overwhelming as well. That her grandmother actually killed when necessary, that she was constantly in harm's way, unbelievable. Surprised at what she had learned, the puzzle pieces finally coming together to create a life she had never known her grandmother had, to uncover secrets being held back, Charlotte finally found the truth about her roots. This novel was such a good read, I actually finished it in one day...I couldn't put it down! Well written, well researched, it was a page turner. I am a fan of historical fiction and as such I'm not surprised at what I find in these books. I know ahead of time what my feelings will be. Yet, this book surpassed my usual emotions as I felt the protagonist's struggles, anxieties, fears and uncertainties of life. The evil that caused such suffering makes you wonder how one can not only survive but love again, live again. My thanks to NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review. To be reviewed on https://bookreviewsbylulu.blogspot.com/, Goodreads, Amazon
I love historical fiction, especially when it's set during the war. There's just something about rebel women that makes my heart so happy, and this book made my heart happy. The way that the Daiko writes her characters makes you feel as if you're walking down the street with them. This book was beautiful, heartbreaking, and inspiring all at the same time. I can't wait to read more of her books!
One of my favorite reads over the last few months! I love the historical fiction that deals with grandmothers and secrets from the war and the grandchildren that discover them. It makes for a very well done past and present written book full of knowledge about the war in Italy. Charlotte and Lidia are two very special characters. I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by NetGalley.
I was engrossed from start to finish; such a well-crafted, thrilling and moving story surely marks this author as an author to watch. I can't wait for more!
Thanks go to the author and Net-Galley for the complimentary digital copy of The Girl from Venice by Siobhan Daiko. I voluntarily agreed to read and review this outstanding novel prior to publication. Sorry I missed that date, but life happens. My opinions are my own, and nothing has influenced my rating. The Girl from Venice is a well written novel set during WWII and Germany’s occupation of Venice and in current times in 2010. The pacing pulled me in from the first page and kept me enthralled to the last. I enjoyed reading about this period of Italy’s history, and it’s clear Ms. Daiko did a tremendous amount of research. Lidia De Angelis is the central character, and I enjoyed the steel in her backbone that helps her survive against all odds. Her determination to fight with the resistance is admirable, and her softer side comes through when she saves two young boys. What she suffered at the hands of the brown shirts is horrific, but she does not let it destroy her. Charlotte is another primary character. She is Lidia’s granddaughter and is fascinated when she finds a Jewish prayer book and unopened letters, along with a photo of her grandmother and her friends, while going through Lidia’s belongings after her death. She’s as fiercely determined as her grandmother and sets out on a journey of discovery when she travels to Venice to learn why Lidia never talked of her experiences during WWII and her life in Venice. While this is not a romance, it does have two emotional love stories interwoven through the plot, and I enjoyed both. Ms. Daiko’s writing is vivid and detailed. I could feel Lidia’s pain and anguish throughout her part of the story. I also enjoyed Charlotte’s character growth. It you enjoy historical fiction set during WWII and like learning of another part of the devastation caused by Natzi Germany and Mussolini’s Fascist regime, then you will love The Girl from Venice as much as I did. I highly recommend this amazing novel. Happy reading!
I have always loved WWII historical fiction, especially so when it involves alternating storylines and the journey to understanding family history. The Girl from Venice is all of this and much more. A heartbreaking story wrapped with suspense, love, and full of history. This book was well written and well researched, and I highly recommend!
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 General Fiction Review: Based on actual historical events during WII, this book is well written and captures you from the start. Written over a dual time line, the book tells the story of two courageous women. In the past Lidia who must flee to save her life and joints the partisans and in the present Charlotte Lydia’s granddaughter who goes on a journey to Italy to find out more about what happened her grandmother during WII. The plot flows well with the right amount of intrigue a bit of romance and suspense. It also gives a historical insight into the events that conspired during WII in Venice and the Veneto region. This made it more interesting and was an added bonus. The characters are interesting; their actions are explained well, this made them appear realistic. Overall: This is a nicely written captivating story based on true historical events. The plot flows well with a few twists and turns. The characters are interesting, they show real character traits such as loyalty, courage, determination, but also despair, love and fear this made them appear true to life. A great book, that is worth reading.
I thoroughly enjoyed The Girl from Venice. I was drawn to this title because of my heritage - my grandfather emigrated to America from Italy in the early 1900s. The author did good job of developing characters in both WWII era and the present day, and wove a good storyline. I would recommend this book. #netgalley #thegirlfromvenice
This is a great time shift tale set during wartime and also in current times in Italy. The main characters are a Venetian girl and her English granddaughter Charlotte. When the grandmother dies Charlotte is left to clear out her house and discovers mementos which lead to her trying to uncover her grandmother's past. This is a story of two women, two generations apart, looking for their places in the world. For one this is both a physically and emotionally tough endeavour but for the other it is a voyage of discovery. Luckily both find love to help them through difficult times. A great read which highlights the troubled times for Italy during WW2. Thanks to Net Galley and the publishers for the opportunity to review this book.
This is the second book that I have read, written by this author. I can definitely see how much Daiko has improved as a writer. The plotting and characterization are much smoother and The Girl From Venice worked well to hold my attention. I am knowledgeable about WWII and the Shoah, since I taught about the Shoah as a college professor. I appreciated the effort that Daiko made to make sure she had the history accurately revealed. I would recommend this historical fiction.
Lidia De Angelis has kept a low profile since Mussolini's racial laws separates her from her boyfriend. When the Germans occupy Venice in 1943, she must flee the city to save her life. Lidia joins the partisans in the Venetian mountains, where she meets David, an English soldier fighting for the same cause. As she grows closer to him, harsh Nazi reprisals and Lidia’s own ardent anti-fascist activities threaten to tear them apart. Decades later in London, while sorting through her grandmother’s belongings after her death, Charlotte discovers a Jewish prayer book, unopened letters written in Italian, and a fading photograph of a group of young people in front of the Doge’s Palace. Intrigued by her grandmother’s refusal to talk about her life in Italy before and during the war, Charlotte travels to Venice in search of her roots, There, she learns not only the devastating truth about her grandmother’s past, but also some surprising truths about herself. I was not familiar with this author, but since I am a voracious reader of WWII historical fiction, I requested this book from NetGalley and the publisher and am so glad I did. This is a heartbreaking story based on events that happened in Italy during WWII. The author's descriptions of the characters and the setting is so vivid that you feel like you are right there in the story. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me to read this amazing story.
"A heartbreaking page-turner, based on actual events in Italy during World War II" This one line piqued my interest and the inviting prose and intense research of Siobhan Daiko kept me reading this intense historical fiction novel. Gran refusing to discuss her past puts Charlotte on a mission after Gran's death to learn about her freedom fighter activities. Daiko brings you on an engrossing journey through the streets of Venice and the mountains of Italy as Lidia fights for her father's freedom as well as for that of her fellow Jewish Venetians. Thoroughly enjoyed this novel and highly recommend it! Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me to review this amazing novel.
Thank you so much for the opportunity to read this book! I loved it. The characters were incredible and the story intriguing. Can’t wait to see what’s next from this author.
Based on true events in Italy during WWII, this emotional story follows the life of Lidia, a young Jewish girl who joins the Partisans to fight against the Nazis. Her story is uncovered by her granddaughter years later, who then travels to Venice to piece together Lidia’s wartime story. This is a well researched and moving story which pulls at the heart strings. Highly recommended
A beautifully written dual timeline tale of WWII. Well researched and engrossing, this had my attention from the first chapter and kept me turning the pages, eager to see what would happen. I’d never read this author before and am looking forward to reading more of her work. My thanks to Books Go Social and NetGalley for a reader copy of this novel. Opinions shared are influenced by nothing other than my own reading experience.
I really enjoyed this historical novel with Lottie trying to trace her grandmother's roots in war torn Venice, it makes a nice change for that to be the location in war stories and so enjoyed the historical aspect of it. Good plotline made it a compelling read and I will be looking for more books by this author
One of the best books I read about WWII in Italy. I had no idea of the horrible events that happened at Mount Grappa that are portrayed in this story, it was a dark period in Italy and for the world in general. WWII left many people hurting, families were wiped out because of their ethnicity, there was no compassion and no respect for human life. The characters are a work of fiction, however, as the author says at the end, they were based on real people who underwent similar situations. The story is told alternating the years of war and present days and it gives us an interesting comparison on how social parameters were observed then and now. I really enjoyed reading The Girl from Venice. The plot is believable, the characters are charming and relatable, a very good historical romance with detailed information regarding Venice and its surroundings. Looking forward to reading other books by Siobhan Daiko.
An enjoyable book to read The story follows two women, one a granddaughter and the other her grandmother in Venice. There was a good storyline and I learned a lot about the part Italy played in the war. I wanted to find out what happened and read the book in a night. I do recommend that the book be read.