The Golden Hour by Margaret Wurtele- 352 pages
In this stunning debut set in the summer of 1944 in Tuscany, Giovanna Bellini, the daughter of a wealthy aristocrat and vineyard owner, has just turned seventeen and is on the cusp of adulthood. War bears down on her peaceful little village after the Italians sign a separate peace with the Allies-transforming the Germans into an occupying army.
But when her brother joins the Resistance, he asks Giovanna to hide a badly wounded fighter who is Jewish. As she nurses him back to health, she falls helplessly in love with the brave and humble Marco, who comes from as ancient and noble an Italian family as she does. They pledge their love, and then must fight a real battle against the Nazis who become more desperate and cruel as the Allies close in on them.
My Review: 3.5 stars
This was a unique novel for me as it described the Nazi occupation in Italy which is something I wasn’t so familiar with. I enjoyed learning about the resistance and the inspiring role the church had in hiding the jews. Beyond being a descriptive, well told story of how the war affected this once sleepy town in Tuscany, it also was a wonderful coming of age story for Giovanna. She grew up in the midst of the war but was still a 17 year old girl who was on the verge of adulthood. She acted from her gut, resisted her parents beliefs and grew into a wonderful young woman. I did enjoy this part of the book quite a bit. I didn’t realize until I write this review that this was marketed at a YA novel.
Quotes I liked:
-"She really loved to read and to write, and she cherished her books as if they were her children. Her library was something behold:"
-"That was the golden hour, the interlude of pure innocence, when victory was still fresh and I had yet to receive the weight of responsibility I have carried ever since."
Tags: Historical Fiction, 2012, WW2, Coming Of Age, Italy
Labels: 2012, Coming Of Age, Historical Fiction, Italy, WW2