The Golden Hour
Summer 1944, Tuscany. Giovanna Bellini is a girl of seventeen, longing for life to begin for her. When the Germans invade her village and ensconce themselves in her family’s villa, she is simultaneously intrigued and repulsed by them. Her brother, Giorgio, takes a stand by refusing to fight for the invaders. When he joins the local partisans hiding in the forest around the villa, Giovanna, without her parents’ knowledge, helps by gathering clothing, food, and medical supplies for him and his compatriots.
When Giorgio brings a wounded partisan, who is Jewish, and begs Giovanna to help him, she is drawn into a world of terror and intrigue where interception could mean death. Giovanna’s growth as a person and into adulthood is emphasized in her realization that people have more similarities than differences, and that love and fate often play counter to what we expect from life.
This wonderful debut novel grabs the reader from the first word. The history of World War II in Italy is gently woven through this story where character, courage, and love win the day. I did not want the story to end.
An excellent story, beautifully written. Highly recommended.