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Tour: The Girl from Portofino (Girls from the Italian Resistance #2) by Siobhan Daiko

Book details:

Book Title: The Girl from Portofino

Series: Girls of the Italian Resistance: A collection of standalone novels set in Italy during World War 2

Author: Siobhan Daiko

Publication Date: 30th December 2021

Publisher: Asolando Books

Page Length: 300 Pages

@Archaeolibrary, @maryanneyarde, #CoffeePotBookClub, #BlogTour,

#HistoricalFiction, #WomensLiterature, #WorldWarII,

In 1970 Gina Bianchi returns to Portofino to attend her father’s funeral, accompanied by her troubled twenty-four-year-old daughter, Hope. There, Gina is beset by vivid memories of World War 2, a time when she fought with the Italian Resistance and her twin sister, Adele, worked for the Germans.

In her childhood bedroom, Gina reads Adele’s diary, left behind during the war. As Gina learns the devastating truth about her sister, she’s compelled to face the harsh brutality of her own past. Will she finally lay her demons to rest, or will they end up destroying her and the family she loves?

A hauntingly epic read that will sweep you away to the beauty of the Italian Riviera and the rugged mountains of its hinterland. The Girl from Portofino” is a story about heart-wrenching loss and uplifting courage, love, loyalty, and secrets untold.

Trigger Warnings:

The brutality of war, death, war crimes against women.

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Available on #KindleUnlimited

They walked down the steep path to Portofino. The hotel hugged the hillside behind them, myriad windows lit up like lanterns. Below, the sea shimmered in the moonlight and, across the bay, Castello Brown’s lights shone golden against the dark backdrop of the promontory.

As they headed along the dark alley that led to the piazzetta, Stefano gave Gina a nudge. He picked up a conveniently discarded stick and placed a finger to his lips.

A lone German, dressed in the uniform of aKriegsmarine officer, was standing under the portico to their right. He was lighting up a cigarette and there was no one else around.

Gina smiled and made the thumbs-up sign to Stefano. They were about to launch into a ruse they’d worked a couple of times before, and her heart raced with excitement.

Stefano passed Gina a Macedonia. He disappeared into the shadows and Gina strode up to the German, swinging her hips.

She held out her cigarette. ‘Can I have a light?’

Natürlich. Of course.’

He struck a match and she cupped his hand while she brought the tip of her cigarette to the flame.

The glow of the match lit up his fresh, young face.

She lowered her gaze, not wanting to be recognised if ever she saw him again. ‘Grazie.’

Stealthily, Stefano crept up behind the officer. With a snarl, he pushed his stick into the man’s side. ‘Hands up!’

The German yelped, complying in an instant.

Stefano kept his stick where it was, then removed the pistol from the German’s holster with his other hand.

Gina threw down her cigarette and unbuckled the man’s trousers, pulled them all the way down his surprisingly smooth legs. The trousers got stuck on his boots; she unlaced them and made him step out of them.

‘March,’ Stefano ordered. ‘And don’t look back or I’ll shoot.’

Even if the German had no understanding of Italian, the meaning of Stefano’s words was clear from his tone.

Without a backward glance, the officer sped down the street in his socks and underpants.

Stefano handed the pistol to Gina. ‘I kept the last one we stole,’ he said. ‘You have this. You’ll need it when we go up to the mountains.’

‘When will that be?’

‘Sooner rather than later. Otherwise I’ll be arrested for dodging the draft and sent to work as forced labour for the Germans.’

Gina tucked the gun into the waistband of her skirt. ‘I’ll tell my parents as soon as I get home.’

Arm in arm, they strolled across the piazzetta before heading down Calata Marconi. They dropped the officer’s trousers into the harbour, but Stefano kept the boots, saying they looked to be his size and might be useful.

‘See you tomorrow,’ he pecked her on the cheek. ‘We can talk about arrangements before we start what will hopefully be our final shift at the Magnifico.’ He stepped into the tall, narrow terraced house next door.

She raced upstairs to the first floor and into the sitting room where Babbo, Mamma and Adele were listening to a soap opera on the radio.

Suddenly, the roar of plane engines echoed through the open windows.

‘The Allies are bombing Genoa again.’ Adele leapt to her feet and grabbed Gina’s hand. ‘It’s a clear night. Let’s go and watch them as they fly overhead.’

Siobhan Daiko is a British historical fiction author. A lover of all things Italian, she lives in the Veneto region of northern Italy with her husband, a Havanese dog and two rescued cats. After a life of romance and adventure in Hong Kong, Australia and the UK, Siobhan now spends her time, when she isn't writing, enjoying her life near Venice.

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Tour hosted by: The Coffee Pot Book Club

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