The author of the “unforgettable story of strength, love, and survival” (Jillian Cantor, USA TODAY bestselling author) The Light After the War returns with a sweeping and evocative story of love and purpose in WWII Italy.
Rome, 1943: University student Marina Tozzi is on her way home when she finds out that her father has been killed for harboring a Jewish artist in their home. Fearful of the consequences, Marina flees to Villa I Tatti, the Florence villa of her father’s American friend Bernard Berenson and his partner Belle da Costa Greene, the famed librarian who once curated J.P. Morgan’s library.
Florence is a hotbed of activity as partisans and Germans fight for control of the city. Marina, an art expert, begins helping Bernard catalog his library as he makes the difficult trek to neutral Switzerland, helping to hide precious cultural artifacts from the Germans. Adding to the tension, their young neighbor Carlos, a partisan, seeks out Marina for both her art expertise and her charm. Marina, swept up in the romance, dreams of a life together after the war.
But when Carlos disappears, all of Marina’s assumptions about her life in Florence are thrown into doubt, and she’ll have to travel halfway around the world to unravel what really happened during the war.
“This novel of wartime Italy follows a young Roman woman with modern sensibilities who flees to the Tuscan countryside after the murder of her father in 1943. There, she finds a treasure trove of art, friends who become family, and a new calling to stand up against the Germans responsible for her father’s death. Dotted with real-life historical figures, this coming-of-age story of love and art set in World War II Italy is a fast-paced and engaging read.” —Kristin Harmel, New York Times bestselling author of The Forest of Vanishing Stars
—Allison Pataki, New York Times bestselling author of The Queen’s Fortune
“A Girl During The War is an entrancing and beautiful love letter to Italy, Buenos Aires, and the great artists of the renaissance. Anita Abriel weaves a sweeping story that follows art expert Marina Tozzi from Rome, where her father is killed by the Germans during WW11, to Florence where she flees and finds a second family at Villa I Tatti, to Argentina where she finally confronts the ghosts of her past. Passionate about protecting precious art and cultural artifacts from the Germans, Marina grapples with what lengths people will go to when confronted with the devastation of war. Abriel’s knowledge of the arts and war-torn Italy was fascinating and evocative and this heartfelt journey of love, friendship and purpose will stay with you long after you’ve turned the last page.” —Nicola Harrison, bestselling author of The Show Girl