I’m always drawn to novels set during World War II. This one begins in occupied Italy in 1944. I thought I’d sit down and read a few chapters and ended up reading over half the book and finished it the next day.
The story focuses on a family that struggles to rebuild their lives after the war. The author created characters that felt authentic and she made me care about them. Contessa and Ettore have young children and when their apartment is bombed, they find themselves displaced. I could feel their worry, anxiety, and fear as the Yugoslav Army invaded their town of Fiume.
Rich in detail, I had a vision of what daily life had become for this family. A story full of heartfelt moments, painful events, and love. I also learned about the Italian immigration to Australia after the war.
I thought it was fascinating and memorable. I would recommend to fans of the genre.
Port of No Return by Michelle Saftich
Contessa and Ettore Saforo awake to a normal day in war-stricken, occupied Italy. By the end of the day, their house is in ruins and they must seek shelter and protection wherever they can. But the turbulent politics of 1944 refuses to let them be.
As Tito and his Yugoslav Army threaten their German-held town of Fiume, Ettore finds himself running for his life, knowing that neither side is forgiving of those who have assisted the enemy. His wife and children must also flee the meagre life their town can offer, searching for a better life as displaced persons.
Ettore and Contessa’s battle to find each other, and the struggle of their family and friends to rebuild their lives in the aftermath of a devastating war, provide a rich and varied account of Italian migration to Australia after World War II.
What can you do when you have nowhere left to call home? Port of No Return considers this question and more in a novel that is full of action, pain and laughter — a journey you will want to see through to the very end.
Port of No Return is the first novel in a series of two.