26 July 2021

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[Blog Tour] 'The Girl from Venice' By Siobhan Daiko #HistoricalFiction #WomensFiction

A heart-breaking page-turner, based on actual events in Italy during World War II

[Blog Tour] 'The Girl from Venice' By Siobhan Daiko #HistoricalFiction #WomensFiction
The Girl From Venice - Tour Banner

The Book:

The Girl from Venice 
By Siobhan Daiko
  • Publication Date: 29th June 2021
  • Publisher: ASOLANDO BOOKS
  • Page Length: 300 Pages
  • Genre: Romantic Historical/Women’s Fiction

The Blurb:

Lidia De Angelis has kept a low profile since Mussolini's racial laws wrenched her from her childhood sweetheart. But when the Germans occupy Venice in 1943, she must flee the city to save her life.

Lidia joins the partisans in the Venetian mountains, where she meets David, an English soldier fighting for the same cause. As she grows closer to him, harsh Nazi reprisals and Lidia’s own ardent anti-fascist activities threaten to tear them apart.

Decades later in London, while sorting through her grandmother’s belongings after her death, Charlotte discovers a Jewish prayer book, unopened letters written in Italian, and a fading photograph of a group of young people in front of the Doge’s Palace.

Intrigued by her grandmother’s refusal to talk about her life in Italy before and during the war, Charlotte travels to Venice in search of her roots. There, she learns not only the devastating truth about her grandmother’s past, but also some surprising truths about herself.

A heart-breaking page-turner, based on actual events in Italy during World War II
Trigger Warnings: Death, Miscarriage, PTSD, Rape

The Teaser:

[Blog Tour] 'The Girl from Venice' By Siobhan Daiko #HistoricalFiction #WomensFiction
The Girl From Venice - Teaser
'The Girl from Venice' - Front Cover 

'The Girl from Venice' - Excerpt:

Lidia was spending the rest of the night in the Pivettas’ attic, just like Giorgio had done over two months ago. She’d insisted on coming up here; she didn’t want to put Marta and her family at risk. Giudecca was a small community and not everyone was anti-Fascist. It would take only one person to tell the police they’d seen Lidia leave the palazzo with her friend, and they would easily work out where she’d gone.

She sat on a lumpy mattress on the cold wooden floor and knuckled away a tear. What she’d witnessed tonight, the wilful destruction of hers and Papa’s personal property, had brought home the grim reality of her situation. Obviously, those air raid sirens had been a distraction. People’s eyes had been on the sky and the noise had prevented them from hearing what was going on. Would they have done anything, though? She doubted it; they would have been too afraid—

A knock rapped at the attic trapdoor, and Lidia almost jumped out of her skin. Then came two further knocks in quick succession followed, after a beat, by two more. Lidia’s knees buckled with relief. It was Marta, using a broom handle to tap their agreed signal—the same code she’d put in place for Giorgio.

Just to be sure, Lidia peered through a crack in the wood.

Marta’s dear face was staring up at her.

With trembling hands, Lidia lifted the trapdoor, fetched the ladder resting against the attic wall, and eased it down.

Marta climbed the rungs and pulled the ladder up after herself. She kissed Lidia on both cheeks and inquired how she was feeling.

‘Scared,’ Lidia breathed.

‘I think we got away with it,’ Marta said, hugging her. ‘If anyone ratted on us, the police would have been here by now. Oh, and I know where they’ve taken your papa—'

Lidia grabbed hold of her arm. ‘Where?’

‘The Collegio Mario Foscarini, that private school in the Cannaregio district. Angelo found out that he’s there with hundreds of other Jews rounded up by the police.’

O, Dio.’ Lidia’s chest tightened. ‘My poor dear papa. I must go and be with him.’

Marta stiffened. ‘You can’t mean that—’

Lidia held her in a firm gaze. ‘Where he goes, I go too. He would do the same for me.’

‘Are you crazy?’ Marta shook her head. ‘From what I’ve heard, your papa and the others will soon be transported to a labour camp.’

‘He will need me to help him.’ Lidia’s voice quivered. ‘I’ve always helped him.

‘Your papa won’t expect this of you. I’m sure he would tell you if he could.’

‘I must hand myself in.’ Lidia’s chin lifted. ‘I will go to the police first thing in the morning.’

‘Don’t do that,’ Marta pleaded. ‘Ti prego. I beg of you.’ She fell silent momentarily, then said, ‘If we can find a way for you to talk to your papa, and tell him what you are planning, would you agree to that?’

Lidia sighed. There was no point in going to see him; she’d made up her mind. She stared at Marta, and Marta stared back at her. Lidia caught the love and concern in her friend’s gaze. She owed it to her to go through the motions. ‘Alright. I’ll talk to him. But how do you propose I do that? I mean, there are probably guards.’

‘Some guards are more lenient than others.’ Marta gave a wry smile. ‘Try and get some sleep, bella.’ She hugged Lidia again. ‘Ti voglio bene.'

‘I love you too, beautiful,’ Lidia said. And she did. O Dio, she would miss Marta so much. So very much.


Lidia tossed and turned for the rest of the night. Papa’s eternal optimism would have him making the best of things, and he’d be helping anyone in need. But she couldn’t help worrying about him.

At breakfast time, Marta brought her some bread and milk, as well as a bowl of water, soap, a facecloth and a towel. ‘Giovanna came to find out how you are coping. She’ll be back later today with more information about what’s going on at that school.’

‘I’m serious about handing myself in,’ Lidia repeated.

Marta put her arm around her shoulders. ‘Be patient, bella.’

She nodded. ‘I’ll try.’

Throughout the morning, she waited and worried. Marta came up at lunchtime, and said, ‘It seems the police aren’t looking for you. Come down to the kitchen and eat with us. You can stay in my room tonight.’

‘How about we go now, just the two of us, to the Collegio?’ Lidia gave her a pleading look.

‘I think tomorrow would be more sensible. Better to wait until we know more about what’s happening there.’

Va bene.’ She would give it one more day. If she couldn’t find a way to speak with her papa, she’d hand herself in. It was only for Marta’s sake that she’d agreed to talk to Papa anyway.

Giovanna and Marisa dropped by before the night-time curfew. The four girls sat together in the Pivettas’ lounge.

‘The school has been transformed into a primitive detention centre,’ Giovanna said without preamble.

‘There aren’t any facilities,’ Marisa added. ‘Even the old and sick are sleeping on benches or on the floor.’

O Dio,’ Lidia muttered. ‘I hope they are being given food.’

Giovanna tapped the ash from her cigarette. ‘I’m afraid not. Some of the neighbours, hearing the children crying with hunger, have been passing bread, fruit and cheese through the windows.’

‘That’s terrible,’ Lidia choked back a sob.

‘It is.’ Marisa leant towards her. ‘But you can use the situation to your advantage. If you mingled with the people who are helping the detainees, you could ask about your father.’

Lidia wiped her eyes. She would do it. She had nothing to lose. If she was caught, she’d be imprisoned with Papa. And, if she wasn’t caught, she’d go directly to the police station anyway. ‘I will walk to the Collegio my own,’ she said, sending Marta a determined look. ‘It will be too dangerous for you to come with me.’

‘Absolutely not.’ Marta shook her head. ‘We’ll go in my babbo’s boat. The patrols won’t take any notice of us. It’s as if they consider women not worth worrying about; I’ve sailed right past them so often—’

‘But won’t we use a lot of fuel?’ Lidia asked. ‘The school is on the other side of Venice.’

‘We can cut across San Marco via the smaller canals. I know the route from visiting my nonna’s grave at San Michele cemetery.’

Lidia decided not to press the argument. When Marta got the bit between her teeth she never gave up. Lidia sat back in her seat and listened to her friends as they talked about the upcoming Christmas celebrations, and how miserable they would be with the Germans infesting the city like a plague. Lidia stared down at her hands. Hanukkah would start on December 22nd this year. Whatever happened, she knew she wouldn’t be lighting the menorah candles with Papa. And the realisation made her heart weep.
[Blog Tour] 'The Girl from Venice' By Siobhan Daiko #HistoricalFiction #WomensFiction
Siobhan Daiko

Author Bio:

Siobhan Daiko is an international bestselling historical romantic fiction author. A lover of all things Italian, she lives in the Veneto region of northern Italy with her husband, a Havanese puppy and two rescue 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 the sweet life near Venice.

Connect With Siobhan Daiko:

[Blog Tour] 'The Girl from Venice' By Siobhan Daiko #HistoricalFiction #WomensFiction
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