Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Blog Tour: The Tuscan Orphan by Siobhan Daiko

I have read a number of Siobhan Daiko's books now. I have enjoyed the ones set in Asia, but I really liked the previous books set in Italy. This was therefore a book that I volunteered to read straight away. 

In this book there are really two stories which converge into one meaningful arc.  One is the story of a Texan nurse named Carrie, and the other is a young man named Vito who is a resistance fighter. The first part of the really story is really giving us Carrie's story as the author gets her to where she needs to be

Carrie is a nurse in the American Army who finds herself stationed initially in Africa but subsequently in various places in Italy. In one of the locations a young girl is bought into the hospital with a head injury. The girl's name is Mimi, and she is the daughter of a Jewish couple who have gone missing. As Carrie cares for her, she becomes more and more attached to her and determined to find her parents.

Mimi had been found sheltering in a convent by Vito when he was looking for his sister. Vito was also injured and as a result Carrie and Vito start spending time together. At first, Carrie was reluctant to let her feelings for Vito to grow stronger because he was younger than her, but also, more importantly because war had already resulted in heartbreak.

I appreciated that we truly got to feel the uncertainty of never knowing where Carrie would be assigned to next, the fear of the falling bombs even in hospital where there should be no bombings at all, and the unbearable loss of loved ones.

Whilst I really enjoyed this book, there were times where I felt like the research was showing in the story. There's no doubt that there would have been a lot of interesting research, especially seeing as so many of the characters were based on real people and events.

The author talks about her love of Italy, and it really shows. Her descriptions of the countryside had me wishing that I could visit the areas described. I also found myself thinking about how amazing it is that so much of the country was rebuilt in the aftermath of the destruction of WWII, and that it is available to us to still see now.

The author's note mentions that her next book will once again be set in Italy, and I am there for it!

Thanks to the publisher, Netgalley and Rachel's Random Resources for the review copy. I will also be sharing this review with the Historical Fiction Reading Challenge which I host.

About the book:

The Tuscan Orphan

1944 - When an air raid strikes the hospital she’s been working in, Carrie’s life irrevocably changes. But as a nurse in the middle of wartime, she has no time to grieve, as she has too many people relying on her.

For resistance fighter, Vito, nothing is more important than seeking vengeance for the atrocities his fellow comrades have suffered. But when he liberates a convent, finding a group of Jewish children in hiding, he suddenly has even more to fight for.

Little Mimi is injured, scared and alone. Together Carrie and Vito vow to find her parents, a loving home. But under the shadow of war, is it wise to make promises you’re not sure you can keep?

Heartbreaking and immersive, this powerful story of the strength of the human spirit will delight fans of Kristin Hannah, Fiona Valpy and Rhys Bowen

Purchase Link -

About the author

Siobhan Daiko writes powerful and sweeping historical fiction set in Italy during the second World War, with strong women at its heart. She now lives near Venice, having been a teacher in Wales for many years.

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