Our Darkest Night begins in Venice, Italy, 1942. As Jews, Antonina (Nina) Mazin and her parents realize that they are no longer safe as more and more of their freedoms are being taken away. Antonina's beloved father was no longer allowed to practice medicine and it was clear that it was only a matter of time before all Jews would be expelled from Italy. Her father and his friend Father Bernardi advise Antonina that they have arranged for her to move to the countryside pretending to be the new wife of Nico Gerardi, a young Catholic farmer. While knowing that she might never see her parents again, she agrees as this plan offers her the best chance of survival.
As Nina (her new name in hiding) settles into life on the farm with Nico’s large family, she lives in constant fear of having her secret uncovered. This danger is heightened by ongoing inspections by SS officials. This extremely moving book shows both the generosity and kindness of people who were willing to risk their own lives to save others as well as the extreme cruelty of those who lost all compassion and feeling committing the most horrendous atrocities. Our Darkest Night has a lot of heart but it doesn’t sugarcoat what occurred either. You’ll become fully invested in Nina and Nico’s lives and struggles.
It is now over 75 years since the end of WWII and the horrors of the Holocaust. There are very few survivors still alive to tell their stories. We are fortunate that there are talented authors like Jennifer Robson who choose to do extensive research and write about this period in history. Hopefully there will continue to be large numbers of readers who will want to read the many different stories and perspectives, most inspired by real people, to insure that what occurred will always be remembered.
Rated 4.25 out of 5 stars.
Publication Date: January 4, 2020.
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