The Girl from Portofino

Book Title: The Girl from Portofino

Series: Girls of the Italian Resistance: A collection of standalone novels set in Italy during World War 2

Author: Siobhan Daiko

Publication Date: 30th December 2021

Publisher: Asolando Books

Page Length: 300 Pages

Genre: Womens Historical Fiction/29th Century Historical/World War 2 Historical

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The Girl from Portofino

(Girls of the Italian Resistance: A collection of standalone novels set in Italy during World War 2)

By Siobhan Daiko

In 1970 Gina Bianchi returns to Portofino to attend her father’s funeral, accompanied by her troubled twenty-four-year-old daughter, Hope. There, Gina is beset by vivid memories of World War 2, a time when she fought with the Italian Resistance and her twin sister, Adele, worked for the Germans.

In her childhood bedroom, Gina reads Adele’s diary, left behind during the war. As Gina learns the devastating truth about her sister, she’s compelled to face the harsh brutality of her own past. Will she finally lay her demons to rest, or will they end up destroying her and the family she loves?

A hauntingly epic read that will sweep you away to the beauty of the Italian Riviera and the rugged mountains of its hinterland. “The Girl from Portofino” is a story about heart-wrenching loss and uplifting courage, love, loyalty, and secrets untold.

Trigger Warnings:

The brutality of war, death, war crimes against women.

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Available on KindleUnlimited.

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Author Bio:

Siobhan Daiko is a British historical fiction author. A lover of all things Italian, she lives in the Veneto region of northern Italy with her husband, a Havanese dog and two rescued 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 her life near Venice.

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The inspiration behind my novel, “The Girl from Portofino” for When Angels Fly

Thank you so much for inviting me here today to tell your readers about the inspiration behind my newly released novel, “The Girl from Portofino.”

After I published “The Girl from Venice”, which featured a 2010 heroine and her grandmother, a Jewish girl who joins the partisans in the Venetian mountains during World War 2 in Italy, I thought long and hard about which direction to take with the second standalone novel in the “Girls from the Italian Resistance” series.

In “The Girl from Portofino”, I decided to tell the story from the point of view of Gina, who lives in London and returns to Portofino in 1970 to attend her father’s funeral. There, she reads her twin sister, Adele’s diary, left behind during the war. Readers learn the truth about Adele’s wartime experiences through Gina’s eyes while she reminisces about her own experiences fighting with the partisans.

What many people don’t know is that women’s involvement in the Italian Resistance was highly significant, and the fact that it occurred at all is very clear proof of the general impact the Resistance had on Italian society. For the first time in Italian history, women came out of their homes in large numbers, voluntarily, and got involved in politics. Many women did not want to take on just a supporting role and had to ‘fight’ within partisan brigades to be given the right to fight. One such woman was Elsa Oliva, who was from an anti-fascist family, and luckily managed to escape from a transit camp in September 1943 before being sent to Germany. She went up into the hills, looking for her brother who was already a partisan, and joined the 2nd Brigade of the Beltrami division in May 1944. After several days she told the commander and the rest of the men: ‘I didn’t come here to find a lover. I’m here to fight and I’m only going to stay if you give me a gun and put me in the group for guard duty and military action. … In my first firefight I showed I wasn’t handling a gun just for show.’

Because she showed herself to be a good fighter, she was given the command of a group, and when moves were made to relieve her of command she managed to hold on to the position only because her men defended her. She was also a severe disciplinarian, tying up men to posts as punishment from time to time.

Another remarkable story concerns Laura Seghettini, who went up into the hills as a 22-year-old and asked to join her local group as a fighter, a request that was agreed to after initial hesitation. A few months later she was asked to form and lead her own squad of 40 men.

These two remarkable women were my main inspiration for writing “The Girl from Portofino”. I hope readers will enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

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