Escape to Florence: A Novel
“Berta’s murder, the public display of her mutilated body all this was meant to be a deterrent.” And it was! Yes, the people in and around the Tuscan hills were truly mortified. They were too scared to do anything about her death. A few did, however, decide to join the Italian Resistance. One person in particular decided to make the Nazis and Fascists pay for what they had been done to poor Berta. That was in 1944.
No one expected Stella, of all people, to do anything. Few, only a very small number of persons, ever came to learn that 14-year-old Stella Infuriati, the baby sister of Achilles Infuriati, the internationally acclaimed race car driver, was ever a member of the Resistance. Soon she was a key member of the Resistance. She risked a terrible and slow death if ever caught. Yet she proved to have nerves of steel performing all her duties well and to the letter.
But when the war ended in 1945, she seemed to fall off the end of the earth! Some were concerned that she had been captured and executed by remnants of the Fascist Regime. Others wondered if she had been kidnapped. No one knew. She simply vanished. This so demoralized her parents that they suffered and aged quickly and died well below the normal age. Her brother became more reckless in everything he did.
By the early 1950s she was a forgotten soul. It wasn’t that nobody cared anymore, rather a more tragic tragedy occurred. Achilles died in an automobile accident. The circumstances of which still raise questions today.
However, that is not the end of this story. Kat Devereaux made sure readers will be surprised with how she interwove all kinds of situations, added new characters, and included many surprises.
Next the author whisks us to the year 2019. it was a bad one for a young writer named Tori MacNair. Her dear grandmother died and left her a small stipend and lots of memories of when she was a youngster. She went through a messy divorce, too. Thus, she got the bright idea of escaping all her woes by going to Florence where she had all those fond memories with her grandmother.
She arrived. Chiara the real estate agent took her to a flat. “It’s very small—probably someone’s old living room carved in two, with a bedroom only just big enough for a double bed and a chest of drawers.” She did not need more space. She did not want more space. She was satisfied.
It is here and now that her adventure with all of its twists and turns begins.
Wait a minute!
What is the relevance of Tori MacNair to Stella and the Italian Resistance? It does not make any sense at all.
As noted earlier there are twists and turns that bring the whole story together. Everything fits quite nicely. The book makes for a stimulating, fascinating, and thought-provoking read. Along the way there are numerous tips, hints, and excerpts that could lead you down the proverbial bunny trail. Also, you will try to anticipate how the story ends. The question for the reader is did you get it right? Maybe, maybe not.
Escape to Florence is a really enjoyable book. The characters are quite life-like. Think about people you know or have known . . . they are here. The author understands people and their idiosyncrasies and brings that knowledge into her craft. Highly recommended.