Review By Veronica

Courage, My Love is the debut novel from Kristin Beck and all I have to say is Kristin has created a masterpiece.

Favourite Quote:

“What is it?” Matteo sobbed, his voice lost in a third thunderclap. Lucia shook her head, his question rebounding in her mind. Her pulse rushed between her ears, loud as a burst dam, and she couldn’t form an answer. Dozens of planes darkened the sky. A string of objects dropped from them, like pills, and the earth jolted under their feet. Matteo’s scream was lost in the roar, and Lucia spun around, his legs banging her hips. What was happening? Where should she run?

Goodreads Synopsis: 

Rome, 1943

Lucia Colombo has had her doubts about fascism for years, but as a single mother in an increasingly unstable country, politics are for other people–she needs to focus on keeping herself and her son alive. Then the Italian government falls and the German occupation begins, and suddenly, Lucia finds that complacency is no longer an option.

Francesca Gallo has always been aware of injustice and suffering. A polio survivor who lost her father when he was arrested for his anti-fascist politics, she came to Rome with her fiancé to start a new life. But when the Germans invade and her fiancé is taken by the Nazis, Francesca decides she has only one option: to fight back.

As Lucia and Francesca are pulled deeper into the struggle against the Nazi occupation, both women learn to resist alongside the partisans to drive the Germans from Rome. But as winter sets in, the occupation tightens its grip on the city, and the resistance is in constant danger.

In the darkest days, Francesca and Lucia face their pasts, find the courage to love, and maintain hope for a future that is finally free.

This is one of those books about friendship, love, and resilience that just takes your breath away. It’s one of my all-time favourite historical fiction reads. I couldn’t put this book down; I was instantly drawn into the well-crafted story that Kristin creates. Her descriptions make me feel like I was on the streets of Rome and witnessing all the horrors of war and acts of resistance that happened on those cobblestone streets. Courage, My Love has plenty of twists and turns, action, and gut-wrenching moments that will leave you quickly turning the pages.

It is really refreshing reading a WWII story that doesn’t take place in France, England or Germany. I love the fact that this storyline took place in Rome. In fact, Courage, My Love is the first book I’ve read set in Rome during the war. It is fascinating reading what it was like to live in this famous city during this time. Kristin did such a fabulous job with her research. She blends all the crucial facts beautifully with her fiction.

Lucia and Francesca are extraordinary heroines. These two characters have so much depth and courage. I love seeing Rome through their eyes. Lucia and Francesca came from two different worlds, and would never have met if it wasn’t for the tragic events unfolding in their city.  It is heartwarming  as Lucia and Francesca form their friendship and as their bond grows.. I love reading the story of their lives as they grow into fierce, brave women who stand up against the Nazis.

Courage, My Love is a captivating story that will move you to tears at times and leave your heart pounding.