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Mussolini's Island

Mussolini's Island

Seductive, moving and full of insight into the desperate acts committed by individuals when fighting for their lives, MUSSOLINI’S ISLAND is a novel of sexuality and desire, and the secrets we keep locked within us. For any reader of Anthony Doerr’s ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE or Virginia Baily’s EARLY ONE MORNING.

Francesco has a memory of his father from early childhood, a night when life for his family changed: their name, their story, their living place. From that night, he has vowed to protect his mother and to follow the words of his father: Non mollare. Never give up.

When Francesco is rounded up with a group of young men and herded into a camp on the island of San Domino, he realises that someone has handed a list of names to the fascist police; everyone is suspicious of one another. His former lover Emilio is constantly agitating for revolution. His old friend Gio jealously watches their relationship rekindle. Locked in spartan dormitories, resentment and bitterness between the men grows each day.

Elena, a young and illiterate island girl on the cusp of womanhood, is drawn to the handsome Francesco yet fails to understand why her family try to keep her away from him. By day, she makes and floats her paper birds, willing them to fly from the island, just as she wants to herself. Sometimes, she is given a message to pass on. She’s not sure who they are from; she knows simply that Francesco is hiding something. When Elena discovers the truth about the group of prisoners, the fine line between love and hate pulls her towards an act that can only have terrible consequences for all.
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Genre: Fiction & Related Items / Historical Fiction

On Sale: 23rd February 2017

Price: £18.99

ISBN-13: 9781472238191

Reviews

[An] impressive debut... Day handles her neatly structured plot with great dexterity as she nudges her readers, one revelation at a time, towards the truth about what has happened and about Francesco's hidden history
Sunday Times
A fascinating debut...the setting and characters are strong and the story is written with verve. Day is a talent to watch
The Times
A beautiful and sadly relevant story of desire, oppression and defiance. I loved this book
Anna Mazzola, author of THE UNSEEING
Startling. A compassionate and clear-eyed debut which illuminates a grim chamber of 20th century history
Patrick Gale, author of A PLACE CALLED WINTER
Stunning... a wonderful haunting evocation of this forgotten and neglected story of war
Mary Chamberlain
Based on a true story, this is a haunting fictional account of oppression, survival and resilience - and a powerful portrayal of sexuality and war
Attitude
A complex, tender psychological love story, combined with a murder mystery that will keep you guessing
The Reith Lectures, Radio 4
Sarah Day's debut novel is striking: a fascinating evocation of a cruel time in Italian history
Amanda Craig
Day's style reminds me of Somerset Maugham - the book is sexy, scary, enraging and beautiful - with a murder mystery at the centre that will keep you guessing
The Pool
Based on a true story, this is a haunting fictional account of oppression, survival and resilience and a powerful portrayal of sexuality and war
Attitude Magazine
A genuine standout amongst literary debuts. This complex, brave and powerful novel, both tender and hard-hitting, features fine writing and a transporting sense of place
Isabel Costello, The Literary Sofa
A thoroughly absorbing and moving novel, one that convincingly illuminates a strange and largely forgotten aspect of life in Fascist Italy
Andrew Greig