As the Nazis' hold tightens over occupied Italy, life becomes increasingly difficult for Jewish citizens. Antonina Mazin, the daughter of a doctor, is shocked to discover her father has made a plan for her safety: she will travel to the countryside with Nico Gerardi, a young Christian man, and pose as his wife. No one--not even his family--can know the truth. Jennifer Robson (The Gown; Moonlight over Paris) weaves a rich, compelling story of danger, sacrifice and steadfast love in her sixth novel, Our Darkest Night.
Like so many people during wartime, Antonina finds her life changed in an instant: she must bid her father and her invalid mother goodbye, change her name to Nina Marzoli, and leave her beloved Venice behind. Robson vividly renders Nina's fear and disorientation as she accompanies Nico to his family's farm. Once there, she finds a warm welcome from his younger siblings and his widowed father, but his sister Rosa, who runs the household, greets her with suspicion and disdain. Gradually, Nina settles into her new life, learning how to do chores in the house and on the farm. But a local Nazi officer, a man who was once a seminary classmate of Nico, grows suspicious of Nina, and his investigations into Nina's background may put the entire family in peril.
Robson has a gift for illuminating the struggles and hopes of ordinary people against a backdrop of life-changing events. Powerful, heartbreaking and full of wise, compassionate characters, Our Darkest Night is the story of a woman learning to fight for what--and whom--she loves in the face of great evil. --Katie Noah Gibson, blogger at Cakes, Tea and Dreams