It is 1943 and World War 2 rages throughout Europe. In Italy, young American Victoria Sullivan has adopted her Italian dual nationality to survive the German occupation. As the Allied armies advance towards Rome, she joins her step-brother James and his handsome colleague Guy in their attempted sabotage, with disastrous results.
As she hides out in the mountains above Rome, Victoria is unsure where she really belongs. Is it here? Her Italian blood relatives certainly think so, but when the chance comes, her heart draws her back to New York, and her beloved adoptive parents.
EDITORIAL NOTE: Where does true allegiance lie? Is nature or nurture more influential? Helen Spring weaves an irresistible mix of wartime adventure and social history with integrity and tenderness.
Readers comments on ‘Blood Relatives’.
‘Meticulously researched, mainly about a very dangerous time for the main characters. It keeps you guessing and in suspense until the end.’
A QUICK DIP......
Victoria shivered. It was a warm spring day and she was not cold, but the sight of the man trudging up the slope towards the cottage engendered a sudden frisson of fear. She pulled her thin cardigan around her shoulders, wondering if the time would ever come again when she could meet a stranger without dryness in the mouth and that instant chill. The man came on inexorably, with the heavy pushing tread of the dog tired, a toiling ant on the lazy hillside. ‘Who is it?’ Guiditta spoke in her usual thick southern Italian dialect, but her tone was urgent.
‘I don’t know.’ Victoria’s Italian was markedly different, flawless and without accent, the product of an expensive education and a Swiss finishing school. Understanding Guiditta’s frustration she added, ‘He looks harmless enough. He’s young, with a pack big enough to sink a battleship.’
‘Someone from Giorgio?’ Guiditta asked hopefully, ‘With supplies for us?’
‘No, I know Giorgio’s people. I’ve never seen this man before.’ Victoria peered out again from behind the lace curtain. ‘He’s almost here...’ she said with rising panic.
‘Give me the shotgun,’ Guiditta said. ‘Just in case.’Victoria hesitated, but only for a moment. She crossed the room and opened a small wardrobe, moving shoes and accumulated clothes to retrieve a battered shotgun from its hiding place. She took the gun across to the truckle bed where Guiditta lay, and then scrambled to find the ammunition from the wardrobe. The old woman’s lined face hardened as she took it and loaded the gun. Her thin lips pressed into a determined line as the knock came at the door.