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Echoes of War Paperback – 29 September 2021
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Calabria, Italy, 1936
In a remote farming village nestled in the mountains that descend into the sparkling Ionian Sea, young and spirited Giulia Tallariti longs for something more. While she loves her home and her lively family, she would much rather follow in her nonna’s footsteps and pursue her dream of becoming a healer.
But as Mussolini’s focus shifts to the war in Europe, civil unrest looms. Whispers of war are at every corner and her beloved village, once safe from the fascist agenda of the North, is now in very real danger.
Caught between her desire to forge her own path and her duty to her family, Giulia must draw on the passion in her heart and the strength of her conviction.
Can she find a way to fulfill her dreams or will the echoes of war drown out her voice?
PRAISE FOR TANIA BLANCHARD
‘Captures the intensity of a brutal and unforgiving war, successfully weaving love, loss, desperation and, finally, hope into a gripping journey of self-discovery.’ Courier Mail
‘An epic tale, grand in scope … Packs an emotional punch that will reverberate far and wide.’ Weekly Times
‘A tumultuous journey from order to bedlam, and from naive acceptance of the status quo to the gradual getting of political wisdom.’ Sunday Age
‘An original and innovative take on the World War II genre that captures the hauntingly desperate essence of the war. Tania Blanchard has written yet another spectacular novel. Don’t miss this.’ Better Reading
‘This is emotional reading for anyone born of immigrant stock as it explores the pain of leaving your homeland and your family to find opportunity elsewhere … Echoes of War is an entertaining tale of fiction that will make your heart melt and sing and shatter.’ Glam Adelaide
‘Echoes of War is a powerful novel about powerful women … a powerful evocation of a time, a place and a cultural vision which provided a significant boost to Australia’s population and its development as a multi-cultural destination of choice for refugees – both voluntary and choiceless.’ Carpe Librum
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‘Echoes of War is a powerful novel about powerful women … a powerful evocation of a time, a place and a cultural vision which provided a significant boost to Australia’s population and its development as a multi-cultural destination of choice for refugees – both voluntary and choiceless.’ ― Carpe Librum
About the Author
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- Publisher : Simon & Schuster Australia (29 September 2021)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 448 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1760852082
- ISBN-13 : 978-1760852085
- Dimensions : 15.5 x 3.5 x 23.5 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 6,204 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Giulia's given the opportunity to study at a monastery, with the famous herbalist Fra Fortunato, here she learns about growing herbs, drying them, and their healing properties. She meets sister Agata a nun who shares her interest in herbs, medicine and they become friends. Her older brother Vincenzo and his two friends Angelo and Stefano have been conscripted into the Royal Italian Army, they have been fighting in Abyssinia and Albania. They return home hungry, thin, tired, and dirty and the young men have a haunted look about them.
This is just the beginning, Italy's ruled by a fascist government and Mussolini, even veteran of the First World War Andrea is called up, the Tallariti women are left to run the farm, harvest the crops and Poala is in her element. Giulia and her Nonna are busy running their clinic, as the Second World War year’s drag and their traditional herbal medicine is a godsend. For the Tallariti family there are times of joy when new babies are born and when widowed Giulia marries Stefano, terrible sadness when a loved one’s are killed and every family in Bruzzano dreads getting a telegram.
Echoes of War story is based around the author Tania Blanchard’s grandfather being a member of the Royal Italian Army, and fighting in Abyssinia and Albania. Her family’s historical ties to Italy, her Nonna’s interest in herbal medicine and moving to Australia after the Second World War. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, I have read and enjoyed all of Tania Blanchard’s books and her newest edition Echoes of War is absolutely brilliant and five stars from me.
Giulia Tallarti dreamed of a much different life than her father had planned for her. Giulia had no desire to end up married with children in the village they lived in, she wanted to get out and live a little. Her father had no idea that she had been learning to become a Herbalist, like Nonna Mariana, who was a folk healer. Giulia jumped at the chance to get away from her father and study at the monastery. While Giulia is missing home, her mind is also preoccupied with the war, and if her loved ones will make it home safely.
The Author has done a great job in creating this special book, and I would certainly recommend it. 5/5 Star Rating.
It’s a story about a young woman with dreams that definitely don’t fit society’s mould. Set in Italy at the beginning of WWII it tells the story of Guilia’s quest to be a healer.
The storytelling is beautiful and also kind of heartbreaking. It’s obviously set during a very difficult time in Italy’s history. It explores the Italian culture of family, connection to the land sense of obligation. It’s a great read.
Beyond Calabria, Mussolini and his National Fascist Party are in power in Italy and the world is edging towards World War II. Calabria is no longer safe from the fascist agenda of northern Italy and Guilia’s family will be torn apart. Guilia remarries: her husband, father and brother are called up to serve in the armed forces. By now, Guilia is a trusted healer: even her father has accepted her skills.
And after the war, many of those who have survived can no longer make a living on their farms. Many will emigrate.
Ms Blanchard has drawn on her grandfather’s life in writing this novel: deftly drawing history into fiction and enabling the reader to experience the customs of Calabria and the challenges faced. I enjoyed this novel and learned more about the impact of Mussolini and of World War II in this part of Italy. The characters and story held my attention from beginning to end.
Note: My thanks to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster Australia for providing me with a free electronic copy of this book for review purposes.