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Our Darkest Night

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  493 ratings  ·  154 reviews
To survive the Holocaust, a young Jewish woman must pose as a Christian farmer’s wife in this unforgettable novel from USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Robson—a story of terror, hope, love, and sacrifice, inspired by true events, that vividly evokes the most perilous days of World War II.

It is the autumn of 1943, and life is becoming increasingly perilous for Italian
Paperback, 384 pages
Published January 5th 2021 by William Morrow Paperbacks
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Average rating 4.30  · 
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Karren  Sandercock
Venice 1943, Dr Gabriele Mazin is extremely concerned for his daughters Antonina’s safety and he makes plans for her to leave Venice. He’s friends with father Bernardi a priest and he knows a young man living in his remote parish in Mezzo Ciels who will help Nina and he trusts him. Nico Gerardi had been studying to be a priest and he left the seminary to help on his family’s busy farm. He’s a very honest and caring man who’s willing to pretend he’s married to Antonina to keep her safe, she leave ...more
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
Antonina's father had been planning how to protect her for a while since the Germans had invaded Italy and were starting to take Jewish people to camps.

His plan was to have Antonina pretend she was married to Nico.

Antonina didn't like the idea of leaving with a stranger and leaving her father and mother, but Nico was very nice and had a wonderful family who welcomed her as his wife. Well everyone but his sister, Rosa, but Rosa came to love Nina.

Rosa was angry because Nico was to be a priest and
Karen Macedo
Dec 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway. Thank you William Morrow publishers. Jennifer Robson is one of my favorite authors. I have read all her books and Our Darkest Night did not disappoint. It's a novel of Italy during WW2. I could not put it down. Highy recommend if you like historical fiction. Jennifer is truly a gifted writer. ...more
Dec 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Epic! A young Jewish Italian woman has a hero -- her father. When the Nazi threat forces her to hide in the country, she meets the new hero of her story. Nina and Nico's story is heartbreaking and hopeful. The two of them are borne up by their faith in their God and in each other. There were many times when this book drove me to tears for the plight of people like them. For the suffering and humiliation that was heaped upon them. Despite the inhumane treatment all around, Nico and men like him h ...more
Danyelle Drexler ( danythebookworm_ )
Our Darkest Night to be both gripping and poignant, sharing the resiliency of the human spirit, the power of good against evil, a most epic of love stories and a reminder that love concurs all.
Oct 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wwii
While I felt that it had a bit of a slow start, halfway through I couldn't put it down. I have rarely read about Italy's Jews, and found the homecoming story a bit different from others I've read . Jennifer Robson does such a good job of including things that make the reader feel as though they are there in the moment ...more
SquishyMuMu ✨
"The day I left Venice was one of the worst days of my life," she whispered. "I had to say goodbye to my mother and father, to my home, to everything that was familiar and comfortable and safe. It was truly awful—and yet one part of it was good. The part when I met you."

Please give me just a moment because this book... From the beginning, I knew I will finish in a day and I did! I honestly don't know how to describe it but the book got me feeling so many emotions 😭😭 It has a lot of sad but also
Dill Werner
Jun 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent book of love, family, and survival. It was a pleasure to be a sensitivity reader for this title.
Nov 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Like all of the best stories, Our Darkest Night was born from a question: who were the survivors of those forced into hiding and how could a Gentile write their story from their point of view? The title is an overarching theme of many dark nights beginning with the first on which a family of refugees has just arrived and is being sequestered in the attic at the same time two drunk German soldiers burst into the house hungry and horny. Pacifist would-be priest Nico is compelled to kill them both ...more
Rebecca Hock
Nov 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
I won a copy of this book trough GoodReads. I am so pleased that I did. This is the first book by this author that I have read. I don't think it will be the last as I enjoyed this book so am interested in reading more of her work. I found the book a bit slow at the beginning. Not sure if it was the book or maybe just timing but once i got past the initial part of the book I was totally into it and enjoyed the book very much. This is one I would recommend to others. ...more
Nov 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is well written story from the Italian side of WWII. Its a story that has been told before and I wonder if we have hit the wall on this subject. I don want to demean or make light of it...I just feel we have WWII fiction fatigue.
Aug 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Our Darkest Night: A novel of Italy and the Second World War by Jennifer Robson is an excellent WWII historical fiction novel. I have been a fan of Ms. Robson for several years and have faithfully read all of her novels. This book is a great addition to her wonderful portfolio.

I liked the fact that this book presented a unique aspect of placing the reader into the struggles of the citizens that lived in Italy. There are not as many books that focus on this landscape and even fewer that bring to
Jaymi The OC Book Girl
This is a difficult book to review, partially because any story set during WWII is going to be dark and heartbreaking.

Sadly, I couldn’t connect with the characters to feel real empathy despite the atrocities being described. It felt disjointed and didn’t flow for me. It was too up and down and the ending seemed a little far fetched.

Aside from the very beginning when Nina’s father tells her it’s okay to eat non kosher food, the first 20 chapters don’t really address her religion at all or the t
I couldn't stay away from these characters. I was so immersed in their story that when I wasn't reading it I couldn't wait to get back to it. An unconventional wartime love story where faith and hope prevail, this book will make you feel grateful for all that you have and will have you hugging your loved ones just a little bit tighter. An outstanding book to start off the new year.

Thank you, Netgalley, for this arc.
Teri Parks
Oct 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
When I first received the ARC for Our Darkest Night, my first thought was: "Oh, how exciting to have a book about World War II with a fresh perspective!" Set in Italy, instead of the usual Paris settings that seem to be so popular right now, I was instantly intrigued to read this book. And although I have several of Jennifer Robson's book on my TBR list, this is the first book I have read by her.

As I began to get into the "meat" of the story of the first half of the book, I was surprised by the
emma (pagesofachilles)
Dec 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
The ARC of this book was kindly provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. #OurDarkestNight#NetGalley.

My heart was torn to pieces reading this, in the best way possible. While I was a tad hesitant of the writing to begin with (as I felt it took a while to really get started) once the story began, I was hooked. The characters were incredibly well written and the family dynamic was one of the best I've read in a historical fiction. I loved every single member of the
Nov 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Jennifer Robson has written a well researched and deeply moving story centering on the Italian Jews during World War II. Her writing immediately pulled me in with her rich character description and setting. Loss, survival and love were clearly evident through the story. I was deeply engrossed in the family and was moved to tears by the hardships and atrocities they had to witness and endure. Well written, well researched and my first book by this talented author but definitely not my last! #Our ...more
Sarah Weeks-Jones
Sep 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
I love Jennifer Robson's books so I was extremely excited to get to read Our Darkest Night in advance thanks to NetGalley.

This novel was an appreciated deviation from the typical WWII/Holocaust literature as it is set in Italy rather than France, Germany, or other occupied territory. Robson's books are always rich in detail and her characters charming. It's difficult not to like Nico and his family. Especially Carlo. I would move mountains for Carlo. And, of course, our protagonist Nina immedia
Nov 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful love story of family ,survival and loyalty set in Italy during the Holocaust. It was set against the backdrop of the countryside of Italy which was a nice change from the the stories that usually take place in France. Definitely addressed the cruelty of the war deeply. Addressed heartbreaking but very important issues. Beautiful family relationships. Another winner for Robson.
Amy Robertson
Oct 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Our Darkest Night is the latest release from historical fiction author Jennifer Robson. This story is that of the horrors of WWII, but from a new perspective. The setting this time is that of occupied Italy, 1943. The main character, Nina, a young Jewish woman, is arranged into a false marriage to our resistance fighter, NIco. Nina is not in love with her match at first, but it does not take long for that to change. Nina and Nico soon became madly in love. We learn of Nina's adaptation to NIco's ...more
Dec 20, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
"Then we endure, and we remind ourselves to hope, and one day we wake and the weight of it is a little less."

This was an emotional book. One not necessarily character driven, but one that deals with the effects of war on a family, on a life and on one's ability to hope.

World War II can be a difficult subject matter to write about. It's a history that's well known but extremely emotional in its telling. Finding a way to immerse new, fictional characters into a narrative that real people lived
Nov 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was a new author for me as I have been really getting into historical fiction books this year. Robson is already well established, but this was my first book of hers and I really enjoyed it. Our Darkest Night follows the life of Antonina who, being Jewish, must flee the Jewish area of her town in Venice once the Nazis are closing in. Her mother, having suffered a stroke and being in a care home is unable to follow and her father, an esteemed doctor whose license was revoked for his Jewish h ...more
Oct 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
One Darkest Night is a historical novel set in 1940's Italy during World War II. Antonina Mazin is a Jewish woman living in Venice and studying to be a nurse. As danger grows for Jews in Italy, her father arranges with a family friend for her to leave Venice and move to the countryside, where she will live as a farmer's wife with a new name and new identity. Nina, as she is now known, grows close to Nico as they make a new life in dangerous times. But Nico's work rescuing Jews attracts attention ...more
Nov 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I want to start by thanking Harper Collins for sending me an copy of Our Darkest night by Jennifer Robson. I had never read any of her books, so I had no expectations. I was blown away! This was such a well told story with believable characters with Italy for the setting.

A young lady named Antanina lives with her parents in Italy. She wants to be a doctor like her father Gabriele, her mother is sick so she tends to her with her father. This was set in 1942 WW11, her father soon learns that Hitle
Dec 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

I received an ARC from the publisher through a Goodreads Giveaway in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

I love when World War II books find ways to tread new territory largely unexplored by its predecessors in the genre, and while I can’t say the experiences of Italian Jews in the Holocaust and the work of some Gentile families in sheltering them is a completely untapped subject, I found it compelling to read about in Our Darkest Night, especially as there once agai
Dec 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020-reads, favorites

It's no secret that I loved The Gown by Jennifer Robson, so I was thrilled to read an ARC of her new book, Our Darkest Night, that comes out on January 4, 2021.

This book takes place in Italy towards the end of the Second World War. A young Jewish woman, Nina, must pose as the wife of a Catholic farmer, Nico, in order to survive.

Spoiler: I LOVED the book! I don't want to say too much about the story, because i would want the reader to experience the same emotional roller
Jan 06, 2021 rated it it was amazing
"There's no shame in being afraid, my dear. Even the bravest men are frightened at times."

Our Darkest Night shines a light on a part of history I don't know much about. Most books set during WW2 focus on France, Germany, the UK, and the US. It was so refreshing to read a story set in Italy.

Almost the entire book plays out in a small northern Italian town on a farm where life appeared to be simple. Rise, work, eat, sleep, go to Mass on Sunday, and of course enjoy the company of your loved ones.
Dec 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
I have not read too many stories told of the Italian experience of the Holocaust. Nico and Nina warmed my heart and embodied the wartime strength that developed into a beautiful story of love and family bonds. They weren't exactly star crossed lovers but then again were they? Nico, a man who proves to be selfless and pure and Nina, young and abound with hope. These two pair in a seemless way while seemingly not a pair.

This story opened my eyes to the struggles in an ordinary way as well as the
Angela Marie
Dec 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Our Darkest Night by Jennifer Robson

Brief Summary: When the racist laws change in Italy during WWII, Antonia Marzin is no longer safe in Venice. She poses as the new wife of a countryside farmer and leaves Venice. Nico left the priesthood to help his family run their farm during the war. He can’t stand by and watch the Nazis take innocent lives and agrees to take Nina home as his bride. This causes a spectacle in their small town and her life depends on the success of their charade as a Catholi
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Jennifer Robson first learned about the Great War from her father, acclaimed historian Stuart Robson, and later served as an official guide at the Canadian National War Memorial at Vimy Ridge, France. A former copy editor, she holds a doctorate in British economic and social history from the University of Oxford. She lives in Toronto, Canada, with her husband and young children.

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