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Our Darkest Night

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  3,039 ratings  ·  554 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 4.20  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,039 ratings  ·  554 reviews

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Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Jan 29, 2021 rated it really liked it
It is no secret Our Darkest Night is a book I’ve been excited to read since I read the very first teaser. Jennifer Robson’s, The Gown, was one of my favorite books of 2018, and I’m a big fan.

Set in Italy, Our Darkest Night is the story of Antonia (Nina) Mazin, an Italian Jew who must post as a Christian farmer’s wife by marrying Nico Gerardi, who has been studying to be a priest before his circumstances change. Nina’s only hope of survival is for everyone to be convinced she is who she says she
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
Pam Jenoff
Jan 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This remarkable book, out for just over a week now, tells of Nico and Nina, who must pose as a married couple in World War II Italy in order for her to hide from the Nazis and soon that their feelings are not a charade. Do not miss it!
Jan 09, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Our Darkest Night begins in Venice, Italy, 1942. As Jews, Antonina (Nina) Mazin and her parents realize that they are no longer safe as more and more of their freedoms are being taken away. Antonina's beloved father was no longer allowed to practice medicine and it was clear that it was only a matter of time before all Jews would be expelled from Italy. Her father and his friend Father Bernardi advise Antonina that they have arranged for her to move to the countryside pretending to be the new wi ...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
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
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
Feb 02, 2021 rated it it was ok
Ugh. This was disappointing. I wanted to like this book, the premise was a bit different from the usual WWII historical fiction, being set in Italy, but it just got worse and worse for me as it dragged on.

The first half was interesting, however it quickly turned to an overly melodramatic and horribly predictable story, with the stereotypical characterizations of WWII “hero/heroine” and “horrid Nazis.” The heroine is the strong one trying to save the weaker ones, and horrid things happen to them
Feb 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
1943 / WWII / Italy.

This is Nico and Nina’s love story set during a time of terror and turmoil in the world.

Nina is Jewish, her mother is in a hospice. Her father is a doctor who has been forbidden to work by the Nazis. His best friend is a Catholic priest, Father Bernardi (based on real life Father Oddo Stocco).

As it becomes more dangerous for Jews in Venice Nina’s father and Father Bernardi devise a plan to get Nina to safety.

Well known to Father Bernardi Nico was studying to be a priest but
Laurie • The Baking Bookworm
4.5 STARS - I have been a fan of Canadian author Jennifer Robson since I read and adored her book The Gown two years ago. When I heard she had a new book coming out set in Italy during WWII, preordering this book was a no brainer for me. I simply had to have it in my greedy little Bookworm hands.

Inspired by true events, Our Darkest Night is a Historical Fiction story centred around a young Jewish woman and the lengths she, her loved ones and even perfect strangers went to in order to keep her sa
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
Genevieve Graham
A gripping tale of devastation, love, and hope set during the darkest days of the Second World War, "Our Darkest Night" takes readers on a shocking journey through war torn Italy all the way to the chilling brutalities happening in Poland. The story is based on the lives of Ms Robson's husband's ancestors, and the author's passion for the story and love of the people come alive in her beautifully crafted characters, all of whom must become so much stronger than they ever believed they could be. ...more
Guylou (Two Dogs and a Book)
Feb 08, 2021 rated it really liked it
A cute dog with a copy of the book entitled Our Darkest Night by Jennifer Robson

📚 Hello Book Friends! I have read and seen many historical novels set in Italy during WWII. I appreciate the insights they offer on the war in these parts of the world. OUR DARKEST NIGHT by Jennifer Robson gives us a glimpse of what happened to Italian Jewish families in Venice in those difficult times. It also reveals the kindness of a Christian man and how he saves the life of one young Jewish woman. You will embark on Antonina’s journey to safety, you will witness her loss, her gain, her surv
Savanna (savbeebooks)
Jan 31, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to @bookclubgirl and @williammorrowbooks for #gifting my book club this amazing book!

FINALLY found a great historical fiction read that had me enthralled from the beginning to the end. There were so many ups and downs in this book, so many moments of panic for our MC Nina and then moments that are just so heartwarming. Nina is an Italian Jew during WWII. As the war worsens, Nina finds herself escaping Venice to the country side to live with Nico, a farmer studying priesthood. Pretendin
"She was left with the lingering memory that once, not so very long ago, and not so very far away, she had been loved." A paean to life & the power of hope. Engrossing story. Lyrical writing. Unforgettable. ...more
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.
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
Mia Pia (mia.pia.reads IG)
Jan 21, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Historical fiction fans bust out your tissues and night light. Be prepared to stay up reading until you finish this book. Extra batteries for that reading light. Maybe some popcorn. It's good. Really good. Now I have to go put some cold packs on my eyes thank you very much. ...more
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
Roriann Crouch
Jan 26, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5/5 I cant express how much raw emotion was in Our Darkest Night, but I appreciate every page. Im not usually reading many books involving history and Ill never know what it was like for anyone going through this, but my heart aches knowing this was the world at one time. Antonina, while fictional bore the story of many other Jewish females and I felt every one of her emotions. I was a total mess at most parts of this book wether it be unbearable happiness or utter despair. Im so glad that I too ...more
Erika Robuck
Jan 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing
From devastating lows to dizzying highs, Robson takes the reader on a fraught, compelling, emotional journey. In spite of the horrors, great beauty can be found in both the settings and the characters. OUR DARKEST NIGHT is a testament to the power of true and abiding love, and the strength and grace that comes from it. Highly recommended!
Kristen Karnosky
Jan 25, 2021 rated it really liked it
4.5 - Engrossing read, a well-worn storyline about WWII set in Italy.
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
Winnie - 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
Kris - My Novelesque Life
2021; William Morrow Paperbacks/Harper Collins

Last year I read The Gown and really enjoyed the story despite it being set in dual timelines. It was set post-WWII so that did strike my interest a bit more. Our Darkest Night was one I hemmed and hawed over for awhile. It didn't appear to have a dual timeline, but it was set during WWII. I love historical fiction, and WWII was one of my interests in the genre. Then suddenly the past several years, so many novels were published set du
Chelsea | thrillerbookbabe
Jan 31, 2021 rated it really liked it
When my OC Books and Brunch book club won a year of book club books from William Morrow and Book Club Girl, I could not contain my excitement. One of my goals this year is to read genres I don’t usually read, and book club is the perfect way to do it. Our January choice was Our Darkest Night (my first historical fiction, gasp!). I usually don’t read romance, and NEVER read historical fiction, so this was a first for me.

Our Darkest Night is about Nina, a Jewish woman who tries to escape the Nazis
Amy Specht
Feb 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars rounded up! I really enjoyed this book.
It’s a very typical read of mine, I love tragic stories situated during World War II. This one was set a bit differently as it was set in Italy.
It’s about a Jewish girl hidden through a fake marriage to an Italian farmer. The author has made fantastic characters for this novel. The two main characters that you root for and the villain who you hate instantly.
My only critic for this book is that I would have liked a little more detail in the love
Feb 19, 2021 rated it really liked it
Yet another WWll story of survival. As the child of a Canadian veteran these stories break my heart.
Jan 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: save-for-kim
My first 5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ of 2021! I loved this book so much! It was a dramatic love story mixed with the tragedies and horrors of WWII. I fell in love with Nico’s character from the moment he entered the story. There is so much I loved about this book: the characters, the details & descriptions and the unexpected love story between Nina and Nico (just to name a few). And as hard as it is to read about the horrific things that occurred during WWII, I have to say that this author did a wonderful job ...more
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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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