Nicole's Reviews > A Letter from Italy

A Letter from Italy by Pamela Hart
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really liked it
bookshelves: australian-fiction, historical-fiction, my-books

A Letter From Italy is the third novel from Australian historical fiction author, Pamela Hart. I have enjoyed Hart's previous novels and this one was no exception as it is set in one of my favourite periods, the Great War, and my favourite destination, Italy. Beginning in 1917, readers follow the protagonist, Aussie Rebecca Quinn, as she embarks on the journey of a lifetime in Brindisi, Italy. The character of Rebecca is based on Louise Mack, an Australian who was the first female war correspondent in active service. Louise herself has a cameo in A Letter From Italy as Rebecca's boss, which I thought was a fun move on Hart's behalf!

Like Louise, Rebecca is a journalist and war correspondent. She is also a sister to brothers fighting in the war and wife to Jack, a fellow journalist. It was with Jack's support and encouragement that Rebecca followed her dreams into a male dominated field. When the opportunity arises for Jack to follow a story to Italy, the couple embark on the journey together. Rebecca hopes to continue working with her husband overseas but things do not work out as they planned. Jack leaves Rebecca in Brindisi to follow his story independently. Alone in a foreign country, Rebecca has to find an inner strength to carry on.

Being the daughter of a suffragette has made Rebecca stronger then she believes. Rebecca gets herself accommodation and she is determined to learn the language to enable her to communicate with the locals. She makes a deal with a local woman to help in her café in return for learning the lingo. When Rebecca sees other women being treated badly by their family, she steps in. In one instance, Rebecca helps a young woman escape violence by sending her to Australia. The aftermath of Rebecca helping other women is shocking and I admired Rebecca for standing up for herself because she believed that she, and all women, are equal to men.

Showing her passion for her work, Rebecca continues to write for the Australian and English newspaper, titling her work A Letter From Italy. Sexism is rampant in these times and Rebecca discovers that women do not have access to informative press conferences. Fate lends a hand when she meets photographer Alessandro Pancucci, an Italian American. Working together has its benefits when Alessandro attends the press conferences in place of Rebecca to gather information. From the start this couple had chemistry and I admired Rebecca for standing by her marriage vows in the face of temptation. Here is a passionate woman who remains loyal to her husband under difficult circumstances. Whether Rebecca’s loyalty is misplaced is another matter….

With themes of women's rights, war and love this is the perfect read to immerse yourself in history.

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Reading Progress

January 22, 2019 – Started Reading
January 23, 2019 – Shelved
January 24, 2019 – Shelved as: australian-fiction
January 24, 2019 – Shelved as: historical-fiction
January 24, 2019 – Shelved as: my-books
January 24, 2019 – Finished Reading

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