Title: Port of No Return
Author: Michelle Saftich
Date: July 31st 2015
Publisher: Odyssey Books
Genres: Historical Fiction
Contessa and Ettore Saforo awake to a normal day in war-stricken, occupied Italy. By the end of the day, their house is in ruins and they must seek shelter and protection wherever they can. But the turbulent politics of 1944 refuses to let them be.
As Tito and his Yugoslav Army threaten their German-held town of Fiume, Ettore finds himself running for his life, knowing that neither side is forgiving of those who have assisted the enemy. His wife and children must also flee the meagre life their town can offer, searching for a better life as displaced persons.
Ettore and Contessa’s battle to find each other, and the struggle of their family and friends to rebuild their lives in the aftermath of a devastating war, provide a rich and varied account of Italian migration to Australia after World War II.
What can you do when you have nowhere left to call home? Port of No Return considers this question and more in a novel that is full of action, pain and laughter — a journey you will want to see through to the very end.
Port of No Return is the first novel in a series of two.
Port of No Return by Michelle Saftich is a historical fiction novel set during World War II. The story follows Contessa and Ettore Saforo’s family and friends in their journey to a better place, away from the dangerous city of Fiume.
I highly enjoyed this novel and I have only two things in this book I’d like to point out: a few things seemed too convenient to be passed off as mere coincidences and the ending was a bit anticlimactic. However, the author expertly portrayed the situation Italy was in at the end of the war and her characters are well-rounded.
I loved the family dynamics and how all the people were united in supporting each other. I especially liked how the children protected their siblings.
Contessa and Ettore would do anything to keep their family together and how they faced the hardships of war and trying to go overseas was inspiring. They were strong and intelligent and their love thought-provoking.
The writing style was very good and the historical facts accurately described. The novel moved at a fast pace and I recommend reading Port of No Return if you’re looking for a historical fiction book. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.
About the author
Michelle Saftich is a first time author who resides in Brisbane, Australia, with her husband and two children. She holds a Bachelor of Business/Communications Degree, majoring in journalism, from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT). For the past twenty years, she has worked in communications, including print journalism, sub-editing, communications management and media relations. In 1999, she was named National Winner for Best News Story in the ASNA (Australian Suburban Newspaper Awards). Born and raised in Brisbane, she spent ten years living in Sydney; and two years in Osaka, Japan, where she taught English.
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