In the early 1940s, Italy under the Fascist dictator Mussolini joined Germany in its war against the Allies. In Venice, as in all of Italy, German soldiers were everywhere. It is against this background that Napoli weaves the powerful story of two young Venetian friends and their terrible experiences when used as forced labor in the far off Ukraine. Her portrayal of Roberto, the self-effacing younger son of a Venetian gondolier, and his steadfast friendship with Samuele, soon to be called Enzo to hide his Jewish origins from their Nazi "supervisors," is a triumph in modern young adult...
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