My Thoughts:

The Madonna of the Mountains by Elise Valmorbida

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4 steadfast stars to The Madonna of the Mountains ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

The Madonna of the Mountains is an epic story of one woman’s life. Maria Vittoria is born in the mountains of Italy. The story follows her early life in the mountains, her marriage, and the births of her four children. During this time the National Fascist Party and Mussolini rule Italy, and Maria’s family struggles to survive the harsh war times.

During those tumultuous times, Maria has no idea whom to trust. She is surrounded by snoopy neighbors, Nazis, and a Fascist cousin, and her only goal is to keep her family safe.

Eventually, Maria’s children grow and spread their wings, and she is still fighting to preserve her family.

Maria very much epitomizes the quintessential selfless mother who puts her family first ahead of everything else. She is a complex character and one I admired and respected.

There were many nuances to the author’s writing, small things that added up to make a wonderful whole. For instance, the Madonna speaking to the devout Maria, guiding her, and beautiful imagery and depictions of the area where Maria lives.

Thank you to Elise Valmorbida, Spiegel & Grau/Random House, and Netgalley for the complimentary copy. The Madonna of the Mountains will be released on June 12, 2018.

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An epic and inspiring novel about one woman’s survival in the hardscrabble Italian countryside, oppressed by both a patriarchal society and by Mussolini’s iron-fist rule, but determined to protect her family throughout the war–by any means possible.

A sweeping saga about womanhood, loyalty, war, religion, family, motherhood, and marriage, The Madonna of the Mountains is set in Italy during the 1920s to the 1950s, and follows its heroine, Maria Vittoria, from her girlhood in the austere Italian mountains through her marriage to a young war veteran to the birth of her four children, through the National Fascist Party Rule and ending with a decision that will forever affect her family. Maria must ensure that her family survives the harsh winters of the war, when food is scarce and allegiances are questioned. She can trust no one and fears everyone–her Fascist cousin, the madwoman from her childhood, her watchful neighbors, the Nazis and the Partisans who show up at her door. Over the decades, as Maria’s children grow up and away from her, and as her marriage endures its own hardships, the novel takes us into the mind and heart of one woman who must hold her family together with resilience, love, and faith, in a world where the rules are constantly changing.

Have you read The Madonna of the Mountains or any other great historical fiction lately? Happy Reading! ~ Jennifer THR