The Girl from Venice

The Girl from Venice Martin Cruz Smith
Pub date 30th November 2016
Original publisher Simon & Schuster (UK/US)
International publishers Calmann-Levy (France), Random House (Germany)




The novel begins in April 1945 in German-occupied Italy. Hitler has set up Mussolini as a puppet ruler in the resort town of Salò. Rome is in the hands of the allies and Salò is, in effect, the new capitol of Fascist Italy.

Cenzo Barbarino, a young fisherman, has managed to keep his distance from the war until he finds a dead girl in the Venice Lagoon and pulls her into a boat. She is, in fact, not dead but alive and on the run. Her name is Giulia; she is bold and inquisitive and on the cusp of being a woman. What is worse, she is Jewish, at a time when the German SS is rounding up Italian Jews by the thousands and sending them to death camps. Cenzo has no choice but to take her home.

Home for Cenzo is a fishing shack in Pellestrina, a fishing village on the Lido. There, he teaches Giulia the mysteries of fishing. As they survive storms and the fanatical Black Brigade, their feelings become as complicated as the lagoon itself.


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