The Girl from Venice

Australian Women’s Weekly NZ - - BOOKS -

by Martin Cruz Smith, Si­mon & Schus­ter.

Cenzo is a charm­ing, mid­dle-aged fish­er­man work­ing the Venice lagoon in 1945. The war is over, but in La Serenis­sima, the Nazis are still – just – in charge. One night, Cenzo snares not fish but the still alive body of a beau­ti­ful young woman, the daugh­ter of a wealthy Jewish fam­ily flee­ing the Wehrma­cht. The two are so op­po­site and ar­gu­men­ta­tive, they’re clearly made for each other, but not be­fore a string of ad­ven­tures gets them en­tan­gled with ri­val groups mak­ing their last grasp at power – the Ger­mans and those who thrived un­der them, and the equally dan­ger­ous par­ti­sans. What lifts this novel above the love-in-war pack is the ex­am­i­na­tion of what peo­ple are pre­pared do when things fall apart – ex­cept for the fisher com­mu­nity, which car­ries on with busi­ness. JB

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