Marianna De’Angelis, a lovely and active 18-year-old, lives a peaceful life in her home town on the Sicilian coast of Italy in "The Fisherman's Daughter." Her father is a private fisherman in the village and dotes on his beautiful, hard-working daughter. But Marianna worries that the eruption of World War II will change the idyllic life she and her family are living. So much in Italy seems to be changing now that Mussolini has joined Hitler in the war against the Allied armies.
With all that is happening, Marianna did not expect to find her attention being drawn to a charming young Italian soldier who is home on leave from the war. Massimo is in the village to rest from the battles and to visit his family. But he is also hiding a secret that torments him and precludes any desires to pursue Marianna’s affections. To do so might mean the violent end of his life and his innocent family’s future.
Melinda Sue Sanchez’s new story, based in Italy during the height of World War II, has all the components of an adventurous love story. There is the beautiful young woman smitten by the enigmatic young soldier in a land fraught with sorrow, danger and bloodshed. Add to that the intrigue of spies and unscrupulous enemies devising terrible schemes with the intent to bring harm to innocent parties. But though Marianna and Massimo feel the attraction to one another, each has reasons to delay any connections, especially where love is concerned. The challenge for these young people is to try to stay alive in the midst of the horrors of the war.
This is a well-written story with plenty of suspense, danger and heart. Massimo and Marianna make excellent characters for this pleasing story. While there are many mentions of war and killing, the descriptive nature is general and not graphic. There is a fair amount of tension between certain characters, but nothing that would create distress for readers.
Sanchez, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is a grandmother who has lived in Italy and met her husband there.
Mike Whitmer lives in West Valley City and can be reached at [email protected].