I loved Gill Vickery’s Tell Me No Truths! Similar to Mal Peet’s Tamar it deals with what happened in Florence during WWII, and we meet three British teenagers who have come to Italy looking for answers to questions they have.
Twins Jade and Amber had an Italian grandfather, and they want to discover what the place he felt he could never return to is like. They speak Italian, as does their mother. Teen artist Nico is on holiday away from his boarding school, with his mum and her latest boyfriend. Nico and his mum are big fans of a crime writer who lives in the area and they want to discover more about this elusive man.
Interspersed with today’s activities, we read a sort of diary from the war, about dramatic things that happened, but we don’t quite know who is doing the telling. But it’s easy to see it has a bearing on what all three teenagers are searching for.
There is romance in the air, as well, and now is a time for families to learn to accept the past and to start again.
There are too few novels about the war from inside another country, like Italy. We don’t know enough, and we need to learn more, as do Nico, Jade and Amber.
Great blend of art, crime and food, against the backdrop of WWII and Florence as it is today.