A Modern Day Fairy Tale

Faith. Family. Fiction. Fun.

The Italian Ballerina by Kristy Cambron: Book Review

 **I received a complimentary copy for consideration. All thoughts are my own. 

At the height of the Nazi occupation of Rome, an unlikely band of heroes comes together to save innocent lives in this breathtaking World War II novel based on real historical events.

Rome, 1943. With the fall of Italy’s Fascist government and the Nazi regime occupying the streets of Rome, British ballerina Julia Bradbury is stranded and forced to take refuge at a hospital on Tiber Island. But when she learns of a deadly sickness sweeping through the quarantine wards—a fake disease known only as Syndrome K—she is drawn into one of the greatest cons in history. Alongside hospital staff, friars of the adjoining church, and two Allied medics, Julia risks everything to rescue Jewish Italians from the deadly clutches of the Holocaust. Soon a little girl who dreams of becoming a ballerina arrives at their door, and Julia is determined to reunite the young dancer with her family—if only she would reveal one crucial secret: her name.

Present Day. Delaney Coleman recently lost her grandfather—a beloved small-town doctor and World War II veteran, so she returns home to help her aging parents. When a mysterious Italian woman reaches out claiming to own one of the family’s precious heirlooms, Delaney is compelled to travel to Italy and uncover the truth of her grandfather’s hidden past. With the help of the woman’s skeptical but charming grandson, Delaney learns of a Roman hospital that saved hundreds of Jewish people during the war. Soon, everything Delaney thought she knew about her grandfather comes into question.

Based on true accounts of the invented Syndrome K sickness, The Italian Ballerina journeys from the Allied storming of the beaches at Salerno to the London ballet stage and the war-torn streets of World War II Rome, exploring the sometimes heart-wrenching choices we must make to find faith and forgiveness, and how saving a single life can impact countless others.

KRISTY CAMBRON is an award-winning author of historical fiction, including her bestselling debut The Butterfly and the Violin, and an author of nonfiction, including the Verse Mapping Series Bibles and Bible studies. Kristy's work has been named to Publishers Weekly Religion & Spirituality TOP 10, Library Journal Reviews’ Best Books, RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards, received 2015 & 2017 INSPY Award nominations, and has been featured at CBN, Lifeway Women, Jesus Calling, Country Woman Magazine, MICI Magazine, Faithwire, Declare, (in)Courage, and Bible Gateway. She holds a degree in Art History/Research Writing and lives in Indiana with her husband and three sons, where she can probably be bribed with a peppermint mocha latte and a good read. You can connect with her at: kristycambron.com and versemapping.com. Instagram: @kristycambron; Twitter: @KCambronAuthor; Facebook: @KCambronAuthor; and Pinterest: Kristy Cambron.

Every time I see the cover of one of Kristy Cambron's novels, I am absolutely drawn in by it's beauty. And while I know that we are not to judge a book by it's cover, seeing her name on that cover also lets me know that the story inside will likewise be absolutely breathtaking. 

This author has such a way of telling a story. Her descriptions are so well done and bring me as a reader right back to this place in time in a way that I can see it and feel it so very well. Having never been to Italy and obviously never having lived during this time frame, it is these types of stories that truly transport me that I absolutely love. They're the kind of stories that made me fall in love with reading to start with. The characters are fantastic, both in the past and present storylines, and all are weaved together masterfully. The blend of history, suspense and romance really worked together to make this one a fascinating and entertaining read.

If you enjoy historical fiction, this is certainly one to check out. I cannot wait to see what comes next from this author! 


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