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  • Highly recommended

    Reviewed by Jennifer Donovan for Readers' Favorite War Serenade by Jill Wallace is a touching love story between an Italian prisoner of war and a young woman in South Africa during World War II. Despite his low birth, Pietro was a famous opera singer in Italy before being conscripted into the Italian military. After his plane is shot down, he finds himself in a prisoner-of-war camp in South Africa. By chance, he meets Iris, a young woman working in the hospital, and both of them are struck by love at first sight. Iris aspires to be a costume designer in America and has been invited to work in Hollywood. Pietro is the enemy, and forming a relationship with him could cost her a future career and possibly even her life, but Iris can’t dismiss her attraction to the foreigner. Based on a true story, War Serenade will renew your belief in love at first sight. If you have ever felt a connection with someone after just making eye contact or a brief touch of the hand, you will understand the depth of feeling of the characters. I found myself on edge, worried about their safety and the welfare of those who aided them. Despite seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Pietro and Iris will risk anything to be together. A lover of World War II fiction, I have never come across a book that was based in South Africa during the war. Readers of World War II novels will surely feel as invigorated as I did while reading about the period in a new setting. Peter Noble narrates this audiobook, and his talents will lead the listener to believe that a full cast was employed to do the task. He skillfully reads in several dialects and languages, including South African, Italian, Zulu, and Afrikaans, even blending an Afrikaans influence into a South African dialect for some characters. His extensive travel and training have clearly rendered him a master of linguistics. Jill Wallace’s website reveals that her choice of the narrator was quite serendipitous; she later discovered that his mother trained at Cape Town University in opera under the man on whom Pietro’s character is based! The sound quality was superb and held its clarity even at accelerated listening speeds. I highly recommend experiencing War Serenade as an audiobook to be fully immersed in the story.

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