Blog Tour: Port of No Return by Michelle Saftich: A Book Review

Port of No Return
Author: Michelle Saftich
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Odyssey Books
Release Date: July 31, 2015
Source: This book was given to me by Italy Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: Contessa and Ettore Saforo awake to a normal day in war-stricken, occupied Italy. By the end of the day, their house is in ruins and they must seek shelter and protection wherever they can. But the turbulent politics of 1944 refuses to let them be. 

     As Tito and his Yugoslav Army threaten their German-held town of Fiume, Ettore finds himself running for his life, knowing that neither side is forgiving of those who have assisted the enemy. His wife and children must also flee the meagre life their town can offer, searching for a better life as displaced persons. 

     Ettore and Contessa’s battle to find each other, and the struggle of their family and friends to rebuild their lives in the aftermath of a devastating war, provide a rich and varied account of Italian migration to Australia after World War II. 

     What can you do when you have nowhere left to call home? Port of No Return considers this question and more in a novel that is full of action, pain and laughter -- a journey you will want to see through to the very end. 

     My Review: Contessa and Ettore Saforo are a happily married couple with a large family, nice home, and a business. However one day that all changed. During the war, their town is bombed and while they survived the bombing through their refuge of shelter, they find their house in ruins and with nothing but the clothes on their back. They stay with their friend, who greatly welcomes them in. Their happiness is short-lived for it is revealed that Etorre has worked for the Germans causing him to run for life. This fact also causes Contessa and his children to be known as Displaced Persons and they must also leave the home and comfort of their friend’s assistance. Both Contessa and Etorre are on a quest to find each other throughout the years as they face hardships.

     I felt sorry for both Contessa and Etorre. It begins with them being happy together until Etorre is being hunted down for working with the Germans and he must flee. Then for most of the novel, they are separate and alternately the chapters tell their side of the story. I loved both of them. Both of them are strong. I loved the struggles and hardships they faced, especially Contessa who has to look out for her children. Yet, they never gave up searching for each other. I found their love really touching as they endured many obstacles.

     Overall, this story is about friendship, family, love, choices, survival, and hope. I found this story an emotional read that I could not put down. This is a story that will linger with you even after you read the last page. This is a heart-wrenching tale of a family that had to give up everything they had to be with each other, including their homeland. The message of the book is to never give up. I felt the book to be meticulously-researched for the setting of the aftermath of World War II. The characters were likable and realistic. The story was very fast-paced, and it had plenty of action. I recommend this story to anyone interested in the aftermath of World War II, stories about people searching for their loved ones, and in heroines who find strength throughout hardships.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Buy The Book:

Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Chapter/Indigo

About The Author:

     Michelle Saftich is a first-time author who resides in Brisbane, Australia.  She holds a Bachelor of Business/Communications Degree, majoring in journalism, from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT).

     For the past 20 years, she has worked in communications, including print journalism, sub-editing, communications management and media relations. She is married with two children. Visit her on her website, Twitter, and Facebook.


Win 1 of 5 copies of Port of No Return & 1 $30 Amazon gift card (open internationally)


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