Book Club: The Liberation

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Author: Kate Furnivall
ISBN: 9781471155567
RRP: $29.99

Kate Furnivall has written a number of books set in exotic locations, and I had read none of them. The Liberation is my first of her works and I will admit that the page count was enough to have me hesitate before picking it up, and then it was selected as a book club title so the hesitation had to end.

Italy in 1945 is a place of devastation, British and American troops are still in place to help restore order and the locals are fighting to survive. The only money is in the pockets of the troops, and the paid off local law enforcement. The streets are in ruins and many people are selling off what they can just to eat.

Catarina Lombardi is a young woman with determination and a will to survive; she is out one day selling handcrafted wooden boxes when she crosses paths with a number or different people that will completely change the direction of her future, and the way she thinks about her past.

The Lombardis live in the small town of Sorrento where they are renowned master craftsmen working with wood. Catarina inherited her love of woodworking from both her father and grandfather, and her skills are certainly up there with theirs. It was interesting that when Catarina took boxes out to sell she passed them off as work by her father or her brother, even though she had made them herself, because she wouldn’t be able to get the same prices for her work.

The Liberation is evocative, it is dark, it is suspenseful and it certainly kept me reading long after I should have been sleeping – and when I had two kids (that aren’t mine) hounding me to play with them instead of reading. The page count was high but I was so entranced that I still got through it in 3 days.

Action is non-stop and you are never quite sure what’s going to happen next, or who the bad guys really are. The police make a living from pay-offs, the mafia are a force to be reckoned with and their territory is even avoided by the police, the troops are viewed with suspicion if not open hostility and they are only trying to help get Italy back on its feet but having to do it with little support from the locals.

Italy has such a long history and is home to countless priceless artifacts from paintings and sculptures to religious icons and antique furniture, many of which have disappeared during the war and in its aftermath. A taskforce has been put together to track down missing relics and bring them back to the Italian people, but the casualties mount up and there are more questions than answers.

Catarina is forced into a position where she is left questioning everything, and in danger at every turn; not sure who to trust or how to keep her family safe. Instead of spending days in her workshop creating items to sell she is facing danger from all directions in her quest to clear her father’s name.

The intrigue and deceit of this story is woven so seamlessly that it really is difficult to untangle and work out where the biggest threats come from. Asking questions can be a dangerous business, regardless of which side of the law you are on. The war is over and Italy is rebuilding but the explosions and the death aren’t finished yet.

The resilience of the Italian people is commendable in the face of adversity, and though the troops are there to help the people still see them as intruders and aren’t willing to answer their questions. Not necessarily a bad thing when talking to the troops is likely to get you killed.

The Liberation will entrance and enthrall while it keeps you guessing and trying to get to the bottom of all the mysteries hidden within its pages.

Thanks Kate Furnivall and Simon & Schuster for a fabulous book.

Kate Furnivall can be followed on Facebook and Twitter.

The Liberation is published by Simon & Schuster and is available now from Angus & Robertson Bookworld, Booktopia and where all good books are sold.

Thanks to Simon & Schuster 30 of our Beauty and Lace club members will be reading The Liberation so please be aware there may be spoilers in the comments below.

59 thoughts on “Book Club: The Liberation

  1. From the moment you start your first chapter you will be transported to a captivating story that I promise you will not be able to put down. This novel certainly has many twists and turns to keep you entranced with the storyline.

    The scene of the story is set in Italy in the year of 1945. The country is in turmoil and British and American troops are trying to bring order back into the country.

    The character of Caterina is someone you will like immediately and following her actions throughout the novel will have you on the edge of your seat so much so in that you will find yourself wanting to turn those pages quickly. Adrenaline runs through your body as you read too. I read this book in two days.

    Caterina’s dad who she has a wonderful relationship with has been accused of treason and there is a plot against her whole family and Caterina’s own life is in jeopardy.

    There are other characters in the book that you will dislike and question their motives and of course the characters that you will love immensely.

    This novel of 553 pages is an absolute powerful, thrilling storyline. There are no slow spots amongst the storyline either. Any reader would not be disappointed in reading this novel.

    I’ve never been to Italy but have seen lots of travel shows and just with Kate’s descriptions of places and roads, I could visualise the areas quiet well.

    Simon & Schuster have marked this book with a ‘Guaranteed Five Star Read’ so if you are not completely satisfied with one of their books that you buy you simply return with your original receipt for a refund. I cannot see that happening for this book because you are certainly guaranteed of having a fantastic book to read from start to finish.

    Thank you to Beauty & Lace and Simon & Schuster for again allowing me to read and review another book that I thoroughly enjoyed. I have not heard of this author Kate Furnivall but I will certainly be looking out for her books now.

  2. A gripping novel set in 1945 among the post war ruins of Naples and Sorrento, Italy. It is a story which has multiple layers combining secrets, Italian family honour, revenge and a love story.

    The Liberation has a really well developed storyline that kept me on the edge of my seat. There was tension and drama that built throughout the book and at times I just couldn’t put it down. I’d say just one more chapter then another and another …….. It is a long book over 500 pages but riveting!

    Catarina Lombardi, the main character is thrust into the role of protecting and keeping her family; brother Luca and grandfather Nonno Giuseppe, out of danger while she attempts to find evidence to clear her dead father’s name. Her father Antonio was a well respected wood inlay craftsman a skill Catarina has inherited and one that has helped keep her family in food during and post the war. Her father who has died in a bombing during the war is accused of being involved in stealing Italian artefacts and restoring them for sale on the black market but Catarina can’t believe it. The British and American intelligence officers Captain Henry Fielding and Major Jake Parr who are investigating the theft of art works believe Antonio was involved as part of a larger group and are undertaking an investigation that involves a web of Italian families.

    Catarina’s hunt for the truth to clear her father’s name brings her and her family into danger. She eventually joins forces with Major Jake Parr to uncover what the truth is.
    The lies, the treachery and the plot against her family are so intricately crafted throughout the book you are never sure who is to be trusted.

    The description of post war Italy is obviously very well researched and it is hard not to feel for the Italians who have lost so much during the war and who continued to struggle post war. The poverty and the loss of property and family members weighs heavily throughout the book.

    Thank you to Beauty and Lace and Simon & Schuster for the opportunity to read and review a book that I really enjoyed. I had not read any of Kate Furnivall’s work prior to ‘The Liberation’ but will definitely be adding her books to my 2017 book list.

  3. Firstly thankyou Beautyandlace and Kate Furnivall for the opportunity to review and read ‘The Liberation’. The book begins in Sorrento in 1934 where we meet Caterina Lombardi a 10 year old. She is part of a rescue pary searching for her Nonno (grandfather) who they find injured and becoming permanently blind. Her mother Lucia leaves Caterina’s father at the same time for a family friend, Robert Cavaleri causing bad blood between the families, Caterina has most of the responsibility of looking after her brother Luca, a baby when their mother leaves. Antonio a master wood craftsman teaches Caterina this trade.
    The story moves to 1945 post war and we find Caterina in Naples selling beautifully crafted music boxes. Her father has been killed two years previously. She comes into contact with sreet kids (scugnizza) and through an altercation meets Major Jake Parr, an American soldier helping to restore Italy to pre war conditions. Poverty and starvation are rife and the people have nothing.. Jake is on the track of stolen artifacts, and Caterina becomes heavily involved with this search and finds herself, Nonno and her brother Luca in danger from a group of ruthless men.
    Caterina is courageous and fearless, a gifted craftswoman and a character I admired.
    The story is engrossing, unpredictable, well written and very exciting. So difficult to put down as I really just had to know the outcome!

  4. With great eagerness I congratulate @simon&Schuster and @beauty&lace for supplying this magnificent book for review, Kate Furnivall’s ‘The Liberation’.

    I am pumping with enthusiasm as the prospect of writing this review. There are not enough superlatives to describes the power of this book. I adored it. When you awaken in the middle of the night, forced to continue your journey of intrigue and mystery, well that just sums up how enraptured this book had me. A powerful read, enticing your senses, reaching your psyche and embedding into your soul.

    An outstanding book that pulls you into its pages with such depth; the author describing scenery, emotions, intricate characters with such detail and interest, describing towns and landmarks so you feel one with the book. And what appears on the surface is not as it seems once you delve further into the chapters.

    We are introduced to 21 year old Caterina Lombardi, a fine artisan of wood, skills taught to her by her father and grandfather. The year is 1945 and Italy has just been liberated by the Allies. The country in turmoil, the inhabitants starving and struggling to stay alive, let alone get ahead. We are drawn into the mystery of Caterina’s father who died 2 years earlier in a supposed bomb blast hitting his work site. So begins the unveiling of the story of a mysterious masterpiece of a table, inlaid with precious jewels that he was commissioned to make around the time of his death. Caterina’s family is thrust into death threats, violence and unleashing the truth, with the aid of taciturn American Army Major Jake Parr. Wariness eventually leads to trust as these two delve into deceit, Italian mafia, underground tunnels, family honour, violence and death. And of course there is the vein of potential romance weaving throughout the book.

    I will not delve too deeply into the story line and spoil it for the readers. My advice, read it. You won’t want to put it down. Kate Furnivall is masterful.

    It was almost like military meets everyday strugglers with a Di Vinci code twist.

    With Armando Lucas Correa’s ‘The German Girl’ and Kate Furnivall’s ‘The Liberation’, Hollywood would have two superior blockbusters on their hands.

  5. This is the first Kate Furnivall book I have read and I am sure it will not be the last as I thoroughly enjoyed it and like her style of writing.
    The story is set in the Naples area of Italy in 1945 after liberation by the Americans and British from the Germans. The allies are now trying to restore order to the devastated country. There is a lot of illegal smuggling and trade of Italian artefacts on the black market and they are trying to find out who is involved and to prevent these artefacts being lost to Italy.
    Caterina Lombardi’s father Roberto was killed when a bomb destroyed his workshop – he was a master craftsman who skillfully worked with veneers, producing beautiful wood inlay work with intricate designs. She learnt the trade from her father and now continued with his work to keep her family from starving.
    American Major Jake Parr and British Captain Harry Fielding were Intelligent Officers investigating such illegal smuggling and trade and they informed Caterina that they suspected her late father of being somehow involved in this. Caterina could not believe this of her father and set out to find the truth, which led to her grandfather, brother and herself being in danger.
    This was a very riveting story, full of mystery, suspense and lots of twists and turns. I found it very difficult to put it down until I had finished it – which was actually after 2am.
    I would like to thank Simon & Schuster as well as Beauty and Lace for giving me the opportunity to read and review this wonderful book.

  6. The Liberation by Kate Furnivall is a beautifully depicted and compelling story set in post war Naples. The Nazis and Fascists, the Allies and the Partisans had all fought over Italy, leaving its beautiful cities in ruins, its art treasures ransacked and its people battered and emotionally bruised. It is a time of turmoil and hardship, when people were not only struggling to survive but also to make sense of what lay ahead.

    Against this backdrop we meet the heroine of this story, the feisty but immediately like-able, Caterina Lombardi. Caterina is a talented woodcarver, a craft she learnt from her late and beloved father. And she now sells her beautifully carved wooden pieces to care for her younger brother, and her blind Nonna (grandfather).

    Caterina is a strong and forthright character who is determined to safeguard what is left of her family. So when two army officers question her about her father’s involvement in a blackmarket trade of stolen art and antiquities, and his loyalty to Italy, her hackles are raised! She is determined to clear her father’s name.

    In her bid to get to the truth, Caterina soon uncovers family secrets, intrigues and acts of betrayal but she also learns about love and loyalty. All this whilst unwittingly putting her own life as well as her brother Luca and her Nonna all in danger!

    This is a gripping story and you are kept on your toes wondering what is going to happen next, and with all the double dealing and deceit going on, who will turn out to be the real villains of the story!! I thoroughly recommend it.

  7. Thank you for selecting me to read The Liberation
    I started reading this book and was unable to put down
    Caterina is the main character and readers will fall in love with this young woman
    She lives with her grandfather and little brother they are both great characters also
    Her father was a master craftsman creating and mending timber / wood Catarina carried on in her fathers footsteps
    She has her doubts in regards to her late fathers honesty
    I am not saying anymore as I don’t want to spoil this for other readers but trust me this is a wonderful story
    This book has drama mystery suspense

  8. Thankyou to Beauty and lace and Simon & Schuster for the opportunity to read “The Liberation” by Kate Furnivall.
    Often I choose a book by its cover and I love this cover!
    I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it opened my eyes to an aspect of war I hadn’t previously considered.

    The book is set in Italy in 1945, the war has ended and the British and American troops are trying to help bring order.
    Caterina Lombardi is the daughter of Antonio Lombardi, a skilled wood inlay craftsman. He has taught Caterina his craft. Antonio was killed in a bomb blast in his work shop 2 years earlier.
    During the war a large amount of Italy’s historical items, furniture and treasures went missing presumed sold on the black market.
    The allies are investigating the whereabouts of the missing treasures, hoping to restore them to the churches and museums. During this investigation Caterina’s father’s name has surfaced in the investigation , she can not believe her father would be involved and sets about finding the truth.

    It is a story of war, courage, family, honour, revenge, loss, love and rebuilding. It is a gripping action packed read.

    I thoroughly recommend the book. I now plan to read other books written by Kate Furnivall.

  9. Thank you BeautandLace and Simon & Schuster for this trial chance.

    The Liberation is an engrossing novel which kept me wanting to know what was going to happen next. The storyline was interesting from the very first page and I felt like I was travelling on a journey as I flipped through the pages.

    There are a lot of emotions in this novel, love, hope, sadness, struggle. The characters are multi dimensional and have their good points which make them likeable and inspiring, Caterina is a young woman who is struggling in many ways and to further add more drama, we have the backdrop of the aftermath of war, and the despair and devastation that exists.

    The book is a long book to read, and the storyline was thoroughly enjoyable and I kept turning the pages as I continued on the captivating reading journey. I found the whole aftermath of war and the rebuilding and the struggle to return to normalcy inspiring and compelling.
    Well done Kate Furnivall on writing such an interesting and intriguing book based on a very unique topic with many finely interwoven details.

  10. Thank you Beauty & Lace Simon & Schuster but especially Kate Furnivall for this fantastic read which was enjoyed immensely

    A bit sceptic about the length of this novel but once started very hard to put down & completely forgot about page numbers

    Set in Italy after the struggle of WW2 it becomes a who are the heroes/villians with Caterina as the stand out hero defending the love of her family whilst trying to decide who to trust
    So as not to be a spoiler I will not divulge the rest except to say there are tears, love, endless struggles with hope shining through

    Now has become one of my favourites & will recommend to family & friends

  11. I really loved reading this novel. The heroine, Caterina, is an intriguing and inspiring character and her strength and courage are well portrayed. Personally I found the descriptions of the wood craftmanship, the teaching of her father and the skills which Caterina developed, all to be beautifully explored within the framework of the novel. My imagination grasped these images and to me this was the highlight of the story. I shall be passing this book to my elderly neighbour to read now as she was born in Naples in 1935. Thank you for the opportunity to review this book.

  12. The Liberation. Wow, such an intriguing and interesting story about war, recovery, corruption, family connections and the past. Caterina Lombardi is the main character, a young 21 year old Italian who is a strong force when trying to keep her family together, clear her deceased fathers name, renew a relationship with her mother, discover lost artefacts and determine who to trust while also falling in love. A unique story, well written to keep you interested while it unfolds. The history of Italy as it fights to survive is also played out in the story.
    I loved reading this novel. I am putting it on my list to read again so I can continue to enjoy. Thank you Kate Furnival. You have captured a true essence of a lovely story.

  13. Thank you Beauty & Lace, Simon & Schuster and Kate Furnivall for the opportunity to read this gripping and powerful novel.

    We follow Caterina Lombardi post WW2 in Italy where the war has left many people in poverty including Caterina’s family. She is supporting her blind Nonno and young brother Luca by selling her exquisitely made wooden music boxes – she learnt her craft from her late father, her mother walked out on the family when Caterina was 11.
    Post WW2 was ghastly and Kate writes it in great detail and has a way of making you feel the desperation and devastation. I really like her writing style.

    Reading on Caterina meets 2 Army officers and eventually they inform her about illegal trade of artifacts where it has ties to her late father. Caterina tries to clear his name but in the process digs up family secrets and danger follows along the way.
    I found this book complex and had a hard time putting it down (which during school holidays is something I had to do … so I had a few late nights …Lol)
    I was on the edge of my seat a lot of the time and feel it is certainly worthy of the Guaranteed Good read sticker on the front.
    I look forward to reading more of Kates novels in future!

  14. I love this book!! It’s so easy to read the story flows beautifully.
    I feel like I’m in Italy, I can picture the ocean and smell the lemon groves as this enthralling story unfolds. A fantastic read don’t wait another moment you will love this story x

  15. The Liberation by Kate Furnivall is a huge book but worth taking the time to read it.
    Italy post WWII is a country ravaged and trying to rebuild itself with the help of British and American Soldiers. Not every are happy they are there.
    Italy’s treasures are being stolen and sold off. The Allies are trying to stop this happening.
    The Italians are desperately trying to survive and we follow the story of one young lady’s desperate fight to feed her remaining family members while trying to clear her Father’s good name after his death.
    The Liberation is a tale of war, survival, treason, loyalty and love.
    A wonderful read that is fast paced with unexpected twists and turns that will have you stunned and keep you riveted until the stunning conclusion.
    Thank you to Beauty and Lace and Simon & Schuster for the chance to read this unforgettable book.

  16. Kate Furnivall is an author who is quite familiar to me. I devoured Furnivall’s series of books set in Russia, she has a real knack for bringing to life places and specific time periods from the past. It has been awhile since I have read a book written by Kate Furnivall, so I was excited about the prospect of reading Furnivall’s latest release, The Liberation.

    The Liberation effortlessly transports the reader back to post war Italy. In 1945, Caterina Lombardi is a young woman among countless Italians fighting to survive. The reader quickly learns that Caterina is fiercely protective of her family and will do anything to ensure that their safety is secured. After losing her Father two years ago, Caterina has continued the family trade of wooden handicraft. One day, she finds herself selling these articles in Naples and runs into trouble. A robber tries to attack Caterina but she is saved by two Allied Army officers. These officers change Caterina’s life, as she discovers that her late Father has been accused of treason and black market dealings. As Caterina fights hard to clear her family’s name and protect them from further anguish, she is lead on a dangerous journey.

    If you enjoy historical novels grand in scale, look no further than The Liberation. An epic novel at over 500 pages, the length of this novel first seemed a little daunting. Thankfully, I was soon swept away by the breathtaking locations and compelling time frame of this novel, to concern myself about the breath of this book. There is no question that author Kate Furnivall takes care to ensure she presents her readers with an accurate depiction of the specific time and locales in which her books are set. The Liberation is no exception. By far, what I enjoyed most about this book was the vivid setting. While reading The Liberation, I was also reminded of what I appreciated about Furnivall’s writing in the past, her scene setting is faultless. At many points in the novel I felt like I was a genuine part of the action in Italy during this desperate, perilous and uncertain time period.

    It is hard to not like leading character Caterina Lombardi. From the opening pages, Caterina is clearly defined as fearless, as well as fiercely loyal. Caterina’s love for her family is admirable, which we witness through the dangerous action she takes in the novel. Furnivall also gives Caterina a little romance to contend with in her determined quest to restore her Father’s integrity. I did enjoy the scenes between Caterina and Allied Officer Jake, the chemistry between the two provided moments of light in a somewhat bleak time.

    Readers will find the plot in The Liberation deeply satisfying. The Liberation travels at a steady pace and the pages flip by at an easy pace. On the whole, I found the narrative very intriguing, delivering plenty of twists to keep me on my toes. In fact, there were many points in the novel where I wasn’t quite sure what Furnivall was going to serve up next. This added to the overall appeal of The Liberation. In terms of content, I have to say I found the story thread involving the stolen artefacts, paintings and statues fascinating. In addition, I was dearly holding out hope that Caterina could clear the accusation made against her Father in his association with these stolen goods. When I reached the end of The Liberation, I felt like I had been on a tumultuous journey but I was filled with feelings of hope for the future of these characters and Italy’s restoration.

    A story rich in history that demonstrates the strength of the Italian people and their love for family, The Liberation is a book that I endorse highly.

    I wish to thank Beauty and Lace for providing a copy of this book for review purposes.

  17. The Liberation by Kate Furnivall is set in Italy at the end of World War 2 with the main character being Caterina Lombardi, a young woman who lives with her blind grandfather (Nonno) and her younger brother Luca.

    When Caterina was 10, and her baby brother 5 months old their mother deserted the family and ran off with her father’s good friend Roberto Cavaleri. Roberto’s wife killed herself in distress and the warmth and friendship between the Lombardi’s and the Caveleri’s was extinguished.

    Antonio Lombardi, Caterina’s father, was a master wood craftsman, but was killed during the war when a stray bomb destroyed his workshop while he was at work.

    Now it was up to Caterina to try to support Nonno, Luca and herself, by selling beautifully carved music boxes to the British and American troops, who having first bombed her beautiful country to smithereens, had now come to help rebuild.

    When one of the soldiers she sold a music box too comes to call at her house the next day Caterina’s world is turned upside down. The soldier accuses her father of having been a thief involved with stealing old artefacts from the Museum of Naples, churches etc. Caterina cannot believe what she is hearing, her father was a good man, not a thief. However after she is dragged into an alley and questioned roughly by two Italian men she does not know about what the soldier had wanted and threats are made against her family Caterina wonders what she has got caught up in.

    Furnivall writes an enthralling story with its twists and turns, where nothing is quite as it seems, complete with blood feuds, secret societies and love in unexpected places.

    This is the first book by Kate Furnivall that I have read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Although it is quite a long book it is well written and quite captivating and I would highly recommend it.

  18. I found Kate Furnivall’s The Liberation a fascinating story exploring the aftermath of war and the devastation left behind. For once military hostilities are over, life does not and cannot simply go back to normal.

    The central character Caterina Lombardi is strong, genuine and likeable with her love for her family driving everything she does. When she unexpectedly discovers dark family secrets she is drawn into a dangerous web out of which for a long time it seems there is no escape. Accusations of theft and treason lead to many more mysteries with each step forward it seems another hurdle arises.

    A great read, with fabulous twists and turns and amazing armchair scenery, I particularly loved experiencing post-war Italy from a local’s perspective. This novel has been very skilfully written and I look forward to enjoying more of Kate Furnivall’s work. I highly recommend The Liberation for lovers of historical fiction, romance, crime and thrillers or just damn fine writing! Thanks to Beauty and Lace, Simon & Schuster and of course Kate Furnivall for the opportunity to read and review The Liberation.

  19. Set in Sorrento, Italy in 1945, this fast paced novel tells the story of Caterina Lombardi. World War II has ended and most people are struggling to survive Caterina, living with her younger brother and her grandfather, is no different, making a living from selling wooden boxes she handcrafts herself, following the family tradition
    This is a tale of survival, of Caterina’s love of her father and her quest to clear his name. It is a very vivid story, and you are transported to a different time; a different place. It is a lovely thick book, that you will not want to put down. I pretty much read it in two days.
    There are many twists and turns along the way. This is a great paced book, very easy to read. I was nor aware of the author Kate Furnivall, but will check out her other works based on this one. Thanks to Beauty and Lace and Simon and Schuster for the opportunity to read and review this book.

  20. Thank you for the opportunity to read the Liberation! I have not read any book by Kate Furnivall before and was looking forward to a completely different writing style and story. The Liberation did not disappoint. Between a family feud, the war and underwritten a love story, I thoroughly enjoyed reading and discovering the next twist, plot and descriptions of life after the war.

    Honestly, I was surprised at how long it was but I could not put it down, I become involved in the story of Caterina, her fathers death, the long history and loyalty of the Italian families. In truth I thought that Caterina would end up with a member of the feuding family, Carlo Caveleri.

    I enjoyed the Caterina character, she has a strength many women had to find at that time during and after the war, the loyalty she holds that has been installed by her grandfather which she tries to instill in her younger brother and the missing mother all make this this one of the most intriguing books, chuck into that the American and British soldiers doing their jobs of intelligence officers. What a read

    Highly recommend!


  21. Early in “The Liberation” I found myself strongly reminded of Helen MacInnes’ thrillers, which tended to feature young and relatively naive girls careering around Europe, getting caught up in twisting plots of double dealing and intrigue, and discovering their own competence and strength – and often romance. Although this turned into a rather different sort of novel to MacInnes’, you could well describe it that way.

    It’s 1945 in Italy, a country still reeling from the impact both of World War II and the Allied “Liberation”. Poverty and starvation are rife, and with them all the social ills they breed. In the midst of this, young Caterina Lombardi is struggling to survive. Her grandfather is blind, her father killed in the war, and her mother abandoned the family more than a decade ago. Her brother is only 11, trying to help, but still so young.

    Caterina uses the woodworking skills her father taught her to craft trinkets to sell to the Allied soldiers, and she has her family pride. It sometimes seems that these are all that sustain her. And then someone accuses her beloved father of having been a thief and a traitor. Caterina’s efforts to clear his name upend her life, and indeed threaten it and her family’s lives.

    Although a thriller at heart, this is also strongly a character drama. Caterina grows and changes in very believable ways through the novel, and concern for her will keep many readers turning the pages faster than they’d intended. Other characters and their interactions with Caterina are well drawn and realistic – it’s easy to fall into these people’s lives and thoughts.

    Some plot elements won’t surprise you a lot (especially if you’ve been a reader of writers like MacInnes), However, the plot is tightly drawn and credible, and there are plenty of unexpected twists to intrigue.

    Overall, this was a novel that quickly absorbed me, and kept me turning the pages. The atmosphere of post-war Italy is evocatively drawn, and almost becomes a shadowy background character. Caterina is a heroine to empathise with, and the tension is high throughout the novel.

    In short, I thoroughly enjoyed “The Liberation” and would recommend it both to readers who enjoy thrillers with strong plots and those who look first for strong characters.

  22. I am a massive fan of Kate Furnivall’s so I had been looking forward to this book release for a long time. Once again, the hype was not without substance! The Liberation did not disappoint!

    Kate manages to draw the reader into the world of post WWII Italy and whilst global fighting has ceased, this does not mean that Italy’s struggles are over. The fallout is widespread – from the resistance fighters who fought against the Germans to the general population feeling the impact of a leader who aligned with Hitler.

    As the Allied forces take temporary control of the nation, Caterina is faced with the discovery that her father may not be who she thought he was. Between taking care of her blind grandfather as well as her little brother and working to provide food for them all, she has had to become the head of the household. Luckily, she is strong willed, determined and stubborn.

    When a Major in the US army throws her life into a spin that includes death threats, new friends and new enemies, Caterina must leave behind all she has taken for granted. What will she discover? Well that’s for you to read the book and find out!

    I would like to thank Beauty and Lace and Simon & Schuster for allowing me to be part of the review team and of course also thanks to Kate Furnivall for another fantastic read!

    I highly recommend The Liberation – 5 stars!

  23. The Liberation by Kate Furnivall is a story set in Italy in 1945 as British and American troops try to bring order to the country. The main character Caterina Lombardi is a young lady who is desperate to look after her brother and grandfather after her father has dies and her mother has disappeared.

    Her father was a respected wood craftsman a skill which Catarina has learnt and with this craft has been able to keep her family in money/food. Caterina learns by chance that her father is accused of being involved in stealing artefacts and restoring them for sale on the black-market. Caterina does not believe that her father could be involved in such events and works to clear his name.

    As Caterina tries to clear her father’s name this takes her into many dangerous situations for both herself and her family. She does not know who to trust and when she comes across Major Jake Parr and starts working with him to see if they can unravel the truth.

    This is a very powerful story, full of mystery, love, family, suspense and twists that I was not expecting. I would highly recommend this great read.

    Thanks Beauty and Lace and Simon & Schuster for the opportunity to read this book.

  24. From the moment I started reading The Liberation I found it hard to put down ..Set in Italy starting in 1943 with the search for her Nonno it moved seamlessly though the years to 1945 ..Kate expresses the story though the war years as Caterina works to clear her fathers name of treason and her love for her family beautifully. there are many layers to the story and show how money talked during the war and how families survived.The Liberation is a very well structured/written story with no part being slow or boring ,I am looking forward to reading Kate’s other works

  25. The Liberation by Kate Furnivall is set in Italy, 1945. The war has ended and the clean up and repair of lives has begun. Caterina Lombardi has learnt the craft of wood from her father who was killed in the war. Caterina must use her craftsmanship to support her brother Luca and her grandfather who was left blind in an accident prior to the war. Caterina’s mother, Lucia, has left the family some time ago but does reappear after the war looking for what she can get after the man she left with is killed and her allegiance with the Germans comes apart.
    Caterina is enlisted to help Major Jake Parr of the American army and Captain Harry Fielding of the British army to find the stolen artefacts of the Italian people. What Caterina is unaware of is the danger she is placing herself and her family in when she discovers that some of the stolen artefacts had in fact been in her father’s possession prior to his death. Caterina is thrown into the Italian underworld of theft and disruption whilst she struggles to clear her fathers name whilst keeping herself and her family alive.
    I must admit I did struggle with the number of pages (552) but the storyline was enough to peak my interest and with a different twist with each chapter it was an exciting book to read. The ending was something I had not seen coming nor suspected throughout the whole book, when one of the thieves is someone that Caterina has grown to like and respect.

  26. The Liberation is set in Italy in 1945 just after the war has ended and the American and British Forces have come into pickup the pieces of a war effected country. The main character is a young women called Caterina Lombardi who has to take care of her younger brother and her blind grandpa as her parents are both gone. She is a talented wood carver and uses her skill to help her survive. Unfortunately the only money in Italy all seems to come from the troops.
    Caterina soon gets caught up in a mystery of stolen Italian art as her father is accused of involvement before his death. She tries to clear his name but ends up getting in trouble herself as the criminals try to keep her mouth shut.
    It is a book that really keeps you guessing to who the bad guys are and you’re not sure what’s going to happen. I liked seeing another side of the effect of war and I wasn’t aware of the effect of WWII on Italy before reading this book. I really enjoyed reading this book and I thank Simon and Schuster and Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to read this book. 🙂

  27. Wow, ladies, you have really made day. I would like to thank you all at Beauty & Lace for taking the trouble to read my book The Liberation and then to write such well observed and well constructed reviews. It is hugely rewarding to read your generous comments and to know you got as involved with Caterina as I was. Thank you, thank you. xxx

  28. The Liberation has a well developed story line that kept me on the edge of my seat. The Liberation is set in Italy in 1945
    Caterina is enlisted to help Major Jake Parr of the American army and Captain Harry Fielding of the British army to find the stolen artefacts of the Italian people.
    What Caterina is unaware of is the danger she is placing herself and her family in when she discovers that some of the stolen artefacts had in fact been in her father’s possession prior to his death. Caterina is thrown into the Italian underworld of theft and disruption whilst she struggles to clear her fathers name whilst keeping herself and her family alive.
    This is a very powerful story, full of mystery, love, family, suspense and twists that I was not expecting.

  29. The liberation by kate Furnival is a historical romance read.
    The Liberation is set in Italy in 1945 as British and American troops attempt to bring order to the devastated country and Italy’s population fights to survive. Caterina Lombardi is desperate – her father is dead, her mother has disappeared and her brother is being drawn towards danger. One morning, among the ruins of the bombed Naples streets, Caterina is forced to go to extreme lengths to protect her own life and in doing so forges a future in which she must clear her father’s name. An Allied Army officer accuses him of treason and Caterina discovers a plot against her family. Who can she trust and who is the real enemy now? And will the secrets of the past be her downfall?
    A fantastic read with brilliant characters. Very cleverly written. caterina was my favourite character. I loved the story too

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