"Port of No Return" focuses on Contessa and Ettore Saforo and their (growing) family. They live in occupied Italy, Ettore forces to work for the Germans in the port and Contessa doing her best to feed, cloth, and keep safe her family in an unsettled city with dwindling supplies. Tragedy strikes and they are forces from their beloved Fiume and into the life of refugees.
There is political conflict galore, tales of compassion, great escapes, true love,kittens and Australia all neatly packed into stories that are woven together through the stories of the Saforo family and the other families that they meet on their journey. It's a lot of dramatic events in a pretty small book!
On a sad note, this book is also incredibly timely. The biggest refugee crisis since WWII is happening in Europe right now. You've probably seen the news and pictures on the news or on your social media. It's a good reminder that all of these people who need homes are not numbers or nuisances but people and families who have suffered greatly and need help.
WWII is a pretty popular background for books, but this book felt pretty unique. First, it was set in Italy (German occupied), and it didn't focus on the war and soldiers so much as the people that were left behind. Also, the Yugoslavian connection was something that I had never read about before in fiction. I've just recently became acquainted with some of Yugoslavia's super turbulent history and the blight on their country: Tito. After the war everything was just such chaos you feel like it was a miracle that separated families ever found each other again.I give it a 3.5 stars out of 5!
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.