Mussolini’s Island follows the lives of Francesco and his gay/bisexual friends as they are arrested for being who they are at a time in Italy where prejudice is rife and differences are punished.
They are transported to an isolated island where they meet a young girl whose fascination with the men leads to intrigue and danger.
The story involves murder and double crossing for the sake of loved ones; living with differences at a time of war; taking risks to protect others and innocence being trampled because of the prejudices of many.
Francesco is banished to the small island of San Domino at a time when Italy was run by biased, unforgiving forces. His past memories of his father mixed with his tumultuous feelings of what is right and wrong, and meeting an innocent girl desperate to escape the confines of an island life she is desperate to escape, leads to story of conflicting emotions of fear and rights.
The historical truths of this tale is heartbreaking and Day is able to weave these historical facts into a story that is modern in the way it helps us to realise that biased towards people who are gay or bisexual is not simply historical.
The point of view changes throughout the novel, you do have to be awake to keep on top of it all. Francesco is however the main character but the novel changes time throughout; does become a bit confusing at times.
I enjoy historical novels and it did engage with a less well known aspects of Mussolini’s reign. I did find that I had to reread parts at times to ensure I was up to date with what was happening but it was worth doing.
An enlightening read, highlighting an aspect of that part of history.
My guest reviewer today is Anne Skelton, a member of my book club Hens Hooked on Books.
Anne Skelton, I have six amazing children I am immensely proud of. I’m an English teacher in beautiful Scotland, working in Kirkcaldy High School.
I have always had a passion for reading that came from my parents. My first memory of books is my dada reading Brer Rabbit to me when I was very young. And when I was around 11 he gave me ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ to read, it was, and still is, my all time favourite read.