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Gothic Line : Italy, Winter 1944 (Paperback) (Arno Baker)
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By the winter of 1944, Italy was known as the "forgotten front." The Germans held the mountains on the Gothic Line and the war was at a standstill. The small city of Lucca was on the front line. Larry, an American officer, and Marina, a young Italian woman, fall passionately in love. From a poor background and battered by the Depression, Larry became a lawyer through luck and hard work just as the war was starting, and he found himself in uniform. Marina was a child of privilege yet close to reality and rebellious against the burdens of a traditional society. Signor Barsanti, her father, looms large throughout the story, a self-made man of unusual energy who never lost a business opportunity and became one of the richest merchants in town.
Their origins couldn't be more different?they even have problems communicating?and yet their romance is unstoppable. Deep family roots play a key part in their future. A disturbing secret haunts Marina's family, the fear of an illness felt as a curse: Marina's mother, a melancholy woman, has an incurable condition that will slowly affect, and at times destroy, the lives of those around her. The war of attrition during the long cold winter slowly grinds on. For some it is a fight to the finish with Mussolini's ****** diehards helping the ****** and the resistance in a struggle to end the nightmare. Battles, adventures, and atrocities take place on both sides of the Gothic Line, where love remains convinced that it shall prevail.