Vittoria by Dafna Vitale Ben Bassat is a remarkable history of one woman, Vittoria, her family and the second World War. At first Vittoria begins, like many memoirs, with trivialities and a family tree but events start to take place.
I like that this takes us from Vittoria’s childhood, through to adolescence and as a result of this becoming more aware of the world.
We are with Vittoria as she resists an arranged marriage, chooses her own husband and learns to be a housewife, although she does not take to this.
Then World War Two begins. Vittoria is Jewish, as are her family. She does not believe she will be affected by the War but soon that all changes.
She, with her husband and three sons, must leave their home and flee to the neutral Switzerland.
Vittoria is a book similar to that of The Diary of Anne Frank. It gives an alternative perspective to the life and terror of people of Jewish religion at that time, as they are steadily stopped from working, and enrolling their children in school.
It shows with ease at how opposing views can cause families and friends to tear apart.
An interesting point too, when the family reach neutral Switzerland and are greeted ‘as refugees, with a cold indifference’ I am reminded of todays events and refugees in Aleppo.
Vittoria is an emotional novel, even more so when reading the sacrifices mothers and fathers had to make for the safety of their children.
Although at first slow, Vittoria soon gripped me and I could not put it down.
Vittoria is a book for any person interested in history and the consequences of War.