In 1933, Bella Stuart leaves a lonely, restricted life in London to head for Italy and become a tutor to the wealthy Lami family. Her pupil. Alec, is the ‘not quite right’ child of a Jewish heiress and an elderly Italian aristocrat. When Alec’s father dies, Signora Lami sends him to live at the family’s summer residence in Bordighera, to be cared for by Bella and Edward, his reserved and enigmatic music teacher. These three misfits find unexpected solace in each other’s company. As the decade draws to an end and fascism begins to take a hold over Europe, Mussolini introduces the anti-Jewish laws and Bella and Edward are eventually forced to flee Italy: to protect themselves and the little boy they have come to love. Ranging from London and Dublin to Italy and spanning the twentieth century, it reveals how identity and history are both mutable and inextricably linked: and how a secret can be hidden for decades, yet never quite die.
Last Train from Liguria
Last Train from Ligura is a tale of displacement and one woman’s life-long struggle for survival. It is also the tale of her grandaughter Anna and how sixty years later she comes to uncover certain facts about her grandmother’s life.