Subtitle: A true story of love, courage, and survival in the shadow of war
Author: Linda Ganzini
Genre: Holocaust Biographies, Jewish Historical Fiction, Jewish Holocaust History
Find It: Amazon
“Memories of war and a stolen childhood still burn in my heart and tear at my soul. I was a young girl who was made to endure the unthinkable. During the occupation, German soldiers invaded our village—a known hideout for partisans. Spies acted as friends by day and informants to the Nazis by night. Unable to trust anyone, we lived in silence so deafening it was torture. The darkest day of my life came when the Nazis took my brother. I felt helpless as the war tore our family apart. His last words to my mother: “Mama, if I don’t go now, they will kill us all.” I saw the pain in my mother’s eyes. I felt her heart cry words she could never speak. Haunted by death, I prayed: God, let me grow up before I die. Like the war, my life was senseless.” – Lilia Ganzini – Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada
Against the backdrop of fascist Italy during World War II and the Holocaust, Lilia sets the stage for the harrowing story of a family whose depth of heart overcomes a war tearing them apart—years marred by unfathomable tragedies, immense loss, upheaval, and countless betrayals.
From a young age, Lilia resigns herself to a world crushed by misery, abject poverty, and a broken, bitter mother who suffered insurmountable grief. The burden of war, loneliness, and adult responsibilities rob Lilia of a carefree childhood. Witnessing her parent’s challenge to stay alive during the Nazi occupation becomes Lilia’s greatest sorrow, one she makes the most heroic efforts to conceal. Ultimately, tragic loss dims the flame of Lilia’s belief in her future. Just as her prayers feel unanswered, a seed of love reignites her faith, changing her destiny forever, leading her towards an unforgettable and inspiring triumph over tragedy.
This poignant account will transport you to a lost moment in history that irreversibly changes a quaint Northern Italian village, transforming its people for generations to come. Through the eyes and courageous spirit of a brave young girl, Lilia’s family story comes to life on the page and will remain on your mind for a long time coming.
Where there is love, hope remains.
Praise for Lilia
“Beautifully portrayed in poignant narrative, Lilia is a heart-wrenching coming of age set amidst the cruelties of fascist Italy allied with the Nazis during WWII. Month after month and tragedy after tragedy, the plight of Lilia’s family worsens. Ganzini brilliantly depicts the turmoil and upheaval of a family caught in the crosshairs of the partisan/fascist conflict. But Lilia’s tender heart, broken time and time again by the betrayals and bloodshed of war, and a mother irreparably broken by loss, refuses to succumb, clinging fiercely to her dreams of finding true love and everlasting happiness. Lilia will possess your heart and linger on in your mind long after you finish the final chapter.”
ROXI HARMS, Author of The Upside of Hunger
“The indignities, atrocities, and terrors visited on a poor family in a tiny Northern Italian village during WWII place in stark relief the human toll war takes on those the history books never document. Told with deep emotion and love, Lilia’s story steals your breath at the misery and hardship visited on a young girl forced to grow up far too fast in a world torn apart by the greed for power in fascist Italy. Yet there are rare moments of beautiful joy too. Through it all, Lilia’s incredible well of resilience never runs dry. Ganzini’s poetic prose renders this story both a warning about the slide into fascism in modern times and a beacon of hope for the strength of the human spirit. Read it now.”
TAM DERUDDER JACKSON, Author of The Talisman Series
“Lilia is a labor of love, and it shows. The amount of detail, emotional nuance, and attention to the unfolding story of a family held together by love and hope lends itself to an exquisite and heartfelt narrative. Linda Ganzini has created a work that reflects the cruel realities of the past and heralds a clarion call to the time we currently find ourselves. Like Lilia and her family members, we can choose resilience and allow our personal stories to become beacons for our collective human journey. This is an important book for a transformative moment in our history.”
NIRMALA NATARAJ, Writer, Editor, and Author
“Lilia is a timely and must-read book. The author’s powerfully evocative and descriptive writing transported me back in time to a world of uncertainty, where innocent people were stripped of their humanity, dignity and faith. And a time where bonds were strengthened to survive the unthinkable. My thanks to Linda Ganzini for allowing readers to connect to her family’s past trials and tribulations in Northern Italy during WWII—events few know and talk about, especially our younger generation.”
ELSA ZAMPARELLI, Oscar-Nominated, and
Award-Winning Costume Designer
“Linda’s story of her mother’s determined resistance to the tyranny of fascism is as heartwarming as it is heart-tugging. It is a story of the human spirit’s strength and resilience, even as it prevails over the cruelest monstrosities of hate, fear, and oppression. Lilia’s journey is an important life-affirming lesson for us all.”
VALERY SATTERWHITE, Author
About the Author
Linda Ganzini is a natural-born creative. At a young age, she discovered her talent for art and singing. Over the years, she immersed herself in painting, writing lyrics, recording music that garnered international recognition, and would go on to earn awards for her graphic design work.
A native of Canada, who spent her summers in Italy, Linda caught the travel bug and embarked on the adventure of living and working abroad in the U.S., Canada, and Europe.
In addition to her artistic work, travelling, and exploring the great outdoors, one of Linda’s deepest passions is bringing her family’s story to life, creating a legacy for them, and providing a voice for the voiceless. Her debut book Lilia is a homage to her family and their history.
She makes her home on beautiful Okanagan Lake, Canada.
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