The Girl From the Paradise Ballroom

The Girl from the Paradise Ballroom: A Novel - Alison Love

I am always up for reading World War II historical fiction so when I saw this book I snagged it up right away. This differed a bit from some of the other WWII historical fiction I have read because this covers the internment by the British of Italians (and Germans too of course). 


I really liked that this book was not driven by the romance between Olivia, a British dancer, and Antonio, an Italian singer. When they first meet Antonio learns something very private about Olivia. They then meet again when Olivia is married to a rich man that wants to help Antonio with his singing. Olivia is terrified that Antonio will tell her husband her secret.


I really liked both Olivia and Antonio and liked that it took a while for both of them to finally admit their feelings. Both of them are married but clearly not in the happiest of marriages. I just couldn't stand Antonio's wife Danila and was thankful that she was not that prominent in the book. Olivia and Antonio's affair became a bit too sickly sweet at times but with the mood I have been in it didn't bother me all that much.


I loved that this book also followed Antonio's sister Filomena and her struggles with love. At the start of the book she is engaged to Bruno who is off fighting on behalf of Italy. She is not thrilled about her engagement and struggles with it even more when she develops a friendship with an English policeman. At the end she was definitely my favorite character.


I didn't like what happened with each character towards the end but I can understand why the author ended the book that way.


[I received this book from a Librarything Early Reviewers giveaway. My review is not affected by that in any way.]