(Review) Saving the Music by Vincent B. “Chip” LoCoco

Publisher and Publication Date: Cefalutana Press. March 1, 2020.
Genre: Historical fiction. World War II. Holocaust.
Pages: 398.
Source: I received a complimentary eBook copy from Amy Bruno of Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, but was not required to write a positive review.
Audience: Readers of World War II stories.
Rating: Excellent.

Saving the Music is book #2 in the Bellafortuna Series.
A Song for Bellafortuna is book #1

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Read an interview with Chip LoCoco at Passages to the Past.

About the Author:
Chip LoCoco was born and raised in New Orleans. His first novel, Tempesta’s Dream, became an Amazon Bestseller.
His second novel, Bellafortuna, has been nationally recognized, being named a Short List Finalist in the William Faulkner Writing Competition and awarded the B.R.A.G. Award in Historical Fiction. Mr. LoCoco is a member of the Italian American Writers Association.
His newest work, Saving the Music, which is Book 2 of his Bellafortuna Series, was just recently released.
Chip, who is an attorney, is married to his wife of over 20 years, Wendy. They have two children, Matthew and Ellie and a beagle, named Scout. They reside in their beloved city of New Orleans, where if you try to find them on a Sunday in the fall, they will be somewhere rooting on their Saints.

Website/Facebook/Twitter/Goodreads

Summary:
It is the winter of 1942, and the world is at war. A few Jewish musicians attempt to flee the Nazi death grip, each desperately trying to navigate his own path to safety. With the courageous aid and kindness of strangers, they soon find themselves in Rome, where under the highly secret help of the Vatican, they are hidden in Bellafortuna, a small village in Sicily. The residents of Bellafortuna welcome them and care for them, and for a fleeting moment, the horrors the musicians are facing are forgotten while residing in the beautiful, idyllic landscape of Sicily. But word soon reaches the small village that Italy has surrendered, now making Germany at war with Italy. War quickly comes to the village as the Germans storm into Sicily to repel the Allied advance. As Bellafortuna becomes front and center in the raging war, the villagers rise as one to try and protect and save the Jews hiding in their midst. Failure to keep them hidden will mean death to those under their protection…and perhaps even to the villagers themselves.
An intricately plotted and meticulously researched novel, Saving the Music demonstrates how, in the face of death and unspeakable horror, the strength of the human spirit of ordinary people can shine bright through the darkness.

My Thoughts:
I was excited to read a story that’s setting is in Italy and Sicily.
I was excited to read a story that has the pope and the Catholic Church as characters.
I didn’t know the history of Jews living in Rome nor their plight during the Holocaust until reading this book.
These are strong reasons this book is unique from other World War II stories.
Other reasons why I love this story:
~History and archaeology research and discoveries are presented in the story about the early Christian church, Peter, and the Catholic Church.
~Courage and resilience in the people who hid Jews or escorted them to safe places. I’m amazed at their ability to be valiant in the face of possible death.
~I enjoyed reading Chip LoCoco’s research regarding the book.
~Saving the Music showed me strength is sometimes in quietness. There were courageous people who risked certain death, but there were people in the background who persevered without notice.
~Saving the Music is a page-turner.
~LoCoco has an engaging writing style.
~The dialogue and characters are believable.
~The ending is deeply satisfyingly.

I have a new interest in this history. I’ve ordered a book recommended by Chip LoCoco, Church of Spies: The Pope’s Secret War Against Hitler by Mark Riebling.

Giveaway:
Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on June 18th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Paperback giveaway is open to the US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen
Link for the giveaway: https://gleam.io/HGCJ3/saving-the-music

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