Book Review: A Letter from Italy by Pamela Hart

A Letter from Italy…

Book Description:

Inspired by the life of the world’s first woman war correspondent, Australia’s Louise Mack, the most sweeping love story yet by Pamela Hart.

1917, Italy. Australian journalist Rebecca Quinn is an unconventional woman. At the height of World War I, she has given up the safety of her Sydney home for the bloody battlefields of Europe, following her journalist husband to the frontline as a war correspondent in Italy.

Reporting the horrors of the Italian campaign, Rebecca finds herself thrown together with American-born Italian photographer Alessandro Panucci, and soon discovers another battleground every bit as dangerous and unpredictable: the human heart.


My Thoughts:

A Letter from Italy is a lovely novel. It tells the story of a young female journalist, Rebecca, who is based in a small village serving as a naval base in Italy during WWI and her struggles to be taken seriously in a male dominated profession.

Further issues of feminism are explored through the context of her daily life and conversations, giving the reader much food for thought in terms of just how much of a struggle it was for women on so many levels to live an equal life a hundred years ago. The story being told alongside Rebecca’s, about the naval missions and battles, was quite interesting as well as I was not previously aware of any of this aspect of WWI.

Pamela Hart has such a wonderful writing style. Her words are so engaging, moving along at an even pace so that the story neither lags in places nor becomes so rapid you’re unable to follow what’s going on. There was a lot to take in during the last eighty pages of this novel but I found the pace satisfactory and the build up towards the ending quite enthralling. The epilogue was a nice touch to finish with.

Inspired by Louise Mack, Australia’s first female war correspondent, A Letter from Italy is the perfect book for fans of both WWI stories, and those containing strong female characters working to establish themselves independently. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and recommend it highly.


A Letter from Italy is book 15 in my 2017 Australian Women Writers Challenge.