Thursday, March 18, 2021

Virtual Book Tour + #Giveaway: Under the Light of the Italian Moon by Jennifer Anton @RABTBookTours

Historical fiction, women’s fiction, biographical fiction

Date Published: March 8, 2021

Publisher: Amsterdam Publishers

A promise keeps them apart until WWII threatens to destroy their love forever

Fonzaso Italy, between two wars

Nina Argenta doesn’t want the traditional life of a rural Italian woman. The daughter of a strong-willed midwife, she is determined to define her own destiny. But when her brother emigrates to America, she promises her mother to never leave.

When childhood friend Pietro Pante briefly returns to their mountain town, passion between them ignites while Mussolini forces political tensions to rise. Just as their romance deepens, Pietro must leave again for work in the coal mines of America. Nina is torn between joining him and her commitment to Italy and her mother.

As Mussolini’s fascists throw the country into chaos and Hitler’s Nazis terrorise their town, each day becomes a struggle to survive greater atrocities. A future with Pietro seems impossible when they lose contact and Nina’s dreams of a life together are threatened by Nazi occupation and an enemy she must face alone…

A gripping historical fiction novel, based on a true story and heartbreaking real events.

Spanning over two decades, Under the Light of the Italian Moon is an epic, emotional and triumphant tale of one woman’s incredible resilience during the rise of fascism and Italy’s collapse into WWII.

Interview with Jennifer Anton

    For those interested in exploring the subject or theme of your book, where should they start?

    I would recommend starting with fiction, Two Women by Alberto Moravia (or watch the movie with Sophia Loren). Then I would read Victoria De Grazia’s How Fascism Ruled Women and Robin Pickering-Iazzi’s Unspeakable Women.

    How did you become involved with the subject or theme of your book?

    My grandmother told me stories about her life in Italy during WWII. I was shocked to find out Nazi’s occupied her town and the atrocities that took place. When my grandmother died, it became an obsession to get the answers about her life. That research led to my novel, Under the Light of the Italian Moon.

    What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?

    My goals at first were just to come up with answers about my grandmother’s life. Then I wanted to tell a story of love and women’s resilience. Then I decided I wanted the story to make an impact on 1000 women’s lives for the better somehow. I have definitely completed my first two objectives and I hope I am on my way to achieving the third. Based on some of the incredible emails I get, I feel very certain it will happen. Nothing could make me happier than women feeling stronger and more connected to their mothers/daughters by reading the book.

    What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

    The entire journey was a gift. I think some of the best parts were going back and reconnecting to family and the town of Fonzaso, Italy. The town really embraced me and my daughter came with from the time she was two years old until now when she goes and she is fourteen. Having her with me while I researched and as she grew has been such a gift. Speaking to people who lived through the war has also been a gift.

    Can you tell us a little bit about your next books or what you have planned for the future?

    I want to bring forward stories of women who are forgotten. There is a minor character in my book who is a real person and family member and who lived an incredible life helping the partisans in WWII. While I was researching Under the Light of the Italian Moon, some of my newly connected cousins sent me audio of her speaking about her life. Somehow, I need to get that story told. It would also take place in Fonzaso.

    How long have you been writing?

    For fourteen years, but I have always loved writing since I was a child.

    Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Under the Light of the Italian Moon.

    The main character is Nina Argenta. She is loyal and lives a bit in the shadow of her strong-willed mother, but she is very curious about men who are emigrating to America and thinks she wants to do something different with her life. Then we have Pietro Pante. He is a bit of a dreamer, honest, loyal and a very hard worker without very good luck. He emigrates to America and falls in love with Nina. Finally, we have Adelasia Dalla Santa Argenta, La Capitana. She is professionally trained midwife and a force of nature, tough and larger than life – willing to take a bullet to help a deliver a baby. She wants Nina to follow in her footsteps.

    If you could spend the day with one of the characters from Under the Light of the Italian Moon who would it be? Please tell us why you chose this particular character, where you would go and what you would do.

    That is very hard, especially when you find out some things at the end of the book about my connection to the characters. For now, I will say Nina, the main character because I want to find out what I got right and what I missed about her relationships, her love story and how she survived. We would just have coffee and biscotti together, laugh and cry. 

About the Author

Jennifer Anton is an American/Italian dual citizen born in Joliet, Illinois and now lives between London and Lake Como, Italy. A proud advocate for women’s rights and equality, she hopes to rescue women's stories from history, starting with her Italian family.

In 2006, after the birth of her daughter, Jennifer suffered a life-threatening post-partum cardiomyopathy, and soon after, her Italian grandmother died. This tumultuous year strengthened her desire to capture the stories of her female Italian ancestors.

In 2012, she moved with her family to Milan, Italy and Chicago Parent Magazine published her article, It’s In the Journey, chronicling the benefits of travelling the world with children. Later, she moved to London where she has held leadership positions in brand marketing with companies including ABInbev, Revlon, Shiseido and Tory Burch.

Jennifer is a graduate of Illinois State University where she was a Chi Omega and holds a master’s degree from DePaul University in Chicago.

Under the Light of the Italian Moon is her first novel, based on the lives of her Italian grandmother and great grandmothers during the rise of fascism and World War II.

Review the book at, Goodreads, and Bookbub

Connect with Jennifer on Instagram @boldwomanwriting

Connect with Jennifer on Facebook @jenniferantonauthorpage

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