Innocent War is a biographical coming of age of an Italian boy living in war torn Tripoli during the second world war. Based on tapes given to the author by her father, it recounts day to day life for a family caught in a cataclysmic event. Nino, his parents, and his baby sister live as expats in a tiny colony in Tripoli. The war's impact begins when Nino's father is drafted to build a trench to protect them from the allies. Life continues, but changes interrupt the sleepy existence. The Jewish population is forced to wear identifying patches, bombing begin to disrupt the night. Slowly, the war ravages their home, carpet bombings destroy and kill their neighbors. Italian Jews are taken from their homes. Nino can't understand what makes them different,he has been taught that religion doesn't define nationality. His mother risks their lives by hiding a young Jewish friend. Soon enough, his mother is fed up with their precarious existence and courageously leaves town to find her husband on the front lines. This is a story about survival. Strong, smart, and brave, Nino's mother is not afraid to protect her family, finding ways to move them to safety, and insure that they would not starve. Nino and his family are not connected to the politics that fed the war, and learn that they too have become the pawns as well of the victims of twisted ideologies. Nino grows from boy to young man, learning to question not only God, but the intention of the political machine, finally understanding that all the propaganda was as wasteful as the lives lost in the chasm called World War 2.
Carole P. Roman