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Into The Burning Dawn

Author(s): Natalie Meg Evans

Location(s): Naples

Genre(s): Fiction, Historical, Romance

Era(s): 1940 - 1943

Twenty-one-year-old Imogen Fitzgerald was raised in an English orphanage and never knew her parents. So when World War Two breaks out, she refuses to leave the life she’s worked so hard to build for herself, teaching English to young Marco and Eloisa in the beautiful hills above the city of Naples. With their father Giancarlo away fighting for the Fascists, there’s no one else to care for these children. Imogen’s dark hair and perfect Italian will protect her for now, but if anyone discovers her secret identity as an enemy of Italy, Marco and Eloisa will be left with nobody.

As the shadows of bomber planes darken the azure-blue waters of Naples bay, the one person Imogen can depend on is Fabrizio, the children’s uncle. He’s never seeen eye-to-eye with their father and Imogen is forbidden to speak to him … but whenever they secretly meet in the lemon groves Imogen instantly feels safe. Fabrizio talks passionately of the resistenza, the underground group fighting the regime and soon Imogen herself is involved, smuggling food along the rocky coast.

But when Giancarlo returns suddenly, injured from the fighting, Imogen is shocked to find him much changed. Rather than the fascist sympathiser she knew and resented, she sees in Giancarlo a man who would do anything to protect his children and his beloved Italy. Was she wrong to judge him so harshly?

Torn between two sides, Imogen’s own life is thrown into terrible danger when a child goes missing and her secret identity is exposed … did she put her trust in the wrong man? And is it too late to save herself and the children from the horrors of war?

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Enter the 2021TripFiction 'Sense of Place' Creative Writing Competition!

A story in which the location plays as important a role as the rest of your words.

2,500 word maximum, 750 word minimum

Judges include Victoria Hislop and Rosanna Ley

First Prize of £1,000 / US$1,350

Prizes total £1,750 / US$2,362 

Winning entry published on TripFiction site and publicised on Social Media

Entries close 6th November 2021