Coffee Pot Book Tour: The Girl From Portofino by Siobhan Daiko


Welcome to the Coffee Pot Book Tour for The Girl from Portofino. Grab a cup of something warm and settle in. We have a great blub and a super teaser of an excerpt.



Book Title: The Girl from Portofino

Series: Girls of the Italian Resistance: A collection of standalone novels set in Italy during World War 2

Author: Siobhan Daiko

Publication Date: 30th December 2021

Publisher: Asolando Books

Page Length: 300 Pages

Genre: Womens Historical Fiction/29th Century Historical/World War 2 Historical



In 1970 Gina Bianchi returns to Portofino to attend her fathers funeral, accompanied by her troubled twenty-four-year-old daughter, Hope. There, Gina is beset by vivid memories of World War 2, a time when she fought with the Italian Resistance and her twin sister, Adele, worked for the Germans. 

In her childhood bedroom, Gina reads Adeles diary, left behind during the war. As Gina learns the devastating truth about her sister, shes compelled to face the harsh brutality of her own past. Will she finally lay her demons to rest, or will they end up destroying her and the family she loves? 

A hauntingly epic read that will sweep you away to the beauty of the Italian Riviera and the rugged mountains of its hinterland. The Girl from Portofino” is a story about heart-wrenching loss and uplifting courage, love, loyalty, and secrets untold. 

Trigger Warnings: The brutality of war, death, war crimes against women. 


Meet the Author 

Siobhan Daiko is a British historical fiction author. A lover of all things Italian, she lives in the Veneto region of northern Italy with her husband, a Havanese dog and two rescued cats. After a life of romance and adventure in Hong Kong, Australia and the UK, Siobhan now spends her time, when she isn't writing, enjoying her life near Venice.


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The Excerpt

 7th April 1943

 Dear Diary,

 Gina left to join the partisans yesterday. When she made the announcement the day after the bombs fell on Portofino, Mamma had a fit. She threatened to lock her up in Babbo’s magazzino to stop her from leaving with Stefano. But Babbo told Mamma she was overreacting. Gina was old enough to make her own decisions and he was proud of her for doing the right thing.

 I can’t help feeling a tiny bit jealous of my sister. Well, more than a tiny bit to be honest. Babbo hasn’t stopped singing her praises and I would like him to be proud of me too. I wish I had Gina’s resilience. But I couldn’t sleep in a cowshed or a tent with a group of men, like she told me she was going to do. I couldn’t manage living without sanitation. And I couldn’t cope with being afraid all the time. Which I would be. I’d be terrified of being wounded and then dying.

 It’s horrible having the Germans in Portofino. There’s a villa on the peninsula called La Torretta, on account of its tall tower, where they lock up and carry out the initial interrogation of political prisoners—partisans and the like—whom the SS bring to the village in a black Fiat 1500. The villa is near the Baroness’s and we often hear the heart-wrenching cries of people being tortured. It’s terrible. We try not to listen, but we can’t help ourselves. Every time we cry hot tears of shame because we can’t do anything to save them. We watch from behind the curtains while, a few days later, the poor souls, bodies bruised and battered, are taken off in the Fiat to the notorious Marassi Prison in Genoa for further “interrogations”. The only thing the Baroness can do is send coded messages to the CLN, the Resistance headquarters, to inform them when the prisoners are transported from La Torretta.

 Today the Baroness had a visitor. Lieutenant Reimers, the German Commander. I opened the door to him and his assistant, my heart racing. They called on her last October, soon after they’d arrived in Portofino, but have left her in peace since. She’s the only German woman resident here and, consequently, Reimers had said he wouldn’t requisition her villa for his men.

 I ushered him and his assistant into the Baroness’s elegant living room, decorated with chintz curtains and plush furnishings, then went to fetch her from her study. ‘I wonder what they want?’ her voice trembled. I couldn’t help feeling nervous for her. And for myself. What if the Germans had discovered that the Baroness was helping the Resistance?

 The Lieutenant bowed over her hand and clicked his heels. She was gracious as ever, offering him and his assistant a cup of tea, which the Lieutenant declined.

 Let me tell you a little about Reimers, dear diary. He’s neither tall nor short, neither fat nor thin. I would say he’s a little over thirty, on account of his fair hair receding slightly at the temples. He has extremely light blue eyes, and, when he smiles, he appears deceptively innocent. I say “deceptively” because he’s a Nazi. And there’s nothing “innocent” about them. He introduced his assistant, Ensign Meyer, who’s younger than him by at least five years. Meyer has the blondest hair I’ve seen on a man. Almost bleached and his skin quite tanned.

 The Baroness asked both men to sit on the sofa, and she sat in her favourite armchair opposite them. It was then that I left the room. I’m officially the Baroness’s maid and there was no legitimate reason for me to stay.

 After about fifteen minutes, the Baroness rang for me and I showed the officers through the hallway and out the door.

 ‘What did they want?’ I asked on returning to the living room. When we were alone, I could bypass formality and speak to her frankly—she insisted on it.

 ‘Castello Brown needs a maid. The last girl they had was hopeless. So the Lieutenant asked me if I knew of anyone efficient and trustworthy.’ The Baroness gave me a weary smile. ‘I said I’d see what I could do.’

 I nodded but kept silent. An idea had just occurred to me. A wild, impetuous, but brilliant idea. I won’t tell you about it yet, dear diary. I haven’t even told the Baroness. I will tell you about it soon, I promise. Now that Gina has left, I will be able to write more often.

 Gina closes the diary. She can’t read on. She knows what Adele’s next entry will be, and she can’t face it.

 She returns the journal to her bedside table drawer. How perceptive of Adele to mention the conditions Gina would be facing with the partisans. She had no idea her twin was jealous. It was always she who was jealous of Adele, jealous of her cleverness, jealous of how easy everyone found it to love her.

 Gina stretches out on her bed, willing sleep to take her. But it doesn’t. Instead, she’s back with the partisans. She and Stefano are fighting with Commander Vento in the Riviera hinterland. The memory is so clear, she can almost smell the unwashed bodies of the men.


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  1. Thank you so much for hosting the blog tour for The Girl from Portofino. We really appreciate all that you do.

    Mary Anne
    The Coffee Pot Book Club


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