Author(s): Susan Jacobs
When New Zealand forces arrived in Italy following the 1943 Armistice with the Allied forces, it was inevitable they would mingle with the local population. The Italians opened their homes and hearts to the New Zealand soldiers who delighted in finding young Italian signorinas everywhere. In Love and War tells of the liaisons and love affairs of New Zealand soldiers and their Italian sweethearts during World War Two. For some the result was marriage, leading to a new and often strained life for the Italian war brides on the other side of the world. For others, their wartime romance ended in heartbreaking separation when the Kiwi soldiers were posted elsewhere or returned home. Unknowingly, some left behind children who would grow up without ever meeting their natural fathers. While the New Zealand commanding officers did their very best to curtail fraternisation between Kiwi soldiers and the civilian population, for servicemen starved of female company relationships were easy to fall into. These touching stories of their romantic wartime encounters reveal the human side of war.
Susan Jacobs first book Fighting with the Enemy, published by Penguin in 2003, told the story of New Zealand prisoners-of-war and their relationships with the Italian Resistance. Susan has lived in the Umbrian and Tuscan regions of Italy, where she gained an Advanced Diploma from the University for Foreigners at Perugia and taught English in Siena. After returning to New Zealand she tutored for many years in Italian literature and language at the University of Auckland, completing a Masters degree and a PhD in Italian. She currently lives in Auckland where she works as a teacher and writer.