Port of No Return – a novel

What makes people migrate? Why leave everything you know and love behind, including your language, friends, heritage, neighbourhoods…?

Port of No Return follows an Italian family and their friends who become refugees when they lose their Italian town to Yugoslavia at the end of World War II.

This little known conflict came at a time when peace was finally starting to spread throughout Europe. But for the people of Fiume, in Italy’s north-east, their struggles were about to escalate.

Inspired by true experiences and historical events, some of them quite confronting, Port of No Return is a touching story of family, love, struggle, separation and hope… this novel represents a timely walk in the shoes of refugees and yesterday’s migrants.

five stars  “Historical fiction at its best” (Goodreads’ reviewer, Aug 2015).

four star “. . . a feel of historical accuracy mixed with immersive storytelling to create a subtly addictive story.” (Goodreads’ reviewer, Sep 2015).

Read more reviews

Visit to Trieste – photos


In September 2016, I visited Italy’s Trieste, the area that is heavily featured in my novel Port of No Return.

It is where the families and friends of my story spend much of  their time as refugees, waiting for settlement.

The port side city of Trieste is a beautiful one and I can appreciate how difficult it must have been for them to leave it behind for a life elsewhere.

I took these photos of today’s Trieste.

trieste-1 trieste-2

Sequel announced

Yes, it’s true, a sequel to Port of No Return is to be published and released in 2017!

The publishing contract for the sequel entitled Wanderers No More was offered one year after the release of Port of No Return.

This anticipated sequel continues to follow Ettore and Contessa and their family and friends to the shores of Australia where they seek a fresh start after living as displaced people for years in war-torn Europe.

On arrival in New South Wales, they are delivered to yet another crowded migrant camp. As they are assigned employment and their children go to school, the Italian families struggle with the different language, food and culture.

Not to mention that the bullies at school make Monte look gentle!

Youngest son, Martino, also faces a personal obstacle – a serious leg injury that threatens his dreams of one day becoming a great soccer player!

Martino’s life remains entwined with that of his family – he will share much turmoil on the soccer field with his brother Nardo; he will help his father to settle an old wartime debt and he will work with his brother Taddeo to win back his childhood love.

But in the end, not all will go as hoped for…

Melbourne book launch 2016

Up to 70 people attended the official launch of Port of No Return, held on 10 February, 2016, at the Museo Italiano in Melbourne, Australia.

The launch drew many people who could relate to the novel, having either lived through the historic events featured in the book, or having parents or grandparents who did.

They came to share their stories and to show support for a novel highlighting a little known part of history – a part that ultimately resulted in the 1950s’ migration of thousands of Italians.

Thank you for the support of the Museo Italiano for bringing this wonderful group of Italians together and for helping them connect with a novel of family and historical significance.

Port of No Return’s virtual book tour

Port of No Return was featured in an 18-stop tour, consisting of online reviews, posts, interviews and book giveaways in October, 2015.

Thank you to the following blogs for participating and featuring Port of No Return. Many of these reviews were also posted on Amazon and Goodreads.

Oct 12 – Library of Clean Reads – book spotlight / giveaway

Oct 12 – The Bookish and the Romantic – review

Oct 13 – Working Mommy Journal – review / author interview / giveaway

Oct 13 – Bound 4 Escape – review / giveaway

Oct 14 – Library Educated – review

Oct 14 –  History from a Woman’s Perspective – review / author interview / giveaway

Oct 15 – The Autistic Gamer – review

Oct 15 – Books and Quilts – review

Oct 16 – Diary of an Eccentric – review

Oct 16 –  #redhead.with.book – review / giveaway

Oct 19 – Just One More Chapter – review / giveaway

Oct 19 – Italophilia – review

Oct 20 – Jayne’s Books – review / giveaway

Oct 20 – NorthernMSW – review

Oct 21 – A Simple Life, really?! – review

Oct 22 – Il Mio Tesoro – review / guest post

Oct 22 – Essentially Italian – review / giveaway

Oct 23 – Roughseasinthemed – review