Beneath a Scarlet Sky, by Mark Sullivan, is destined to become a classic.
It’s not only hard to put down, it’s hard to stop thinking about.
It’s one of those books that gets in your head. You can feel the fear, the triumphs, the love, the horror, the thrill, the loneliness, and the consequences of the decisions one makes during a terrible crisis.
Beneath a Scarlet Sky begins with a rather odd, personal, note from the author. My first thought in reading it was “Whoa, TMI!” But after reading the book, I can see why the author wanted to share how dramatically this story moved him. Still… it’s a strange way to start a book.
Based on a true story, Beneath a Scarlet Sky unfolds in Italy during the throes of World War II.
Pino Lella is a jazz-loving teen with girls on his mind. But as Allied bombs begin to fall on Milan, Pino embarks on an amazing life journey, first as a guide helping Jews cross the Alps to safety, and then as a spy for the Italian resistance.
Pino’s courage is a part of the story, but more a byproduct of what he does rather than the main feature.
What really makes Beneath a Scarlet Sky so compelling are his relationships and decision making. While living under occupation, and fighting against it, every misstep is so devastating, every goodness so sweet. This is what we live through in Pino’s tale.
It’s a totally absorbing book and you’ll find yourself looking up names and stories when you are done with it, trying to figure out how much is true. There’s just enough out there to confirm the basic story, including some pictures of the actual people on the author’s website.
As for the surprise at the ending, well…. jump back to this page after you read the book and let me know what you think. True or not?
Released yesterday, Beneath a Scarlet Sky is available in paperback at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million and IndieBound, on the Amazon Kindle, and on Audiobook at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. On Amazon it is currently rated 4.9 out of 5 stars with 1476 reviews.
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