by Scottoline, Lisa

An aspiring writer, an athlete from a professional cyclist family and a mathematics prodigy find their bond tested by a love triangle and the spread of anti-Semitism and fascism in 1937 Italy. By the Edgar Award-winning author of Someone Knows.

Lisa Scottoline is the New York Times-bestselling author of thirty-two novels. She has 30 million copies of her books in print in the United States and has been published in thirty-five countries. Scottoline also writes a weekly column with her daughter for The Philadelphia Inquirer. Lisa has served as President of Mystery Writers of America and has taught a course she developed, "Justice in Fiction" at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, her alma mater. She lives in the Philadelphia area.

Fascists are often portrayed as one monolithic, Nazi block, but Scottoline, famous for her legal thrillers, focuses on a trio of young Romans to explore how Italian fascism pre-dated, inspired, and differed from what eventually subsumed it. Elisabetta has a difficult home life, but she takes solace in being the object of affection for two young men, Marco, an up-and-coming member of Mussolini's bureaucracy, and Sandro, a Jewish mathematics student whose father is also an ardent Fascist. When the Nazis' influence leads to abhorrent, anti-Semitic race laws in Italy, Jewish Fascists, fervent party members for 15 years, are astounded as everything is taken from them. When Italy attempts to leave the Axis and make a separate peace, its former German allies quickly turn into cruel occupiers, and lives are lost with astonishing speed. Scottoline conjures atmosphere and culture in lush landscapes and city scenes and delectable culinary descriptions. This nuanced take on WWII Italy offers a variety of perspectives, but at its heart, this is a love story, with heroes lost being warmly remembered and love conquering all.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: The hook is how best-selling crime writer Scottoline successfully changes course in a coming-of-age WWII love story that will entrance fans and newcomers alike. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

Quite a change from Scottoline‚??s bestselling contemporary thrillers: an ambitious, deeply researched historical account of three Roman families caught in the meltdown of Fascist Italy. May 1937 finds Alessandro Simone and Marco Terrizzi competing for the favors of Elisabetta D‚??Orfeo, an aspiring journalist and cat lover who waits tables at Casa Servano, the well-regarded Trastevere restaurant owned by Giuseppina Servano, widely known as Nonna. Since Sandro‚??s father, Massimo Simone, is a Jewish tax lawyer who strongly supports Mussolini and Marco‚??s father, Giuseppe Terrizzi, is a former cyclist who proudly styles himself a Fascist of the First Hour, there‚??s plenty of potential for ethnic, religious, and political conflicts both between and within the leading characters, and despite the widespread conviction that Mussolini‚??s pre-Hitler brand of fascism will never turn against the Jews, the coming of the war flushes all these conflicts out. After Marco‚??s brother Aldo is killed when he joins a group of anti-fascist saboteurs, Marco, groomed by Commendatore Romano Buonacorso for a rapid rise to power, begins to have second thoughts. Sandro, his dreams of academic stardom trashed by his religion, is more open in his opposition to Il Duce. The real calamities, however, follow the German invasion of Italy, which kicks off several painful rounds of increasingly severe anti-Jewish legislation, expropriation, extortion, and finally rastrellamento, the wholesale roundup of Italian Jews to be shipped off to destinations readers will know all too well. Through it all, Scottoline struggles mightily to bring her sorely tried characters alive through their love for each other, but they mostly remain pawns of history who believe till the end that "the Vatican will intervene, of course." A heartfelt but schematic wartime tear-jerker. Copyright Kirkus 2021 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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