Beneath a Scarlet Sky: A Novel

Beneath a Scarlet Sky: A Novel

by Mark Sullivan
3.8 5


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Beneath a Scarlet Sky: A Novel 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
4840318 8 months ago
I am going to officially put this one on the DNF list. I have tried on 3 separate occasions to read this book and for whatever reason, I can't get into it. Which is quite odd because I typically love WWII Historical Fiction. Reading through the other reviews, I am clearly in the minority here. But I just can't seem to connect to the story and get invested, so it is time for me to move on. Just because this book didn't work for me doesn't mean you shouldn't give it a chance! There are tons of 4 & 5 star reviews out there and you just may love it.
GratefulGrandma 11 months ago
I have read many books about WWII, but this is the first one I have read about the plight of the Italian people. It was the forgotten front, but the people who lived it and fought it, will never forget it. When I met a soldier at the Canadian War Museum who fought in the Italian Campaign, I spent a lot of time with him. He said very few people were interested in the events he was involved in. I hope this book opens people's eyes to that. Seventeen year old Pino Lella and his family live in Milan. Pino's mother and brother leave Milan when the bomboing begins, but he remains with his father. When an Allied bomb hits their home and demolishes it, his father sends him north to Casa Alpina. This is a school where Pino spent much time in his youth and where his brother is living at the time. When he arrives, he assists Father Re in his dangerous missions of transporting Jews to safety in neutral Switzerland. Near Pino’s eighteenth birthday, his father sends an urgent message to return home. He is in danger of being drafted and sent to the Russian front. His father, mother and uncle want him to enlist in the German Army to avoid being drafted. Pino becomes the chauffeur/translator for General Leyers, Hitler’s left-hand-man in Italy. Using this position, he is able to give information to the resistance about the German plans. This story is based upon a real person and their experiences. Of course research is not always able to find everything, so the author had to add some narration and conversations that might have happened. Pino was a teenager, his emotions and actions were always in line with his age. This is a wonderful book to add to the WWII genre. It is a great read for adults as well as Young Adults, being as the main character is a teenager when the story opens. This is an easy-reading, fast-paced book about how war brings out the worst and the best in people. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley.
MWgal 12 months ago
Captivating! A very well written book about heroism at extremely trying times. Thank you to Pino for sharing his story and to the author's well-done writing of the entire story.
BooksAndSpoons More than 1 year ago
A remarkable story of courage, dedication, love, and determination to survive, that left me once again in awe of the quiet heroism that was demonstrated during the direst times in the European history. As much as I have read about the second World War in Europe and the devastating events that occurred, I hadn't even realized how the Italian viewpoint to the war was often missing. To see the desolation and ruin the war left in Italy itself and to the minds of the Italians, by the eyes of Pino Lella, was an honor and humbling experience. As a story based on real people and true historical events, the author has built a well-organized timeline that was easy to follow. I got lost in the story with the images painted in my mind by the author's words. The feelings are strong, the emotional connection to the tale impossible to ignore. The decisions people had to make during the war were not black and white, you had to do what was needed to survive. Reading Pino Lella's story was like watching the hand of destiny, or God, work in every step he took during the war. If you have ever looked into the eyes of a person who witnessed the atrocity of the war, you might get a hint of the pain those people have to live with. Here we get a rare and raw look at the destruction the WWII left behind. As I was reading the story hours went by that I wasn't aware of nothing else but Pino's life. The admiration I have for him, and people like him, who fought the insanity by risking their own lives left me in amaze. Yes, the writing was rough at times, and yes, the book could have used a little better editing. Yet the contents of the story and knowing it was based on true events, true heroism, a real terrorizing fear and constant threat to the lives of everyone involved made the technical issues of the story irrelevant. The love Pino had for his family, friends, and especially for Anna was boundless, and it became the force to aid the survival. The meaning of life was to live just a moment longer, to see the loved ones again. The loss, the pain, the tragedy of the war, the guilt of survival and decisions made when life was on the line left a permanent mark on everyone, as the author demonstrates in the completion of the tale. There are things that have happen in our history that we should never forget. Thank you for giving us the story Pino Lella, a young man with a fearless courage and noble spirit, who is an inspiration and example of bravery still needed today. ~ Five Spoons
CharlotteLynnsReviews More than 1 year ago
I am a WWII fan. There are not many books about WWII or that era that I do not want to read. Beneath a Scarlet Sky is one of my top 5 favorites. I was so invested in Pino and his travels during WWII and all that he was doing to help the Jews. He was young, yet he did so much to fight against the Germans and help innocent people stay alive. There were times that he was pushed to do things against his conscience. These were the times that I really admired Pino. Working for the Nazi’s had to be the scariest, most intimidating, heroic act that Pino ever did. The fact that this is based on true story only enhanced the book. The heroes of WWII are dying fast and their lives need to be celebrated with the stories they can share. I am so very proud of the veterans of this era and all that they gave up for their countries. Thank you Claire McLaughlin at Little Bird Publicity for a copy of the book for a honest review.