In Beneath a Scarlett Sky, young Italian Pino Lella helps Italian Jews by leading them through the mountains to Switzerland during the Nazi occupation of Italy. Later, he enlists in the German army and becomes a spy for the Allies.
There isn’t a lot of information about what went on in Italy during World War II. Many of the books about World War II are set in Germany or Eastern Europe, so the fact the setting is different makes this book interesting. This is historical fiction; the dialogue and scenes are constructed by the author. However, the historical setting and characters are real. The author decided to write the book after meeting Pino and talking to him about his life in Italy during World War II.
Pino is an engaging, likable character. The author does a good job of taking the reader along for Pino’s journey from carefree teenager to crusader with a cause to a person deeply affected by the tragic event that is World War II, although he becomes a successful ski instructor and car salesman later. Part of the reason one doesn’t hear much about Italy during World War II is because a lot of documents were destroyed, but also because the people were so devastated by the war they didn’t want to talk about it. Pino’s suffering the loss of someone he cares about deeply and working through this is particularly touching.
I highly recommend Beneath a Scarlett Sky and give this book a 5/5 rating. This book is a very worthwhile read for those interested in historical events.