Author Mark Sullivan turns in an amazing story with Beneath a Scarlet Sky. It’s based on the true story of Pino Lella, a young man thrust into the big picture of World War Two as it rages around his country (Italy) and changes people’s lives forever.
Pino’s predicament and response are no more courageous than other war heroes, but his vantage point certainly is. After his family home in Milan is destroyed by Allied bombs, he and his brother are whisked away to the relative safety of Casa Alpina in the Italian Alps.
However, instead of being a place of safety, Pino joins a group of insurgents working secretly to smuggle refugees and downed allied pilots to the safety of Switzerland.
Pino is both daring and clever, and he’s a teenager in war who falls for an older woman, a beautiful widow, Anna. It creates what we could accept as just another tragedy and blessing at a time when the whole world was in chaos. At least until Pino’s parents convince him to enlist as a German soldier, which they think will keep him from being sent to the Russian front.
Instead, Pino is injured and then recruited to be the personal driver for General Hans Leyers, the most powerful German commander in Italy. He knows the Third Reich’s strategies and plans for Italy, and before we know it, Pino is a most powerful spy suddenly inside the German High Command.
And still there is Anna, his family, and the country that kept him happy and safe until the German occupation. A story that runs 526 pages. The book is currently $2.99 on Kindle and Free on Kindle Unlimited.
What the author presents is a tragic, gripping tale set against the backdrop of war. A thought-provoking and triumphant story that unveils the brutality held in the deep recesses of the minds of Adolph Hitler and Benito Mussolini, and the passion and love held in the souls of people all across the scared lands of Italy. Especially those highlighted in Mark Sullivan’s story.
In the end, this is a story of war, courage, but also the love Pino feels for his country and for Anna. The writing and plot-line is steady, sometimes much more detailed than others, with a hint of a memoir.
At Amazon, the book has more than 23,000 reviews. Mine is likely nothing new to the mix, but this is an enjoyable book, obviously loved by many. In fact, it has garnered 96% 5 and 4 star reviews, with 83% of them the highest available. Now that’s something!
I’ve also listed this book as Fiction, although the setting and characters are based on true events. I’m sure readers of this story understand the difference between fiction and non-fiction and are willing to accept this as a novel, not a definitive recreation of the events in every detail.