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Publisher's Summary

Based on the true story of a forgotten hero, Beneath a Scarlet Sky is the triumphant, epic tale of one young man's incredible courage and resilience during one of history's darkest hours.
Pino Lella wants nothing to do with the war or the Nazis. He's a normal Italian teenager - obsessed with music, food, and girls - but his days of innocence are numbered. When his family home in Milan is destroyed by Allied bombs, Pino joins an underground railroad helping Jews escape over the Alps, and falls for Anna, a beautiful widow six years his senior.
In an attempt to protect him, Pino's parents force him to enlist as a German soldier - a move they think will keep him out of combat. But after Pino is injured, he is recruited at the tender age of eighteen to become the personal driver for Adolf Hitler's left hand in Italy, General Hans Leyers, one of the Third Reich's most mysterious and powerful commanders.
Now, with the opportunity to spy for the Allies inside the German High Command, Pino endures the horrors of the war and the Nazi occupation by fighting in secret, his courage bolstered by his love for Anna and for the life he dreams they will one day share.
Fans of All the Light We Cannot See, The Nightingale, and Unbroken will enjoy this riveting saga of history, suspense, and love.
©2017 Mark Sullivan (P)2017 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Charles Atkinson on 08-07-17

The Best Thing? It Really Happened!

Rarely in life do we learn of unknown men and women who lived extraordinary lives far bigger than any Hollywood creation. Pino Lella is such a man. This story is based on actual, documented events in WW2 a 17 -18 year old Pino experienced.

We are introduced to Pino in the last two years of WW2. As the author points out, little is written in fiction or non-fiction about the virtual German occupation of Italy. Politically the two countries were considered allies, but in reality it was the German Army controlling Itialian forces as well as political policies. Mussolini was under house arrest by 1944-45, guarded by Germans. The country may have looked Fascist to the world, but its peoples were deeply divided politically between Fascist, Nazi, Communist and Democratic Populists.

Pino was and remains an upbeat, confident and humble man. Like most people who lived and fought in WW2, he reluctantly shared his story after over 50 years silence. In the two years he was active, he led jewish families to Sweden, joined the Nazi army as a spy, and was the driver for the highest ranking General in Italy. He served as the General's interpreter to Mussolini, and actually met him on numerous occasions. Keep in mind Pino was 18 when war ended.

The story is as complicated as Italy's politics were at the time. In under two years, Lella falls in love, becomes a hero by risking his life to save several Jewish families, joins the German Army to be a spy, is forsaken as a traitor to his friends and family and suffers tremendous loss through it all.

The writing and narration is eloquent and seemless. This is one of the best books Audible has to offer.

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182 of 190 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Bryan on 05-10-17

History as good as fiction

Any additional comments?

I'm a daily listener to audiobooks while I commute. This book was SO good at captivating me and making mental images that it was almost too distracting to my driving!So in short, I dont write many reviews, but I LOVED this book...the story was great, the narrator was top-flight with excellent charachter portrayals, and the slice of life & time during WWII in N Italy satisfied the history buff in me. It really was as good or better than alot of fiction, but it was all true!

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106 of 112 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Jackie on 10-29-17

Amazing

What a fantastic story I couldn’t stop listening. An incredible insight into the war in Italy although heart breaking at times. Pino and his family have much to be proud of.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Anonymous User on 09-24-17

Incredible tale.

A tale worth telling. 17 hours short. Difficult to predict. Even more difficult to stop.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Anonymous User on 05-24-18

Wow

This was very touching, emotional, lovely, confrontingly raw and yet so beautiful. I also loved the fact that i
Could sit back and trust the truth of the story. These experiences actually happened, and Pino is an absolute hero!!! I’d love to have met him.

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4 out of 5 stars
By Philip on 04-08-18

Powerful and intimate story of loss, love and war

I had not been aware this was a true story and assumed this was a mere fabrication/device, powerful as this appeared to be. To discover this was all true and then consider its consequences makes this both a harrowing and rather terrible history of this poor mans youth and life. This malevolence and cruelty affected allies and enemies alike.

I read so many books about war. Many novels about the brutality made only more real by the loss of people that are loved. Initially one feels lucky that we are not embedded in all this today and then, on reflection we know that all around us we still are. How many new and terrible stories may one day emerge from Ethiopia, Sudan, Timor, Bosnia, Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria (and others). We remain powerless to prevent harm to the innocent despite such evidence. This is only made more complicated today by the equally brutal and indiscriminate phenomenon of terrorism. We need these histories (and novels) - not weapons - to remind us of the pain and futility of these wars and focus their avoidance, difficult as this seems. An ‘eye for an eye’ does not work.

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