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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.
128 of 133 people found this review helpful
What did you love best about Beneath a Scarlet Sky?
The author brought history and emotion together in a way that had me captivated from the first moment.
Who was your favorite character and why?
All of them, he did a great job developing all the characters into people I cared about. Regardless of how big or small their part was in the story.
29 of 30 people found this review helpful
The story of an AMAZING man! Made my heart pound, made me cry, laugh, sigh, angry, sad, afraid, horrified: the whole gamut of human emotions, more or less! Inspires me to live MY life “con smania” (with passion)!
Very well read, & performed, that adds SO MUCH MORE to the story than just reading alone: brings Pino to LIFE, in all his charm.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
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.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Fabulously well told with great research. I believe it could become a classic for the ages and certainly it is for me.
A brilliantly told story of the later days of the Second World War in Italy, and it is rare to hear anything much at all of Italy's resistance to the Nazis and their occupation.
Well worth reading and listening to.