Two women's decision to save a child during WWII will have powerful reverberations over the years.
Chiara Ravello is about to flee occupied Rome when she locks eyes with a woman being herded on to a truck with her family.
Claiming the woman's son, Daniele, as her own nephew, Chiara demands his return; only as the trucks depart does she realize what she has done. She is 27, with a sister who needs her constant care, a hazardous journey ahead, and now a child in her charge.
Several decades later, Chiara lives alone in Rome, a self-contained woman working as a translator. Always in the background is the shadow of Daniele, whose absence and the havoc he wrought on Chiara's world haunt her. Then she receives a phone call from a teenager claiming to be his daughter, and Chiara knows it is time to face up to the past.
"Early One Morning heralds the arrival of an exciting new voice in fiction, with a story that is instantly engaging, and characters that effortlessly lift from the page and are rendered so rich and full that they wrap themselves around you and refuse to let go. Beautifully written and emotionally taut, Virginia Baily's Early One Morning is a powerhouse of a debut." (Jason Hewitt, author of The Dynamite Room)
"Early One Morning isn't just an incandescent novel, but the rarest of reading experiences, offering a view both wrenching and luminous of how love pushes us past what we're capable of, and somehow - impossibly - reclaims us when we're long past saving. Utterly magnificent." (Paula McLain, author of The Paris Wife)
"Wonderful.... I was completely inside it from the first pages, just that delicious (rare) feeling of knowing you're in safe hands, this writer isn't going to make a mess of anything, or forfeit your trust or your belief. It managed to be so witty and dry and true.... Vividly intelligent, gripping and moving and alive." (Tessa Hadley, author of Clever Girl)
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- Amanda C.