Author: Mark Sullivan
Publisher: Lake Union
Synopsis: 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.
Review: This book blew me away. I laughed, I swooned, I cried…a lot. Pino Lella’s story needs to be shared with the world, and author Sullivan told it beautifully. I couldn’t put the book down. I was there with Pino as he experienced the darkest hours of WW2. My heart raced as he trekked through snowstorms to help the Jews find sanctuary, it soared when he embraced the love of his life, it nearly beat out of my chest every time he drove General Leyers through Nazi checkpoints, and it broke as he witnessed the devastation of war.
This book is NOT for the faint of heart. The author captures the grey areas of war. It was a phenomenal read the twist at the end left me breathless.
Escapism Factor: 5/5
Emotional Connection: 5/5
Character Development: 5/5
Warnings/Triggers: violence, language, genocide, and graphic scenes involving shootings, hangings, explosions, and sadistic acts. Veterans suffering from PTSD may find this book triggering.
Completed Read: 1/31/2021