Beneath a Scarlet Sky: A Novel

Beneath a Scarlet Sky: A Novel

by Mark Sullivan


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Soon to be a major television event from Pascal Pictures, starring Tom Holland.

Based on the true story of a forgotten hero, the USA Today and #1 Amazon Charts bestseller 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781503902374
Publisher: Amazon Publishing
Publication date: 05/01/2018
Pages: 439
Sales rank: 31,274
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.70(d)

About the Author

Mark Sullivan is the acclaimed author of eighteen novels, including the #1 New York Times bestselling Private series, which he writes with James Patterson. Mark has received numerous awards for his writing, including the WHSmith Fresh Talent Award, and his works have been named a New York Times Notable Book and a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year. He grew up in Medfield, Massachusetts, and graduated from Hamilton College with a BA in English before working as a volunteer in the Peace Corps in Niger, West Africa. Upon his return to the United States, he earned a graduate degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and began a career in investigative journalism. An avid skier and adventurer, he lives with his wife in Bozeman, Montana, where he remains grateful for the miracle of every moment.

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Beneath a Scarlet Sky: A Novel 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
brf1948 More than 1 year ago
This historical novel is everything it is touted up to be. It is very rare to find novels that represent the average voice of the Italian people during WWII. In this one, you know, respect, appreciate the folks living and working and trying to make it through these war years, the years under Nazi rule. This is a book I can heartily refer to anyone with an interest in WWII or Italy.
BeckyMcF More than 1 year ago
This was a 5 star book for our book club, because Pino's story was amazing and we appreciated the way the author recounted it. All of us agreed that reading the author's notes at the beginning and after was essential to getting the whole picture. Italy in WWII was a topic that none of us knew anything about, so the history of the last few year's of the war was quite interesting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mark, I loved this book. Gave me hope for young people caring about their heritage and country. Amazing story and brought WWII to life. Very interesting and eye opening as to what really happened in a war torn area. Great characters. Wonderful. More please.
MWgal More than 1 year ago
Captivating! A very well written book about heroism at extremely trying times. Thank you to Pino for sharing his story and to the author's well-done writing of the entire story.
BooksAndSpoons More than 1 year ago
A remarkable story of courage, dedication, love, and determination to survive, that left me once again in awe of the quiet heroism that was demonstrated during the direst times in the European history. As much as I have read about the second World War in Europe and the devastating events that occurred, I hadn't even realized how the Italian viewpoint to the war was often missing. To see the desolation and ruin the war left in Italy itself and to the minds of the Italians, by the eyes of Pino Lella, was an honor and humbling experience. As a story based on real people and true historical events, the author has built a well-organized timeline that was easy to follow. I got lost in the story with the images painted in my mind by the author's words. The feelings are strong, the emotional connection to the tale impossible to ignore. The decisions people had to make during the war were not black and white, you had to do what was needed to survive. Reading Pino Lella's story was like watching the hand of destiny, or God, work in every step he took during the war. If you have ever looked into the eyes of a person who witnessed the atrocity of the war, you might get a hint of the pain those people have to live with. Here we get a rare and raw look at the destruction the WWII left behind. As I was reading the story hours went by that I wasn't aware of nothing else but Pino's life. The admiration I have for him, and people like him, who fought the insanity by risking their own lives left me in amaze. Yes, the writing was rough at times, and yes, the book could have used a little better editing. Yet the contents of the story and knowing it was based on true events, true heroism, a real terrorizing fear and constant threat to the lives of everyone involved made the technical issues of the story irrelevant. The love Pino had for his family, friends, and especially for Anna was boundless, and it became the force to aid the survival. The meaning of life was to live just a moment longer, to see the loved ones again. The loss, the pain, the tragedy of the war, the guilt of survival and decisions made when life was on the line left a permanent mark on everyone, as the author demonstrates in the completion of the tale. There are things that have happen in our history that we should never forget. Thank you for giving us the story Pino Lella, a young man with a fearless courage and noble spirit, who is an inspiration and example of bravery still needed today. ~ Five Spoons
Jaruwa More than 1 year ago
Pino Lello was a young Italian man who joined the resistance against the Nazis in northern Italy during World War II. A teenager at the time, Lello kept his astounding story a secret for decades, telling no one of his previous life during the war. He only agreed to recount the traumatic and heartbreaking events of that time as an elderly man for this book. Whether or not it’s all historically accurate, it’s an engrossing story. The author readily admits that it is “based” on facts, with some embellishments to fill in the gaps. I found myself wondering which parts originated with the author or were the products of an old man’s imaginings, but this didn’t bother me too much. I decided to enjoy it with several grains of salt and that was fine. After all, much of what actually happened during WWII seems absolutely incredible today. It’s a fascinating story, even it only half of it is true. It’s an easy read that kept me turning the pages and rooting for Pino Lello throughout the book. It was especially interesting to learn about the northern Italian struggle against the Nazis, and how the resistance operated. The last days of the war, when the Italian resistance and the Allies fought against the Nazis and the Fascists as they tried to flee, was particularly interesting. Recommended for those interested in WWII, and for those who enjoy a suspenseful, engrossing story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A historical novel is not something I would normally be interested. To be honest, I only bought it thinking it would make me seem smart haha! This book was so interesting I couldn't get enough of it. It is very long but not long enough!
AlyssaRaeAuthor More than 1 year ago
Despite having read many WWII novels and histories, I know very little about the Italian perspective of the war. I feel that reading the story of Pino Lella’s experiences finally gave me the insight I was lacking. Pino’s courage and bravery in the face of such opposition serves as an inspiration to all. Pino is a 17 year old boy from Milan who is thrust into the war as the Allied bombs explode around him. He is forced to do things to survive that mark him as a traitor to his friends, neighbors, and even some of his family. It is not until later that those actions prove to be heroic. I loved this story and recommend this book to everyone! Alyssa Rae
LALady05 More than 1 year ago
I am not one for reading novels, but this one was simply captivating! A could-not-put-it-down book. I have read literally countless books on the Holocaust, focusing on Germany, Poland and Austria, so I have a good knowledge of WWII. But this is the first account of anything to do with Italy. This was important to me as my father was in the US Army Air Force in WWII and flew B-25's over Italy, strategically bombing bridges, munitions plants, and engaging with enemy fighter planes. Even though this was a novel, knowing it was based on a true story, it was heart wrenching and yet amazing that this young man experienced so much in such a short time. I recommend this to anyone interested in the history of that time period.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not Shakespeare or Joyce, but a good read. 500 pages of “can’t put it down until I’m done” action. It’s going to be made into a TV series at some point. The first Mark Sullivan book I’ve read.
Conroyd More than 1 year ago
Beneath a Scarlet Sky, by Mark Sullivan, is a very worthwhile read. A thriller set in Nazi-occupied Italy, it’s based on a young Italian boy’s actual experiences during the occupation. Pino comes to act as a spy on a Nazi leader even as he falls in love with a young woman caught up in that leader’s web. So there’s love and war~perfect. I was easily carried two thirds of the way into the story with good characterization, setting, and plot. At some point then, the story slowed for me, and I put this down to the plot which no doubt conformed to the real life experiences of Pino. In other words, life got in the way of a fictional thriller that grabs you by the throat and carries you through to the end. I did enjoy the finish, however, as well as the “Aftermath” that lets the reader in on the rest of Pino’s life.
CharlotteLynnsReviews More than 1 year ago
I am a WWII fan. There are not many books about WWII or that era that I do not want to read. Beneath a Scarlet Sky is one of my top 5 favorites. I was so invested in Pino and his travels during WWII and all that he was doing to help the Jews. He was young, yet he did so much to fight against the Germans and help innocent people stay alive. There were times that he was pushed to do things against his conscience. These were the times that I really admired Pino. Working for the Nazi’s had to be the scariest, most intimidating, heroic act that Pino ever did. The fact that this is based on true story only enhanced the book. The heroes of WWII are dying fast and their lives need to be celebrated with the stories they can share. I am so very proud of the veterans of this era and all that they gave up for their countries. Thank you Claire McLaughlin at Little Bird Publicity for a copy of the book for a honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fantastic read...I could not put the book down. It was recommended to me and I have since recommended it to others as well.
bloomedlatelover05 More than 1 year ago
After recently viewing the brilliant film "Life is Beautiful", I wanted to know more about the lives of the Italian Jews under Nazi occupation in WWII. Most of the WWII historical fiction published does not touch on this aspect of this war.This spellbinding novel opened my eyes to the horrors suffered by the Italians under Hitler/Mussolini, and taught me a great deal about the heroic acts and sacrifices made by many Italian citizens during that horrific regime. I loved the protagonist, Pino Lella, and was captivated by his story. The fact that this is a true story made it even more fascinating and engrossing. I could not put it down. Sullivan brought the wonderful characters to life, and I cared about them so deeply. You'll want to continue to the Afterword, which is amazing, and a powerful reminder that these are real characters and stories. Thank you, Mark Sullivan, for bearing witness to these stories, and for bringing Pino and his companions to vivid life in these pages.
Timothy Glass More than 1 year ago
Beneath a Scarlet Sky is an amazing story about World War II and Milan, Italy. The author’s characters are gripping. Some you will come to love and some you will learn to hate for their actions. This story is something everyone should read so history never ever repeats itself. Within the pages of war, the reader’s journey will be brightened with a story of love between Pino Lella and Anna. An amazing story, I’ll probably read again and again. Timothy Glass, Author of In a Split Second, Postcards and Just This Side of Heaven
4840318 More than 1 year ago
I am going to officially put this one on the DNF list. I have tried on 3 separate occasions to read this book and for whatever reason, I can't get into it. Which is quite odd because I typically love WWII Historical Fiction. Reading through the other reviews, I am clearly in the minority here. But I just can't seem to connect to the story and get invested, so it is time for me to move on. Just because this book didn't work for me doesn't mean you shouldn't give it a chance! There are tons of 4 & 5 star reviews out there and you just may love it.
GratefulGrandma More than 1 year ago
I have read many books about WWII, but this is the first one I have read about the plight of the Italian people. It was the forgotten front, but the people who lived it and fought it, will never forget it. When I met a soldier at the Canadian War Museum who fought in the Italian Campaign, I spent a lot of time with him. He said very few people were interested in the events he was involved in. I hope this book opens people's eyes to that. Seventeen year old Pino Lella and his family live in Milan. Pino's mother and brother leave Milan when the bomboing begins, but he remains with his father. When an Allied bomb hits their home and demolishes it, his father sends him north to Casa Alpina. This is a school where Pino spent much time in his youth and where his brother is living at the time. When he arrives, he assists Father Re in his dangerous missions of transporting Jews to safety in neutral Switzerland. Near Pino’s eighteenth birthday, his father sends an urgent message to return home. He is in danger of being drafted and sent to the Russian front. His father, mother and uncle want him to enlist in the German Army to avoid being drafted. Pino becomes the chauffeur/translator for General Leyers, Hitler’s left-hand-man in Italy. Using this position, he is able to give information to the resistance about the German plans. This story is based upon a real person and their experiences. Of course research is not always able to find everything, so the author had to add some narration and conversations that might have happened. Pino was a teenager, his emotions and actions were always in line with his age. This is a wonderful book to add to the WWII genre. It is a great read for adults as well as Young Adults, being as the main character is a teenager when the story opens. This is an easy-reading, fast-paced book about how war brings out the worst and the best in people. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago