Book Review: Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan

Good Morning! Happy Friday!

Now that I am co-hosting an online book club with Danielle of the Love Danielle Blog, I decided to start doing book reviews of the books we read each month. Today is book club day (we open up our discussion for comments on the book) and I am sharing my full review of Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan instead of doing my traditional Friday Five post.

This book has excellent reviews and has been a #1 Amazon bestseller. It is being adapted as a movie that will star Tom Holland as the stories hero, Pino Lella, an Italian teenager who unexpectantly becomes a part of the resistance against the Axis powers and a spy in the German military.

I was so excited to read this book because I LOVE WW2 history. It is by far my favorite period to learn about and read about. However, I know the least about the Italian theater of the war so this book was very educational for me on that front.

Overall, I loved the book. It was a little slow to start but once it hooked me I couldn't put it down. There were three distinct sections in the book- the beginning where Pino was not involved in the war, his time in the Mountains accompanying Jews over to Spain on Ski's (which I enjoyed reading about because I am an avid skier) and his time as a Nazi soldier and spy for the Allies.

All three parts of the story take place while Pino is 17-18 years old... he was still a child and yet he risked his life over and over to help the war effort and fight the Nazi's in every way he could. We also learn in the book about Pino after the war and how he lived his life during peace. He is still alive to this day and lives in Italy. There are several colorful characters in the book that either incited my adoration or my anger.

I don't want to give away too much but I will say that there is much more to this book than just war and heroism. There is currents of strong friendship, the love of family, the strength of faith in hard times and a dash of romance, humor, and tragedy. Overall, I fell in love with the idea of an Italian teenager who ended up in the middle of a war and instead of choosing to keep his head down and just get by, he jumped into the effort with both Ski's and did his part of the war effort. He is an inspiring figure and I am so glad that his heroic story was not lost to history. I wish I could thank Mark Sullivan personally for sharing the story of Pino Lella and making sure he gets the recognition he deserves for his heroism during one of the darkest times in our history.

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5 out of 5 stars!

If you are interested in our online book club, here is some more info:

  • There will be a book chosen at the beginning of each month
  • We have no specific genre. We are just picking books we think are interesting and are always open to suggestions or ideas. 
  • We will have a private discussion board for members of the Book Club to discuss, compare opinions and get to know each other. This will be hosted on GoodReads and the link to our group is here: A Novel Idea Online Book Club 
  • Toward the end of each month, we will have a "book club day" to discuss the book and our thoughts on it. 
  • We will also be having some guest bloggers to choose the book of the month and moderate the discussions to shake things up

If you are interested in joining the Book Club (everyone is welcome!), please follow this link to sign up for the email list:

Have a great weekend everyone!

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