Beneath a Scarlet Sky, a Summary
In the beginning, Pino Lella is just your average Italian teenager who enjoys spending time with his friends, movies, music and wooing beautiful women. Then Milan is bombed by the Allies, and World War II changes everything. Pino leaves Milan and joins a group that helps guide Jews over the Alps to safety in Switzerland. As he nears his 18th birthday, his parents force him to join the German Army to prevent him from being sent to the Russian front with the Italian forces. Pino reluctantly joins the German army but not as a Nazi, he is acting as a spy, passing very important information on to the Allies. This is a secret that he must keep. Pino becomes responsible for driving a German general named Hans Leyers all over Italy. This job gave Pino the opportunity to gather intel that will help the Allies win the war. During his journey, he sees many horrific events. Jews are being worked to death, cattle cars are filled with people and young children who are being sent to concentration camps, bombs are going off and innocent people are being shot in the streets. The only thing that keeps Pino going is the woman he loves, his precious Anna. Pino Lella was a forgotten hero of WWII but his story is meant to be told and finally it is.
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Beneath A Scarlet Sky, written by Mark Sullivan is a novel that is historical fiction. It is based on the true life of Pino Lella.
When it comes to historical fiction, sometimes the writing style can tend to be a bit heavy to read. This was not the case with Beneath A Scarlet Sky. While the book was descriptive enough to help you emotionally connect to the characters, it wasn't so descriptive that you grow bored.
Pino Lella's story was nicely paced. Though the book is rather long at 513 pages, I never felt that it was too long. Every chapter and every line was needed and told the story beautifully. You feel as though you are right along with Pino as he goes through different stages of life.
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The theme of this book is strength and bravery. It is made clear time and time again. First when Pino helps the Jews over the Alps to Switzerland, then again when he becomes a driver for a very important Nazi so that he can be a spy for the allies. Pino is constantly tested throughout this book and never backs down.
Beneath a Scarlet Sky is not a book that I would have expected to like. I'm usually more drawn to thrillers and mysteries. Once I started reading, I was very surprised and how fast I was hooked. Even if you are not a big history buff, you will still enjoy this book and be able to understand all of what is going on. This is an informative piece that both entertains you and teaches you about the past. I highly recommend that everyone reads this book. I believe that kids in middle school could even learn a lot from it.
© 2018 Sarah Spradlin