An urgent knock on the wooden farmhouse door breaks the midnight silence. Heart racing, she tip-toes down the stairs, draws back the bolts and gazes into the eyes of a stranger. “Please, signorina. I must find a way to send my message. The war depends upon it.”
Italy, 1943. On her nonna’s tomato farm in the hills outside Naples, sheltering a soldier with an English accent is the most dangerous thing Carmela del Bosco could do. But with one look at his wounds, Carmela is filled with hatred for those who would tear apart her beautiful home and decides to risk everything, hiding the stranger in an abandoned watchtower outside the village.
In his pain and fever, he murmurs in English, but insists his name is Sebastiano and that he has a message to send that will end the war. Carmela tends to his injuries and smuggles fresh pasta from her grandmother to the watchtower whenever she can. But just as his strength returns – and passion grows between them – they are seen and betrayed by a member of Carmela’s own family.
With their lives on the line, the pair flee down the mountains into the city of Naples, where German soldiers patrol every street. Desperate, Sebastiano begs Carmela to send the message for him. But as soon as she hears it, her blood runs cold… Can she find the courage to do what’s right for her country, if it threatens the lives of everyone she loves? Will she ever see her beloved nonna again? And can she trust Sebastiano with her heart – or will he lead her into terrible danger?
An absolutely stunning and heartbreaking historical novel about the choices people are forced to make in wartime, and how one act of incredible bravery can change everything. Fans of The Nightingale, All the Light We Cannot See and Rhys Bowen will be captivated.