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Beneath a Scarlet Sky Audiobook

Beneath a Scarlet Sky: A Novel

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Publisher's Summary

Based on the true story of a forgotten hero, 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.

©2017 Mark Sullivan (P)2017 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.7 (4479 )
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4.7 (4081 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jeannie 06-01-17
    Jeannie 06-01-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wow! This is a 10 star story!!!"

    This is one of the best books I've read or listened to, ever!!! I'm so thankful that such a gifted, talented writer took the time over 10 years to listen to and research this man's recounting of his life in Milan during World War II. Please take the time to read or listen to this book, in order to appreciate the heroism and sacrifice of this young man during the war. It makes me very sad, to think that without the persistence of this author, Pino could have died and his story never told! You'll never forget this book. Also, the narrator was the best!!!

    25 of 28 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julie Patterson 06-01-17 Member Since 2015
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    "Heartbreaking but amazing story"
    What did you love best about Beneath a Scarlet Sky?

    The author brought history and emotion together in a way that had me captivated from the first moment.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    All of them, he did a great job developing all the characters into people I cared about. Regardless of how big or small their part was in the story.


    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kristin Sanders 05-31-17 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Amazing read"

    Truly remarkable. One of the best told WWII novels I've read/listened to. I felt like I could feel Pino's feelings throughout the entire story.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bill Seeley 05-17-17
    Bill Seeley 05-17-17 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
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    "Really Good Book"
    What did you love best about Beneath a Scarlet Sky?

    The story is amazing


    Any additional comments?

    Starts out real slow, I almost did not listen to the entire book. So glad that I did listen to the whole book, it is a really good story.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bryan kingwood, TX, United States 05-10-17
    Bryan kingwood, TX, United States 05-10-17 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "History as good as fiction"
    Any additional comments?

    I'm a daily listener to audiobooks while I commute. This book was SO good at captivating me and making mental images that it was almost too distracting to my driving!So in short, I dont write many reviews, but I LOVED this book...the story was great, the narrator was top-flight with excellent charachter portrayals, and the slice of life & time during WWII in N Italy satisfied the history buff in me. It really was as good or better than alot of fiction, but it was all true!

    42 of 45 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles Atkinson Greensboro, NC, United States 08-07-17
    Charles Atkinson Greensboro, NC, United States 08-07-17 Member Since 2015

    Dept Q, Harry Hole... where are you?

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "The Best Thing? It Really Happened!"

    Rarely in life do we learn of unknown men and women who lived extraordinary lives far bigger than any Hollywood creation. Pino Lella is such a man. This story is based on actual, documented events in WW2 a 17 -18 year old Pino experienced.

    We are introduced to Pino in the last two years of WW2. As the author points out, little is written in fiction or non-fiction about the virtual German occupation of Italy. Politically the two countries were considered allies, but in reality it was the German Army controlling Itialian forces as well as political policies. Mussolini was under house arrest by 1944-45, guarded by Germans. The country may have looked Fascist to the world, but its peoples were deeply divided politically between Fascist, Nazi, Communist and Democratic Populists.

    Pino was and remains an upbeat, confident and humble man. Like most people who lived and fought in WW2, he reluctantly shared his story after over 50 years silence. In the two years he was active, he led jewish families to Sweden, joined the Nazi army as a spy, and was the driver for the highest ranking General in Italy. He served as the General's interpreter to Mussolini, and actually met him on numerous occasions. Keep in mind Pino was 18 when war ended.

    The story is as complicated as Italy's politics were at the time. In under two years, Lella falls in love, becomes a hero by risking his life to save several Jewish families, joins the German Army to be a spy, is forsaken as a traitor to his friends and family and suffers tremendous loss through it all.

    The writing and narration is eloquent and seemless. This is one of the best books Audible has to offer.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alice Pittsburgh, Pa. 07-03-17
    Alice Pittsburgh, Pa. 07-03-17 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Story to Stay in Your Heart"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    If someone would love a great story, almost beyond belief, and a true life hero who emerged when the times demanded a hero, then I would say - read this book!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Beneath a Scarlet Sky?

    There were many moment, some heartbreaking (as a WWII era story, one would expect it) but also hope in the midst of overwhelming odds.


    Have you listened to any of Will Damron’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Excellent performer. As any regular to Audible knows, the greatest works are those whose performers make the stories come alive - they go beyond just saying the words and they create characters and action through their talents. They become artists of the spoken word. Mr. Damron's presentation is dynamic, his vocal tone is resonant so very pleasing to listen to for a length of a book, and his acting skills are clearly key to a successful story. He was spot on for this demanding, enriching story.


    Who was the most memorable character of Beneath a Scarlet Sky and why?

    The main character - the hero of course. But much of the book is very memorable due to characters involved.


    Any additional comments?

    True stories of people who go beyond what they might do and become heroes when heroes are needed is just what we need right now! This is not a light story - no story of war would be or should be - but it is alive. Very important history.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda 06-18-17
    Linda 06-18-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great idea, some weak spots, OK overall"
    What made the experience of listening to Beneath a Scarlet Sky the most enjoyable?

    This was an amazing story. The book lapsed into trite sentimentality several times with invented conversations in an attempt to flesh out the facts of the story and make it more believable. NOT NECESSARY! This book went in wild swings from amazing with the actual true story to deep lows when the author tried to invent conversations and add personal romance and drama. Again, NOT NECESSARY and those invented moments became a bit of "you have to be kidding me" moments in an otherwise outstanding true story. The true facts were amazing.....the invented fictional parts were completely weak.


    Have you listened to any of Will Damron’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Wonderful narrator. Would be delighted to listen to other books by him.


    11 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gwendolyn Fairchild 05-30-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Riveting unknown story"

    I continue to be fascinated and devastated by WWII stories. this is one of the best. I now want to visit the scenes in Milan.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sheila-La 05-03-17
    Sheila-La 05-03-17 Member Since 2016

    PurpleNation

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Just wow. Thank you Mark Sullivan...."

    I rarely review, but this was such a different, human perspective of WW2 in Italy and showed so clearly, how murky options and people can be in real life. I will bear witness to Pino's story, and remember he and Anna always..great narration too.

    13 of 16 people found this review helpful
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  • Mrs T T
    UK
    9/17/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "amazing and gripping"

    I wasn't sure about reading a war story but this is very different, must read

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Vivien Green
    9/9/17
    Overall
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    Story
    "outstanding best read ever"

    I did not want this to end. So enjoyed every minute. narrated wonderfully. one of the best.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • B Gillingham
    9/3/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "oñe not to. be missed"

    thoroughly enjoyed had difficulty putting it down wished it could have gone on longer

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • n a howlett
    7/22/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Powerful and moving"

    What a story, what a man. A very touching thriller of a story that high lights events and history is a page turner. Well narrated too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. S. Ross
    7/18/17
    Overall
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    Story
    "A moving story"

    An absorbing story which brought home the brutality of the second world war, along with acts of extraordinary heroism and personal courage.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • MISS
    Haywards Heath, United Kingdom
    6/4/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Absolutely amazing"

    I have listened to dozens of books around World War II and the stories it has to tell. This was brilliant. I cannot imagine what these characters went through and the fact that they really did just makes it even better. Definitely worth a read. It was well written lots of description that transported you to where the action took place you really felt like you were there and living it with him.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sophie
    5/31/17
    Overall
    Performance
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    "Heartbreaking but beautiful"

    Wonderfully crafted story of a young Italian man during the Second World War. Not only does it grapple with the hidden atrocities carried out in Italy but it also conquers a powerful boy to man arch. Perfectly poignant.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • adrienne w.
    5/18/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing true story"

    I have loved this boom what an amazing tale of family, bravery and love. Thank you Pino !

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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