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Publisher's Summary

In the newest audiobook from internationally best-selling author Ronald H. Balson, Liam and Catherine come to the aid of an old friend and are drawn into a property dispute in Tuscany that unearths long-buried secrets.

An old friend calls Catherine Lockhart and Liam Taggart to his famous Italian restaurant to enlist their help. His aunt is being evicted from her home in the Tuscan hills by a powerful corporation claiming they own the deeds, even though she can produce her own set of deeds to her land. Catherine and Liam’s only clue is a bound, handwritten manuscript, entirely in German, and hidden in its pages is a story long-forgotten....

Ada Baumgarten was born in Berlin in 1918, at the end of the war. The daughter of an accomplished first-chair violinist in the prestigious Berlin Philharmonic and herself a violin prodigy, Ada’s life was full of the rich culture of Berlin’s interwar society. She formed a deep attachment to her childhood friend Kurt, but they were torn apart by the growing unrest as her Jewish family came under suspicion. As the tides of history turned, it was her extraordinary talent that would carry her through an unraveling society turned to war and make her a target even as it saved her, allowing her to move to Bologna - though Italy was not the haven her family had hoped, and further heartache awaited.

What became of Ada? How is she connected to the conflicting land deeds of a small Italian villa? As they dig through the layers of lies, corruption, and human evil, Catherine and Liam uncover an unfinished story of heart, redemption, and hope - the ending of which is yet to be written.

©2018 Ronald H. Balson (P)2018 Macmillan Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

WWII in Berlin and Italy

Historical fiction is my genre. The human spirit as portrayed in this book is inspiring. The book only touches on the atrocities of the Nazi concentration camps compared to other WWII books. If you are knowledgeable about the evil of the camps then this book says enough for you to imagine what happens to those who perish there. I find the story strikes a great balance between the harshness of the regime and the way the central characters fall in love with their new country. The ending is both beautiful and sad with redemption.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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FANTASTIC!!

I love Ronald Balson's writing. I had pre-ordered this months ago and waited patiently. Then just about the time I forgot about it, a notification came in that it was in my library. And once I started, as always couldn't stop. I love the characters he creates, I love how the story weaves through time from 2017 to the 30's and 40's. I love how I can picture it all in my mind as I listen to the words. Now, I'm sad because it's done and will have to wait for his next one.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Outstanding

Gripping and thought-provoking. Excellent on every level. The book offers a different perspective on the cowardly and mindless brutality of the Nazis and the strength and self-sacrifice of not only many Jewish victims but also non-Jews who saw the Nazis for the despicable cowards they were.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Best book I’ve read in 2018

This amazing story holds your attention throughout. It’s woven to a story from the past that is a taken into Italy and the vineyards of 2017. You will not be able to quit listening

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Disappointing and poorly narrated. Pass!

Disappointing. I am a big fan of this writer, but this book was subpar. Too obvious, too boring, and utterly lacking in emotion and human connection. The narration was poor. It’s hard to have a male narrator play so many major roles that are women and have it feel authentic. The narration became hokey in a lot of ways, which is unfortunate. The narrator was talented but misused in this piece. I don’t recommend this book. If you’re looking for excellent reads try Ronald Balsom’s excellent historical fiction novels, Karolina’s Twins and Once We Were Brothers.

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A different WWII STORY

This was a very well thought out story line. The back and forth thru time made it intriguing. The legal aspect was very interesting. It made me hope that more Jews were able to get their property back.

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Love it!!

This has become one of my favorite books! The story, the characters and the narrator are just amazing!

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Kept me guessing

I love a story that teaches as well as entertains Thanks for writing it...I loved it

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Wonderful story and terrific reader

I loved this story. I became so attached to the characters. I felt like I knew them. The story is intriguingly written so that I never really knew what would come of Ada and her family. Therefore I couldn’t turn it off. If I had to step away from listening to it to work or sleep I was in such a hurry to get back to it. Now I’m sorry that it’s over. I will miss Ada and Gabby.

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Remarkable ensemble cast

Memorable holocaust story incorporating both German and Italian locations with a lovely overlay of classical music.
I couldn't put it down.

That said, I find myself now avoiding books by this narrator.

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  • Marion
  • 01-03-19

Brilliant !

Another brilliant Balson book. I was riveted and couldn't stop listening. The research is so in depth which makes the story so gripping, a combination of WW 2 history and a legal saga. I would definitely recommend this book.

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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Christine
  • 10-25-18

A good audiobook

I enjoyed the narrative but it took me a while to adjust to the female lead being read by a male having said that I enjoyed the narrative and appreciated the accents. The story was quite good Liam and Catherine are a bit bland