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- KurzbeschreibungThe New York Times bestselling author of The Russian Concubine returns with a stunning new novel set in Mussolini's Italy.<br>Isabella Berotti is an architect, helping to create showpieces that will reflect the glory of her country's Fascist leaders. She is not a deeply political sort, but designing these buildings of grandiose beauty helps her forget about the pain she's felt since her husband was murdered years ago. One of her greatest accomplishments is the clock tower in the town of Bellina, outside Rome.<br>But as she is admiring it one day, a woman approaches her, asking her to watch her ten-year-old daughter. Minutes later, to Isabella's horror, the woman leaps to her death from that very clock tower.<br>There are photos of the woman right after the suicide, taken by Roberto Falco. A propaganda photographer for Il Duce , he is expected to show his nation in the most flattering light. But what Roberto and Isabella have seen reflects a more brutal reality, and in a place where everyone is watching and friends turn on friends to save themselves, their decision to take a closer look may be a dangerous mistake.
- AutorKate Furnivall
- SerieBerkley Books
- VerlagPenguin LCC US
- Seiten432 Seiten
- Gewicht454 g
- Leseprobe<br>ACKNOWLEDGMENTS<br>Chapter One<br>MILAN 1922<br>I didn't know I was going to die that warm October day in Milan. If I'd known, I'd have done things differently. Of course I would. If I'd known, I wouldn't have died.<br>But I was nineteen years old and believed I was immortal. I had no idea that life, which seemed so snug and warm in my grasp, could be snatched away at any moment, though I did nothing more than turn my head for a split second to inspect a market stall.<br>A gunshot rang out. The sound of it ricocheted off the ancient pink stone of the market square, making my ears ring and shoppers scatter in panic across the cobbles. It was market day and I had come to idle away an hour among the stalls, passing the time of day with neighbors and exchanging news with friends. Believing that an hour of life was something I could fritter away without thought.<br>I picked and prodded at the colorful piles of fruit and vegetables on offer, handling the warm leathery pomegranates as I chose the ripest one and inhaled the musty scent of the skin of deep purple aubergines. All around me stalls overflowed with the vibrant yellows and greens and rich scarlets that are the colors of life.<br>How could I know I was about to lose mine?<br>If it had happened in some stinking back alleyway in a rough district of Milan, I'd have understood. I wouldn't have liked it, but I'd have understood. Or on one of Mussolini's fast new autostrade where cars race each other, as if desperate to leap into the arms of death. There it would make sense. But not here. Not on the lazy warm cobblestones of my home district. Not with my belly swollen with child and a piece of pecorino cheese salty in my mouth.<br>"Take a bite, Isabella," Arturo Cribori called out from behind his cheese stall, waggling his black eyebrows at me suggestively.<br>He sliced off a tiny triangle of pecorino for me to taste. I smiled at him and laughed.<br>Thinking back on it now, I listen to that carefree laugh and it makes me want to cry. It was the last laugh of the person I was back then. The laugh of a girl who believed she had everything she needed to make her happy for the rest of her life-a handsome husband, a baby growing inside her, a three-room city apartment with a set of silver spoons in pride of place on the sideboard, a future that stretched ahead of her on rails as shiny as Italy's new train tracks. It was the laugh of a person who still believed in goodness. I remember that girl dimly. I touch her lustrous raven's-wing hair and my chest aches for her
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