Two strangers save a child in Rome during WWII-a split-second decision that will have powerful reverberations for decades to come.
In 1943, one young woman, Chiara Ravello, is about to flee occupied Rome for the safety of her grandparents’ house in the hills. Another has been herded onto a truck with her husband and their children, and will shortly be driven off into the darkness.
In that brief moment, before she has time to think about what she is doing, Chiara makes a decision that changes her life forever. Consumed already by thoughts of the hazardous journey that looms ahead and the sister who needs her constant care, Chiara now finds herself responsible, suddenly, for a child-a child with no papers who refuses to speak.
Three decades later, Chiara lives alone in Rome, an elegant, self-contained, self-possessed woman to all appearances quite content with a life that revolves around work, friends, music, and the theater. But always in the background is the shadow of Daniele, the boy from the truck, whose absence and the havoc he wreaked on her world haunt her every moment. For so long she succeeds in suppressing the painful memories and keeping her heartache at bay, but when she receives a call from a teenage girl with a surprising link to Daniele, Chiara knows that it is time for her to face up to her past.
Suspenseful, inspiring, and gorgeously told, this is an epic novel of love, loss, and war’s ripple effects through the years.