The War Ends at Four explores the quest of a perpetual outsider looking for a true home while coming to terms with the Italy she left behind and the America she found. Renata, an Italian acupuncturist in Minneapolis, falls madly in love with a charismatic actor. Once married, she discovers his passion is not focused on her alone. With her marriage and her small acupuncture clinic in crisis, she is called to her father’s deathbed in Milan. There Renata again faces the slights she suffered in childhood as the daughter of an immigrant from Naples. Gripped by grief and anxiety over her future, she discovers that her father, a survivor of WWII, believed until the end in risk-taking as a life-affirming necessity. With newfound courage, Renata stumbles into the lure of an old love and the magic of a new one.
Rosanna Staffa is an Italian-born author. Her work can be found in Best Short Fictions 2021, The Sun, Tampa Review, Gargoyle, and other literary magazines. She is the winner of 2020 TSR Nonfiction Prize, a Pushcart nominee, and a McKnight Recipient. She is a member of The Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. The War Ends at Four is her debut novel.