Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark T. Sullivan

Beneath a Scarlet Sky

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 ...

Details Beneath a Scarlet Sky

TitleBeneath a Scarlet Sky
Release DateMay 1st, 2017
PublisherLake Union Publishing
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, War, World War II

Reviews Beneath a Scarlet Sky

  • Philip
    2ish stars.Based on the experiences of Pino Lella, an unsung WWII hero, the events at the heart of this book are incredible and inspiring. Sullivan, though obviously well-meaning, presents them here in what is more or less a bloated, commercialized, color-by-number hagiography.Somehow present at just about as many significant events during WWII as one can be, Pino deftly overcomes every obstacle in his path. While - again - incredible and inspiri...
  • Emily May
    2 1/2 stars. This was nowhere near as engaging as I would expect from a book that has a 4.4 average rating over 48,000+ readers.The strength of Beneath a Scarlet Sky comes from it's exploration of the Italian experience under Mussolini during the Second World War. I know almost nothing about what happened here, despite having read A LOT of books and memoirs set during this time. I've read countless tales about the Germans, Polish, the British and...
  • Pouting Always
    I know I've been gone, but I'm back now so don't worry I'll be clogging your feeds with my garbage reviews again now. I already started reading my next book.A semi biographical story about an Italian teenager Pino Lella who is sent to a convent after Allied forces airstrike destroys his home in Milan. At the convent he helps the priest smuggle out Jews to Switzerland who have come there for help. He meets and falls in love with Anna, an older wid...
  • Katie
    One feature of every hugely engaging novel is that it’s palpable throughout that the author has invested a great deal of heart and imagination into the narrative. This is far from always the case. There’s sometimes a sense an author is fulfilling a contractual obligation or is never quite inspired by his/her characters or story. This is one of those novels where it’s obvious the author has thrown himself heart and soul into his material and...
  • Liz
    This is a fascinating book about WWII in Italy. I’ve read so much about Northern Europe during the war, but this is the first book about what took place in Italy. It follows the story of a real life teenager, beginning in 1943 when he guides Jews over the mountain pass to Switzerland and through the events that have him end up as a spy for the Allies. The story is well told and engaging. The characters seem real. Too often, historical character...
  • jessica
    what a comfort it is to know that, even in the most desperate and tragically unfathomable of circumstances, courage and love are possible and can be found. but what i enjoyed most about this story is how it educated me on the impact of WWII in italy. italy is rarely the focus for novels on the subject - even though the jewish community of italy was greatly affected, it is hardly ever talked about due to the massive destruction of documents and re...
  • LeAnne: GeezerMom
    My 14 year old is a military history buff, and I'm pretty sure he will enjoy this simple work of historical fiction set in WWII Italy. Me? Not so much. GOOD STUFF: I learned that groups of Italians - loosely organized by priests and archbishops of the Catholic church - were active in smuggling Jewish refugees over the Alps and into Switzerland to keep them out of the Nazi reach. Getting a feel for the timeline of the German presence in Italy and ...
  • Dorie - Cats&Books :)
    This is a 3 1/2 rounded up to a 4 because the story is about a real person and there is some good history here and obvious meticulous research. I thought the writing was good and it flowed well but more editing would definitely have helped. There was too much detailed information about every single trip that Pino drove for the General. There also seemed to be a lot of "close calls" in situations that Pino found himself in. I would like to know if...
  • Elisabeth
    The story of Pino Lella is amazing. The writing of Mark Sullivan is dreadful. It reads like it was written by a sixth grader, full of cliches and bad metaphors. I brought this book on vacation and was so excited to read it based on the description on the back cover. What a disappointment.
  • Terri Lynn
    This was beautifully written. The events really happened but the author had to add conversations that the subject obviously could not remember decades later word for word. I liked seeing the Holocaust from the viewpoint of what happened in Italy. Most books include little if anything about the suffering that both Mussolini and Hitler wreaked on Italians, both Jews and non-Jews. An amazing book I highly recommend.
  • Beverly
    Although I read it quickly, Beneath a Scarlet Sky did not live up to the beauty of its cover. This was recommended to me so that's mostly why I finished it. I should not have read my Goodreads friends' reviews because they were very critical. One reason they were, which I think is the most damning is that although it's purported to be the true life story of Pino Lella, a hero of WW 2, there is little supporting evidence for his story and some of ...
  • Esil
    3.5 stars. Beneath a Scarlet Sky gets high marks for telling an interesting story about Italy at the end of WWII. It gets middling marks from me for the delivery. Author Mark T. Sullivan has written a fictionalized account of Pino Selle's Iife during the last year of WWII. Pino was an 18 year old Italian boy compelled to enlist as a German soldier by his family in occupied Milan -- this is how they thought he could stay safe. He ended up working ...
  • Jonathan Isakoff
    This book brought me to tearsThis is far and away one of the best books ever on Kindle First. It's a riveting story of love and righteousness. I won't give away more than that. If you want to know the perspective of an Italian during World War II, this is worth the read.
  • Erin
    3 neutral stars The book synopsis sums up the first 35% of the novel really well. Therefore, I am not going to summarize the plot here. I didn't hate Beneath a Scarlet Sky, but I didn't really love this book either. I did love the cover, the title, and that this was a WWII era book situated in Italy. Most of the books I read are heavy on the France/Poland narrative and I appreciated the different angle. I will say that it was refreshing to have ...
  • BernLuvsBooks (Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas)
    What a life Pino Lella! What a life! That one man can have endured so much, achieved so much and yet also be such an unknown boggles the mind. The book was part biography, part fiction because even with extensive research there were many unanswered questions about this horrendous time in Italy's history. I knew little about Italy's WWII story and found this story to be eye opening. The book took me a long time to read. It was one that I found mys...
  • Elizabeth (Alaska)
    The vocabulary and sentence structure seem geared toward about fifth grade. As the boys moved on, Mimo limped along while rubbing his right hip and complaining. But Pino was barely listening. A tawny-blond woman with slate-blue eyes was coming down the sidewalk right at them. He guessed her to be in her early twenties. She was beautifully put together, with a gentle nose, high cheekbones, and lips that curled naturally into an easy smile. Svelte ...
  • Lisa
    Masterful tale of a young man’s courageous struggle to fight for the greater good during the Nazi occupation of Milan during World War II. SUMMARYAlthough a work of fiction this novel is based on a true story with a real hero. At the heart of the story is a normal seventeen-year-old Italian boy named Pino Lella. He is obsessed with music, finding a girl, and falling in love. But then in 1943, the bombs start dropping on Milan and his family hom...
  • Rose
    A powerful book, that ai highly recommend. I have read many books on this subject but none from the viewpoint of Italy. An excellent read.
  • Ginger
    5 STARS for content and 3 STARS for the writing.Rounding up to 4 STARS on this one!What an impressive history of survival, grief and love!Beneath a Scarlet Sky is based on the true story of Pino Lella who lived in Milan, Italy and was a spy for the Allies. Before he was a spy, he was working underground and helping Jews escape over the Alps. After doing this for a year or two, his parents forced him to enlist as a German soldier.In order to strik...
  • Dianne
    I enjoyed this suspenseful World War II story set in Italy under Nazi occupation. I love WWII fiction and don't believe I have ever read a book from the Italian perspective. The author makes it clear in the preface that this is not a biography or historical novel, but a work of fiction based on the life of Pino Lella. With that firmly in my mind, I didn't really mind Sullivan's embellishments to Lella's story, although it did seem as though Lella...
  • Maine Colonial
    It's mind boggling how bad this book is. The author wants to have it both ways, saying in one place that it's fiction, then saying it "hews closely" to fact and, in the Afterward, writing as if it was all true. You can't have it both ways. Actually, though, either way it has the same problems, in that the writing is juvenile and the story made me laugh out loud numerous times with how absurd it is. I had to start taking notes just to keep track o...
  • MarytheBookLover
    My Opinion:This was a brilliantly written, and brutally honest book of one man's life in WW2. He went from being a child to becoming a man, a spy, a friend, and a lover. This tale is so emotional and heart wrenching that you can't help but fall in love with every minute of this book. WOW, just WOW. I can't even imagine going and doing any of these things. This was so well written and the tale told so well and with such emotion, it left me speechl...
  • Ron
    Lives are lost during wars. We know this. Others are forever changed because of them, as family and friends do not return home, for many the reason is never known. Love can also begin, but then sometimes it's stolen before it has the chance to fully blossom. And there are also the stories of unaccountable bravery. Men and women who give or try, even if only a little, to fight oppression and wrong. Very often, much more than a little was given. An...
  • Stephanie Anze
    Pino Lella was a typical teenager coming of age in Milan when the Nazis started their rampage. Afraid for their safety, Pino and his brother Mimo were sent by their parents to the countryside to Casa Alpina (a school for boys run by Catholic priests). Pino though can not sit idly and soon is involved in the underground resistance helping Jews get to Switzerland. Almost eighteen years old, Pino is signed up with the German army and unexpectadly fi...
  • Marialyce
    3 I so wished I could have loved it stars5 stars for the bravery that Pino and others showedThis should have been a book I adored. It had all the elements of what I so enjoy in my books, heroes, World War 2, courage, nobility in the face of devastation and yet this novel left me feeling oddly displeased.This is the story of a seventeen year old young man living in Italy during the war. He is sent away because his parents fear for his and his both...
  • Kim Kaso
    This was available on Kindle First, and sounded like a fresh take on WW II for me. Both the subject of the novel, a young man who actually lived through these extraordinary times and experiences, and the author had compelling stories, and it caught my interest. I bought it in book form as there are many people with whom I wish to share this, and found myself reading way too late into the night as I needed to know what happened next. I cared deepl...
  • Nikki (Saturday Nite Reader)
    Beneath a Scarlet Sky, by Mark T. Sullivan, was inspired by the real life story of WWII hero, Pino Lella. This book was 10 years in the making for author, Mark T. Sullivan, whom met Pinot by chance and knew he wanted to tell his story. It is a work of fiction, but has been rumored to be about 90% true.First things first, this audiobook is a commitment. It is 17 hours long! About 25% way through I upped the speed to 1.25x and it cut a few hours of...
  • Tania
    What I liked most about this novel is the look at WWII in Italy. I've read a few books that has skimmed over it, but Beneath a Scarlet Sky, gave me a much better sense of time and place. Every country has different stories to tell about it's unique experiences. I liked that this was mostly based on a real life person, as I would have thought that there was too much happening if it was fictionalized, but as we know truth is almost always stranger ...
  • Connie G
    "Beneath a Scarlet Sky" is based on the story of Pino Lella, an Italian hero during World War II. As a seventeen year old, he guided Jews over the Alps into Switzerland, working with Father Luigi Re who ran a school for boys in northern Italy. When Pino reached the draftable age of eighteen during the German occupation, he had to enlist in either the Italian Fascist Army or the German Army. His parents made him join the German Army since it had a...
  • Geza Tatrallyay
    Great read. Based on the true story of Pino Lella, a young Italian who is sent to the Alps by his parents to get him away from war-torn Milan and gets involved in leading Jewish refugees to safety in Switzerland. Later, back in Milan, he is recruited to become the driver for General Leyers, the second-most important Nazi officer in Italy, and then as a spy on his activities. This is a wonderful story of courage, deceit, intrigue and romance, one ...