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Publisher's Summary

A harrowing historical novel of the extraordinary acts of ordinary people in Nazi-occupied Italy.

Italy, 1943. Luca Benedetto has joined the partisans in their fight against the German troops ravaging the shores of his town on Lake Como. While risking his life to free his country, Luca is also struggling to protect Sarah, his Jewish lover who’s hiding in a mountain cabin. As the violent Nazi occupation intensifies, Luca and Sarah fear for more than their own lives.

In the heart of their village, their mothers have also found themselves vulnerable to the encroaching Nazis. But Luca’s mother, undeterred, is devising her own revenge on the occupiers. With Mussolini deposed and Allied armies fighting their way up the peninsula, the fate of Italy hangs in the balance, and the people of Lake Como must decide how much they’re prepared to sacrifice for family, friends, and the country they love.

The most trying of times will create the most unexpected heroes and incredible acts of courage in this stirring narrative as seen through the eyes of those devastated by war-torn Italy.

©2019 Roland Merullo (P)2019 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

What listeners say about Once Night Falls

Average Customer Ratings
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    5 out of 5 stars
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Joe the Sicilian

Fabulous book and narration. Fast moving and captivating depiction of wartime Italy. I remember neighbors in Brooklyn despairing over the war in Italy and the tragedy Mussolini brought to their homeland. Worse their sons were sent to fight in Italy which was hard on the immigrants who were now citizens but had family in their homeland. A fabulous listen - well done.

10 people found this helpful

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Bravo 👏

Once Night Falls is an emotional look into WW2, the struggles that the Italian people endured, Mussolini and, of course, Hitler and his brain-washed soldiers.
Mr. DeLoreto gives a perfect performance which enhances the story.
Perfection.

6 people found this helpful

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Historical Gem

Loved the detailed and vivid lines of the story and the narrator’s voice with Italian and German accents. Great book.

6 people found this helpful

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Loved it!

Couldn't turn it off.
There are a cast of characters all intertwined Each chapter left you wanting to know "what next?" But the next chapter would be regarding the exploits of a different character. The suspense was wonderful.
Extremely enjoyable.

4 people found this helpful

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Most Excellent

I've not read much about Italy during World War II, or their resistance. Poignant, as are all WWII stories, and very well read.

4 people found this helpful

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I’m hard to please but I loved this book

Just the right amount of history matched with believable characters. Loved this book .... out of the 30 books I’ve listened to in the past year this is in my top 3!

3 people found this helpful

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Glad I stayed the course. I hated the narrator

Yes. I hated the narrator for first ten minutes. Then I got so engrossed in story I didn’t mind him. Then the next day I continued the audio book and loved the narrator. It could not have been told by a woman especially a weak voiced woman and been just as effective It was a dark book. Historical fiction which I learned so much from. Really didn’t know the extent of Mussolini,s part inWW2. narrator emulated the sadistic nazis voice as cold and guttural and sadistic. Story left partially open for listeners own interpretation. Will read more from this author

3 people found this helpful

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Best explanation of Italians’ plight in WWII

As an Italian American I never heard the story of the war from my parents. I suppose they were ashamed of the path chosen by Italy’s leaders back then. After touring Italy many times, learning the language, and studying the geography and the history, this novel has helped me to organize the information and understand more deeply than ever what the Italian citizens endured. Others have mentioned the huge cast of characters as being confusing, but how else could the author otherwise have portrayed this complicated situation? I took notes on each character as they were introduced and thoroughly enjoyed the story. Someday I will visit Mezzegra. I have enjoyed five other books by this author, but, for me, this is his best! I also appreciated the reader’s excellent diction!

1 person found this helpful

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Read this before you run your mouth

The US still teaches it's children that Italy "switched sides" at the end of Mussolini's reign. I know this, because I had a wannabe NeoNazi confront me about it during that chapter my sophomore year of high school. If you don't think we are repeating the mistakes of history, then you NEED this book

1 person found this helpful

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Not my favorite......

I have loved Merullo's Buddha series... to the extent that I have them in audio and print versions.... but this one falls short for me. I've read a lot about WW2 in Europe but this one did not hold my interest at all. I found the characters hard to follow and just wasn't interested in them. I was most interested in the female characters but they were not as fleshed out. I would have returned the book but I have used my returns for a while. Merullo's love of Italy is clearly evident but its just something that doesn't appeal to me. The narrator's voice felt angry throughout and didn't add to the story. Just couldn't finish it.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Platypus61
  • 06-02-21

Poignant.

I’m not sure exactly why this didn’t hold my full interest. I think it may be because the chapters were very short and I was keen to know what happened to the character at that point rather than having to wait for another chapter to begin. It didn’t seem to flow for me although the story was or course poignant

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  • Christineb
  • 01-11-20

Disappointed

I began listening to this with high hopes the premise was good Italy position in ww2 was very fragile Characters where there but it just didn't happen no storyline or anticipation maybe I was hoping for a story similar to Beneath a Scarlett Sky but I was disappointed