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Publisher's Summary

Italy, 1937. In a tiny village in rural Lombardy, Graziella Ponti is born into a loving family. Though they are not rich and life is full of challenges, Graziella and her family are content and safe, surrounded by the tightly knit community of Pieve Santa Clara.

But when the shadow of World War Two falls across the village with the arrival of Nazi soldiers, nothing in young Graziella’s life will ever be the same again....

Paradiso is Graziella’s story. It charts her loves, losses and triumphs as she grows up in post-war Italy, a country in transformation, freed from the shackles of dictatorship yet still gripped by the restraints of the Catholic church.

Paradiso is inspired by true stories told to Francesca Scanacapra by her Italian family and set in locations where she spent much of her childhood. It is a deeply affecting novel that sheds light on the complexity and trauma of Italy’s past and weaves it into the epic tale of an ordinary woman compelled to live in extraordinary times.

An absolutely gripping and heartbreaking historical story in a series that explores the incredible courage of ordinary people in extraordinary times. Perfect for fans of Rhys Bowen, Dinah Jeffries, Angela Petch, The Nightingale and anyone longing to lose themselves in the spectacular surrounds of rural Italy.

©2021 Francesca Scanacapra (P)2022 W F Howes

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  • Michael Wild
  • 06-01-22

A pseudo biograpical novel set in Italy.

Set toward the end of WWII and in the 1950's when Italy was going through major changes, it reminded me of Cider with Rosie. I think the audio book spoiled it for me. The readers voice (rasping English, with a bit of a cold) was inappropriate. A warmer voice, preferably with a bit of an Italian accent would have made a huge difference.

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  • Christineb
  • 06-18-22


Started ok but storyline went nowhere Characters dull Didn't engage whatsoever Won't be buying book 2 Ending was abrupt