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Sometimes a family’s deepest silences hide the most important secrets. For Mina, a London-based travel writer, the enigmatic silence surrounding her aunt Carmela has become a personal obsession. Carmela disappeared from her Italian hometown long ago and is mentioned only in fragments and whispers. Mina has resisted prying, respectful of her family’s Sardinian reserve. But now, with her mother battling cancer, it’s time to learn the truth.
In 1952, Simius is a busy Sardinian town surrounded by fertile farms and orchards. Carmela Chirigoni, a farmer’s daughter and talented seamstress, is engaged to Franco, son of the area’s wealthiest family. Everyone agrees it’s a good match. But Carmela’s growing doubts about Franco’s possessiveness are magnified when she meets Captain Joe Kavanagh. Joe, an American officer stationed at a local army base, is charismatic, intelligent, and married. Hired as his interpreter, Carmela resolves to ignore her feelings, knowing that any future together must bring upheaval and heartache to both families.
As Mina follows the threads of Carmela’s life to uncover her fate, she will discover a past still deeply alive in the present, revealing a story of hope, sacrifice, and extraordinary love.
“Readers will become immersed in Mina’s journey into the past…Alexander’s novel will leave readers riveted until the explosive conclusion.”
“A loving and breathtaking picture of the Mediterranean island…For readers who enjoy women’s fiction set against a background of momentous events and clashing cultures.”
“This enchanting novel is a delightful read, perfectly suited for a warm beach with a cold beverage.”
“A beautifully told story about one woman’s determination to exorcise the sorrows of her family’s past. It brought tears to my eyes more than once—always a good sign.”
Holly Chamberlin, author of Home for the Summer
“Carmela’s courage and heartbreaking choices…will leave you…enchanted and racing through the novel to learn her extraordinary fate.”
Rosanna Chiofalo, author of Rosalia’s Bittersweet Pastry Shop