BOOK REVIEW + Paperback Book GIVE AWAY - In The Shadow of The Apennines by Kimberly Sullivan
In The Shadow of The Apennines
by Kimberly Sullivan
GENRE: Women's fiction, contemporary & historical
Separated by a century, united by common dreams
The sleepy little Abruzzo mountain town of Marsicano seems about as far as Samantha can flee from her failed marriage and disastrous university career. Eager for a fresh start, Samantha begins to set down roots in her Italian mountain hideaway.
At first, the mountain retreat appears idyllic, but an outsider’s clumsy attempts at breaking into the closed mountain community are quickly thwarted when the residents discover Samantha’s snarky blog ridiculing the town and its inhabitants.
Increasingly isolated in her mountain cottage, Samantha discovers the letters and diaries of Elena, a past tenant and a survivor of the 1915 Pescina earthquake. Despite the century that separates the two women, Samantha feels increasingly drawn into Elena’s life, and discovers startling parallels with her own.
Looking back to when I bought this house, I realize that I was bamboozled by the weather. I should have known better. A fool and her money are easily parted.
It was the kind of day real estate agents would trade their eyeteeth for. The air was still crisp, but the sun shone warmly, laden with promise for the long, lovely days beckoning just around the corner. Snow still capped the mountaintops, yet the grass was green and lush.
We approached a front yard, and I could see the wildflowers sprouting around the edges, forming sporadic beds of color against the imposing grey stone of the house.
Lost in my reveries, I forgot all about the agent beside me. She smiled as she switched off the engine. “Here we are. The lovely little cottage I told you about.”
“A drafty little money pit, to be sure,” said Tom from the backseat, a wide smile carefully plastered on his face as he spoke the words.
I started to regret having invited him along. Worried about understanding everything in Italian, and even more terrified about not understanding the local dialect, I’d asked Tom to join me on my house hunting. Now I was ready to strangle him.
To be fair, Tom had been honest from the outset about his lack of enthusiasm for my plans to purchase property in Abruzzo. He made those views abundantly clear on each house tour. Since the agent didn’t understand a word of English, he masked his caustic comments with a ridiculous smile. The routine was becoming old.
With the benefit of hindsight, perhaps I should have heeded Tom’s warnings. Back then, however, I was in no mood to entertain his negative thoughts. I summarily ignored Tom’s comments, instead concentrating my full attention on the little cottage from the passenger window. I unlocked the door and stepped out, breathing in the invigorating mountain air, the earthy smell of soil and grass freed from winter hibernation under thick layers of snow.
The characters are interesting and complex which added a level of depth that I really enjoyed. The book flows nicely and I like the author's writing style. This author has a gift of weaving complex life situations in one moving book about coming of age and facing traumas head on.
I highly recommend this book and look forward to reading more from this author!
Overall Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Kimberly grew up in the suburbs of Boston and in Saratoga Springs, New York, although she now calls the Harlem neighborhood of New York City home when she’s back in the US.
She studied political science and history at Cornell University and earned her MBA, with a concentration in strategy and marketing, from Bocconi University in Milan.
Afflicted with a severe case of Wanderlust, she worked in journalism and government in the US, Czech Republic and Austria, before settling down in Rome, where she works in international development, and writes fiction any chance she gets.
She is a member of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association and The Historical Novel Society and has published several short stories and three novels: Three Coins, Dark Blue Waves, and In The Shadow of The Apennines.
After years spent living in Italy with her Italian husband and sons, she’s fluent in speaking with her hands, and she loves setting her stories in her beautiful, adoptive country.
Kimberly Sullivan will be awarding a paperback copy of her book (US ONLY) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
a Rafflecopter giveaway