New York, 1979. It is Thanksgiving and Evelina has her family and beloved friends gathered together. Her heart, while full of gratitude for all that she has, is weighted with regret for what she has given up. She may have lived in America for over thirty years, but she is still Italian deep in her soul.
Northern Italy, 1934. A young Evelina leads a sheltered life with her parents and siblings in a villa of fading grandeur, majestic but weary. Her elder sister Benedetta is to marry a banker, to suit her father’s wishes rather than her own. Evelina swears to herself that she will never marry out of duty. She knows nothing of romantic love, but when she meets Ezra, son of the local dressmaker, her heart recognises it like an old friend. It is a delicious secret that she will keep to herself; she doesn’t need to be told that she is too young or that Ezra is not suitable.
Evelina wants these carefree days to last forever. She yearns to bask in sunshine, beauty and love and pay no heed to the grey clouds gathering on the horizon, edging their way towards those closest to her. But nothing lasts forever. The shadows of war are darkening over Europe and precious lives are under threat…
Dark secrets and hidden sorrows abound in Santa Montefiore’s spellbinding new novel. Can the shadows of the past be laid to rest and will Evelina, robbed of her one true love in wartorn Italy, ever find happiness again, far away from home?