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Early One Morning

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Description

'As gripping as any thriller' Daily Mail

A grey dawn in 1943: on a street in Rome, two young women, complete strangers to each other, lock eyes for a single moment.

One of the women, Chiara Ravello, is about to flee the occupied city for the safety of her grandparents' house in the hills. The other has been herded on to a truck with her husband and their young children, and will shortly be driven off into the darkness.

In that endless-seeming moment, before she has time to think about what she is doing, Chiara makes a decision that changes her life for ever. Loudly claiming the woman's son as her own nephew, she demands his immediate return; only as the trucks depart does she begin to realize what she has done. She is twenty-seven, single, with a sister who needs her constant care, a hazardous journey ahead of her, and now a child in her charge - a child with no papers who refuses to speak and gives every indication that he will bolt at the first opportunity.

Three decades later, Chiara lives alone in Rome, a self-contained, self-possessed woman working as a translator and to all appearances quite content with a life which revolves around work, friends, music and the theatre. But always in the background is the shadow of Daniele, the boy from the truck, whose absence haunts her every moment. Gradually we learn of the havoc wrought on Chiara, her family and her friends by the boy she rescued, and how he eventually broke her heart. And when she receives a phone call from a teenage girl named Maria, claiming to be Daniele's daughter, Chiara knows that it is time for her to face up to the past.

This epic novel is an unforgettably powerful, suspenseful, heartbreaking and inspiring tale of love, loss and war's reverberations down the years.

From Publishers Weekly

10 August 2015 – As Nazi soldiers march into Rome in 1943, 26-year-old spinster Chiara Ravello prepares to flee to the countryside with her sister, Cecilia, whose frequent seizures have left her with the mind of a child. As Chiara passes the Jewish Quarter, a young mother wordlessly shoves her seven-year-old son into Chiara's arms. She smuggles the boy, named Daniele, to her grandparents' farm, and later raises him to adulthood. Decades later, in 1973, a Welsh teenager named Maria Kelly discovers that Daniele is her father, and her quest for answers leads her to Chiara, who initially chooses to describe herself merely as Daniele's former landlady. Maria's arrival in Rome stirs up heartbreaking memories for Chiara, who has not seen or spoken to Daniele in 10 years. Eventually, she'll have to tell Maria about the true nature of her relationship with Daniele and contend with three decades' worth of shameful memories. Baily's cast of remarkable, memorable characters each with their own set of demons drives a plot that's filled with unexpected twists and manages to populate the well-trodden literary arenas of World War II, the Italian countryside, and hidden family secrets with a fresh perspective and an unexpected resolution. Baily's novel hums with emotional resonance.
Early One Morning
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  • £4.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Fiction & Literature
  • Published: 23 July 2015
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
  • Print Length: 400 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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