Historical fiction enthralls and informs

Two popular authors are branching out from the type of books they made their name writing, and are earning acclaim in the process.

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April 6, 2021 - 7:55 AM

Two popular authors are branching out from the type of books they made their name writing, and are earning acclaim in the process.

Lisa Scottoline is the first of these authors.  She’s known for her crime fiction. Her new novel “Eternal” breaks the mold as her only (so far) historical novel.  She says “I told myself ‘This is what you’ve always wanted. It’s the culmination of your career.’” The genesis of the book goes back decades, to when she took a seminar taught by Philip Roth. There she was introduced to the work of Primo Levi, an Italian Jewish chemist sent to Auschwitz during World War II. She agreed with Roth that the Italian Holocaust was scarcely understood and knew she wanted to help change that, but never did. Until now.  

“Eternal,” set in the years prior to and during World War II, features three young Italians who have grown up as best friends in Italy.  Elisabetta is an aspiring novelist. Marco is the scion of a professional cycling family.  Sandro is a math prodigy and is Jewish. Both Sandro and Marco fall in love with Elisabetta.  The shadow of Nazism and the Holocaust begins to move into their lives as Italy aligns itself ever more closely with Hitler. “Eternal” is currently number four on the fiction best seller list.

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