Review: Conveyer Pino Lella


Book: Beneath A Scarlet Sky

Author: Mark Sullivan

Publisher: Lake Union Publishing, Seattle, 2017

Pages: 515

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Pino Lella was a young man in Italy during the Second World War. Pino Lella was a conveyer in many ways. Firstly he guided, led, supported, even carried and shouldered people. Secondly he was a conveyer of good, bad and decisive news. Thirdly he carried his own story then for years and decades before letting it out, so that others could then convey it on. But what sort of man was he? Was he an obeyer, a naysayer or a manslayer? Was he a hero, a spy or a traitor or possibly all three?

Pino Lella’s story is well worth reading. It is an incredible story passionately told and conveyed by Mark Sullivan. Mark Sullivan has spent a considerable time and effort researching and interviewing people, including Pino Lella, to familiarize himself with the history, locations and destinies important for the book. Writing the book has been an important journey for him personally as well.

The book is structured in three parts. The first part introduces Pino Lella as a real person. Here Mark Sullivan also ties his own story with that of Pino Lella’s. The main section – second and lengthy  – is where we as readers can jump on to the conveyer belt in order to be transported amidst war adventures around northern Italy – both towns and mountains. There are twists and turns, excitement and horror. It is, however, important that all is not forgotten. Pino Lella has indeed conveyed the voice of those, who no longer have one.  Mark Sullivan can also be possibly forgiven, that at times the dramatization crosses the border of believable into the unbelievable. The final third part gives us an idea of what happened to the main characters after the war.

Giuseppe ‘Pino’ Lella was a young man in the story. He yearned for love. There is a story of love here, a love that Pino Lella carried with him – and still does, I hope.

I give Beneath a Scarlet Sky four stars. The story is worth five and it has been  an enjoyable read. It is, however, a question of language here – the feel I get when reading. For five stars, there needs to be a strong feeling of depth, force and command of language. I have to be carried and transported to challenges. Questions have to be evoked. I was, however, transported towards these, so definately more than three!

Stars: 4/5


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