The Orphan of Pitigliano

2020 FAPA President’s Book Awards Winner – General Fiction (Bronze)

As the Nazis menace Italy just before the outbreak of WW II, Giuliana, her two cousins, and their families flee toward the safety of Pitigliano, a 13th-century Tuscan hill town, seeking to hide their Jewish identity. En route, Giuliana experiences great tragedy through the betrayal of her cousin, Simon. Later, the jealousy of his sister, Rebekah, threatens a love Giuliana finds in the most surprising of places—an Etruscan tomb. Through war, superstition, revenge and retribution, and a kind of magic that still lives in the hills—and tombs— of Tuscany, Giuliana’s quest to discover the woman she was meant to be is repeatedly threatened.

Now, thirty years after the war, Giuliana lies in a bed in Boston in a sleep-like trance, felled by the jealous reach of il malocchio—the evil eye. While seeking a child she lost long ago—another orphan of Pitigliano—she is rediscovered by the cousins who are still not to be trusted. In this sweeping tale of Italy and war, we learn the secrets of three generations who each think of themselves as “orphans.”

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