Florence, 1943. A missing painting. A war-scarred city. A brave young girl on a black bicycle risking her life for the country she loved…
As the bells toll and arrogant soldiers torment her family, fourteen-year-old Gabriella is determined to act. She seeks out her old friend Stefanina, an unlikely member of the Italian resistance with her dark curls and scarlet ribbon. Soon the two girls are criss-crossing the river with deadly information in their bicycle baskets. But then one terrible day Stefanina disappears…
London 2019.Sofia is mourning the loss of her father, a famous painter. Desperate to feel closer to him, she begins to go through his paintings of wartime Florence, a time in his life he would never talk about. But then she realises one is missing…
Determined to learn more, she discovers that he had a sister she never knew about. She flies to Florence, the place of his tortured memories, to meet her aunt Gabriella, an elegant old woman living in a palazzo filled with roses. There in a little bedroom, locked away from the world, she finds the missing painting, a tiny picture of a beautiful girl with a scarlet ribbon.
As Sofia uncovers the story behind the hidden painting, a tale of extraordinary bravery and terrible betrayal emerges. But will understanding her family’s haunted past bring her peace, or further heartbreak?
Thank you, Suzanne Goldring and Bookouture
About the author
Following an eventful career as a public relations consultant, specialising in business and travel, Suzanne Goldring turned to writing the kind of novels she likes to read, about the extraordinary lives of ordinary people. Her debut novel MY NAME IS EVA draws on her experience of volunteering in a care home and was partially inspired by a cache of wartime love letters which were saved from the flames. Her second novel, BURNING ISLAND, is set in Corfu, a place of fun and beauty but also tremendous tragedy.
Suzanne writes in her thatched cottage in Hampshire and a seaside cottage in Cornwall.