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Updated: Jul 1, 2021

By Lisa Scottoline

A Captivating Story about Family, Love, and Loss



ETERNAL is set in Rome in 1937 with Mussolini’s assertion of power. Before long Mussolini aligns Italy’s Fascists with Hitler’s Nazi party and anti-Semitism takes root.

Three high school teenagers, Elisabetta, Marco, and Sandro are best friends and serve as our witnesses to the events that transpired next. Elisabetta is beautiful, loves cats, and wants to be a journalist. Marco struggles with school, loves bicycling, and works for a high-ranking member of the Fascist party. Sandro comes from a prominent Jewish family, is a brilliant student, and is in love with Elisabetta. But so is Marco. As both vie for Elisabetta’s affection.

The three teenager’s lives are intertwined as they witness horrible atrocities and undying loyalty during Rome’s darkest hour.

“So every day, before every meal, my question is the same. What can I make with what I have?”


ETERNAL is an epic, memorable, and emotionally intense historical fiction novel. The story about family, love, and loss is immediately captivating and compelling; and should be savored like a fine wine.

Author Lisa Scottoline, who is best known for her female-centric legal thrillers, proves her versatility as an author, with this poignant historical story. She magnificently captures the culture, the politics, and the drama of the time. Her research for this book was evident in her writing.

The characters, which include the families of the three teenagers are delightfully well developed. In particular, Elisabetta’s strong character shines with perseverance and authenticity.

Thanks to Netgalley for an advance reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I also listened to the audiobook which was excellently narrated by Cassandra Campbell and Edoardo Ballerini.

“War was eternal, but so was peace. Death was eternal, but so was life. Darkness was eternal, but so was light. Hate was eternal, but above all, so was love.”

Publisher G. P. Putnam’s Sons

Published March 23, 2021

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