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Beneath a Scarlet Sky Beneath a Scarlet Sky discussion


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Getting to know Pino

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message 1: by Michael (new) - added it

Michael Lella I'm Pino's oldest son, Michael. I've collaborated with Mark Sullivan in the writing of BENEATH A SCARLET SKY since 2006, I do not have the talent he had to put my father's story into the printed word, but I am perhaps most intimately familiar with my father and his story, other than Mark himself. Since there's been such a world-wide interest, I just thought I'd throw it out there, on this "New Discussion Topic" format, that if anyone has any particular questions, and Mark doesn't have the time to answer, I'm here and available.


Marcia I loved the book. Your father lived quite a heroic life. Does he know whether the German officer really did know his code name or was that added by the author?


message 3: by Michael (new) - added it

Michael Lella That question has come up from time to time, and I think that is one question Mark Sullivan could answer best. My father couldn't remember the General's name, let alone whether he knew if his code name was known by him.

Really glad you liked the book Marcia!


message 4: by Jen (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jen Love this book and the AMAZING stories - so many!!!


Amanda Jones This is one of few books that has pulled out my emotions. Found myself tearing up a few times and gripping the arm rest in suspense. Quite a life to have lived and very well written.


message 6: by Michael (new) - added it

Michael Lella Glad you liked it.
Today they officially announced the movie and actor tom Holland of Spider-Man fame, to play my father.
Let's hope they do the movie as good or better than the book.


Noelle I'm so happy to hear a movie will be made. I didn't know that. I loved the book. I loved it so much, I went to visit Milan (just got back last night). I've lived in Europe for a few years now; but, I wasn't wildly interested in visiting there until I read this book. When I went to see the Alps, all I could think about was your Dad and the hero that he was.


message 8: by Michael (new) - added it

Michael Lella Geez Noelle. That's so kind of you. Did you actually travel to Madesimo? Motta and Casa Alpina? You should have contacted me and I would have set you up with a meeting with my dad.
I've done that with a selected few (after some screening), and they have considered that the highlight of their trip. A real pleasure for my dad as well.


Noelle WOW. I didn't know that! I didn't go to the specific places this time since it's the peak of tourist season still; so, it was a bit difficult to easily get around still. If I would be able to meet your Dad, I would be so honored and touched. I could easily go back next month or anytime up until July if possible. I would rent a car next time to be able to get around more. That would be one of the greatest moments of my life, I'm sure. I'm in the USAF stationed here in Europe.

His story really moved me. Even the book, the review I left talked about how the war in Italy was noted as 'The Forgotten War'. I was so happy that his story was shared with the world.


Noelle I saw your email on your profile; I will send you an email. I look forward to speaking with you, Michael.


Marcia Michael wrote: "Glad you liked it.
Today they officially announced the movie and actor tom Holland of Spider-Man fame, to play my father.
Let's hope they do the movie as good or better than the book."

Hope so too!


Terri Hi Michael: I am wondering what happened between the time the general was delivered to the Americans and the time he was put on trial. I am curious as to who found him and prosecuted him.
The fact that he ended up being freed along with select other war criminals is pretty sad.
Terri


Karen Scott wow, that is so interesting to meet such person here


message 14: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa Dear Michael, Thank you so much for the time & effort you & Mark Sullivan put into this book. I am recommending it to my whole family. There are so few these days, it seems, that are willing to put thier lives on the line for others. Reading about Pino's progression of involvment and his motives would help other people facing these challenges, I believe. At least, that is what I hope to see happen in my grandchildren. Lisa


Marcia I have recommended this book to som many people as it is about a real person but has been written as historical fiction. So glad to see it made the New York Times top ten.


Diane I want to thank all of you who helped get this story out. Please tell your father that I appreciated learning about his unbelievable life during the war and I admire his courage in telling it. I am taking away many things from this book and it will stay with me for a long time.

We never know what will happen next, what we will see, and what important person will come into our life, or what important person we will lose. Life is change, constant change, and unless we are lucky enough to find comedy in it, change is drama, if not tragedy.

Thank you, Pino, for helping me to find strength. Thank you, thank you!


message 17: by Michael (new) - added it

Michael Lella Lisa wrote: "Dear Michael, Thank you so much for the time & effort you & Mark Sullivan put into this book. I am recommending it to my whole family. There are so few these days, it seems, that are willing to put..."

Lisa wrote: "Dear Michael, Thank you so much for the time & effort you & Mark Sullivan put into this book. I am recommending it to my whole family. There are so few these days, it seems, that are willing to put..."


message 18: by Michael (new) - added it

Michael Lella Lisa.
So sorry for not getting back with you sooner. I still don't understand the format and how to respond in a timely manner...
I'm honored to be included in the same sentence with author Mark Sullivan. The book is entirely his creation and I'm glad to have been part of it. Naturally, it is life-changing for me as I represent my father. I have known all my life that his story would eventually find it's way into the hands of a brilliant writer, and now we are enjoying in the honor of sharing it world-wide.


message 19: by Michael (new) - added it

Michael Lella Diane wrote: "I want to thank all of you who helped get this story out. Please tell your father that I appreciated learning about his unbelievable life during the war and I admire his courage in telling it. I am..."


message 20: by Michael (new) - added it

Michael Lella Mark Sullivan of course, deserves most of the credit for getting the story out. At a time when he was "down-and-out", both financially and emotionally, he took the chance, flew to Italy and began investigating the tale that became the story. I've known about it my whole life, but did not have the writing talent or the determination to put it into words the way Mark did.

The way I see it, I'm fortunate to assist Mark in spreading the story, which in the end, is my father's legacy (and Dad has never been one interested in talking about what he experienced). Mark and I do that now...and it has become our goal to get the story out there.... with pleasure, I might add. You welcome!!!


Elaine I thoroughly enjoyed the book! Like many WWII vets, they have a hard time talking about the war. My Dad was one of those people. Pino was a hero and I'm glad his story has been told. I have recommended this book to many and especially to history teachers. This book should be required reading in high school. I'm glad Mark wrote the book. Michael, please thank your Dad for his service.


message 22: by Michael (new) - added it

Michael Lella I will do that Elaine. Thanks for recommending the book.
I'm making an effort to get the story told in high schools now.


message 23: by Lory (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lory Sakay Michael, I just stumbled upon this discussion. I was so impressed with your father's story and Sullivan's delivery. It was my favorite read in 2017. I do hope that all this acclaim and recognition has assisted your father in resolving the pain he's kept within him all of these years.


message 24: by Jessica (last edited Jan 15, 2018 06:34AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jessica Gentile Signore Michael,

Recentemente ho letto la storia di il tuo padre. Sono sopraffatto dagli eventi e dagli ostacoli che è riuscito a superare. Voglio dargli un grande abbraccio per essere un uomo piu coraggioso. Dopo tutto quello che ha passato, avrebbe potuto essere pieno di dubbi, volendo gettare la spugna, ma invece, ha conservato e rimasto pieno di fede e grato per tutti i giorni. Questa è una lezione di vita che molti non afferrano. Lo ammiro per questo.

Per favore digli di grazie mille per aver spartire suo cuore con il mondo.

~Un abbracio

(Mi dispiace si non srivo piu brava, ancora sono imparando il Italiano e ora mi piace questa lingua ancora di piu!).


message 25: by Michael (new) - added it

Michael Lella Wow Jessica.

Your Italian is better than mine!
Grazie for the comment and I will five him for your gratitude for sharing his heart with the world.

Dobbiamo anche ingraziare il scrittore Mark Sullivan che ha fatto piu di dieci anni di ricerca per scoprire la storia!


Jessica Thank you for the compliment!

Also, wow, I knew Mr. Sullivan did a lot of research but I didn't realize he invested in a decade of research! That's a lot of dedication! I am going to write to him as well!

Spero che nel futoro, queste libro sara tradotto in italiano perche cosi, anche il mio ragazzo puo leggerlo, anche in molti lingua per tutti!

Saluti e un abbracio~


message 27: by Michael (new) - added it

Michael Lella Yes Jessica.

Mark started the project in 2006 and did three different drafts before he settled with Beneath A Scarlet Sky. I helped him along.

E` gia statto tradotto in Italiano e vera` uscito in questo mese. Hanno gia fatto contratti per tradurlo in 30 lingue!


Jessica Da vero? Ti auguro! Next time that I am in Italy I will grab two copies!

Grazie mille per respondere, so che sai molti cosas di facer con tutto quello di il libro e anche il film. Ti lo apprezo moltissimo! Grazie mille Michael! 💖


message 29: by Michael (new) - added it

Michael Lella Jessica...
The pleasure to respond is mine!!
E avro sempre tempo per rispondere con te...
Prego!


sharonhayes Hi Michael,
I wrote to Mark after I read this book I have recommended it to everyone it was an amazing story you must me soo proud of his courage. In Ireland we learnt so much of the war from the british french side so it was an eduction to say the least.What an amazing man Pino was it is great that his story is being told.
Well done ,
Best wishes ,
Sharon


message 31: by Michael (new) - added it

Michael Lella Wow. Thank you Sharon for sharing your sentiments. My mother was of Irish descent and I've never been there...one of the countries on my bucket list to visit. As you have read in the book, I was raised in Milan before returning to California where I live now. Mark deserves the credit for getting my father's story out there and I'm glad you told him so in a letter. I thank you for recommending the book to others as it is my goal in life now to share the story to as many people as possible. I did have a lot of input in the story, and Mark, who owns the Rights, has given me a "Carte Blanche" to help spread it. I do book presentations and maybe someday I could visit Ireland and speak to you and your friends. The "Well Done"...goes to Sullivan though. Thanks again Sharon.


message 32: by Michael (new) - added it

Michael Lella Lory wrote: "Michael, I just stumbled upon this discussion. I was so impressed with your father's story and Sullivan's delivery. It was my favorite read in 2017. I do hope that all this acclaim and recognition ..."


message 33: by Michael (new) - added it

Michael Lella Hi Lori!
The acclaim and recognition doesn't appear to have any impact on my father. With the on-set of mild dementia and almost 92, he has good days and bad days. Unfortunately, the bad days are becoming more frequent and he gets moody, to the point where he cannot engage in a conversation. When he's having a good day, he is himself, gregarious, positive, friendly and always looking for the best in people, laughing and really enjoying life. What Sullivan delivered will be my father's legacy. We don't yet know if it's a good thing or not...time will tell.


message 34: by Bobbie (new)

Bobbie Michael, it is such a pleasure to know that Pino has a son such as yourself. I only have a page or two to go before finishing it and have already promised my copy to a couple of friends who I know would love the story. As someone else said here, we have no way of knowing how the story will come out; only that it will. We have no means for knowing who we will meet or the impact we will have not only on their life, but on the lives of many. Pino is proof of what one man with a good heart can accomplish. Please give him my love and undying thanks - not only for his sacrifice, but for sharing the story so that we can carry with him. Thank you both. Much love, Bobbie


message 35: by Michael (new) - added it

Michael Lella Thank you Bobbie for your thoughts. They always have a way of touching my heart...Michael Lella


message 36: by Sharlene (last edited Mar 20, 2018 04:25AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sharlene Michael wrote: "Hi Lori!
The acclaim and recognition doesn't appear to have any impact on my father. With the on-set of mild dementia and almost 92, he has good days and bad days. Unfortunately, the bad days are b..."


Sorry to hear about the dementia. My Mom is in the same situation. I am so glad Mark took the chance to go and meet your Dad and give us this beautiful story.
I was reading the book in a local cafe when a man approached me and asked what I was reading. When I described it to him, he said his Dad was stationed in Italy right after the war ended. We kept talking and his Dad was at the gas station when they hung Mussolini up for display. He was there with your Dad.
Please give our love and gratitude to your Dad from another fan.
I had the privilege to meet Mark on tour and have breakfast with him and the stories he shared of Pino that did not make it to the book were just as amazing.


message 37: by Michael (new) - added it

Michael Lella Not sure if this is Lori or not...
Wow. Very interesting to hear about that man who approached you about the book, then discover that his father was in Piazzale Loretto at the same time during the War. He might have been with Major Frank Knebel's group, of whom were the very first American's into Milan !! Yes, there were many more stories about my father, pretty much unrelated to the book that were amazing. Mark always said that it would "have been too unbelievable" to include those, and that's why they were left out. Growing up, I was witness to many of those events that did not make the book....In the long run, who he knew and what he did after the War was not relevant to the story. Thanks for the comment, it was one of the more interesting ones, now in the thousands....Michael Lella


Claude Nicholas This is the most involving story I have ever read. I read the book last year and am now reading it for the second time. Although I read a lot of books and as result forget quite a lot of books, this story has never left me. My parents were born in France but both had Italian parents and so my affinity with Italy is very strong. My mother spent her early childhood in the mountains of Piedmonte and later as a family we lived in Nice where I was born. The mountains have always played an important part of our life, being so close to the Alps. So this story has a real fascination for me as every step Pino takes on those perilous treks high up on the Groppera has me holding my breath every time. I am there, doing the hike with him and I am very scared...I have seen and experienced some of those goats trails but they haven't come even close to the terrifying climbs Pino was prepared to negotiate to save the lives of others....what an amazing story and an amazing man. This story will never leave me and when we travel to Lake Como next month I will try and push a bit further towards Madesimo and look up at the Groppera and it will really mean something special. From Claudia


message 39: by Michael (new) - added it

Michael Lella Wow Claudia.

Thank you for that touching review.
A friend of mine is visiting the Lake Como area as well and I recommended that he take the drive up to Motta. There, you can see Casa Alpina and the Madonna where Father Luigi Re is buried. In addition, you'll see the Groppera from up close.
It's less than an hour and a half drive from Como.


message 40: by MaryF (new) - rated it 1 star

MaryF Claude Nicholas wrote: "This is the most involving story I have ever read. I read the book last year and am now reading it for the second time. Although I read a lot of books and as result forget quite a lot of books, thi..."

Claude (or is it "Claudia"? you pick),

You've rated exactly two books, and reviewed none (your post here isn't a review) and this book isn't even on your very short and rather odd list. It may well be that you don't use an Amazon device, but then you don't appear to be a big reader so that begs question why you'd be a GR member. Given all this, information, color me skeptical about motivation to find your way here to post a personal missive and gush.


Claude Nicholas MaryF wrote: "Claude Nicholas wrote: "This is the most involving story I have ever read. I read the book last year and am now reading it for the second time. Although I read a lot of books and as result forget q..."

Michael wrote: "Wow Claudia.

Thank you for that touching review.
A friend of mine is visiting the Lake Como area as well and I recommended that he take the drive up to Motta. There, you can see Casa Alpina and th..."


Michael wrote: "Wow Claudia.

Thank you for that touching review.
A friend of mine is visiting the Lake Como area as well and I recommended that he take the drive up to Motta. There, you can see Casa Alpina and th..."


Thank you very much for this advice Michael. I look forward to going as far as Motta after visiting Bellagio . I will make a point of looking up Casa Alpina and the resting place of Father Re at La Madonna. The Groppera sounds awsome in the story so it will be thrilling to see it close and real. Thank you very much for taking the trouble to point me in the right direction. It will be a meaningful trip.


message 42: by Karen (new)

Karen Kinnamont Hi, Michael, I love this book and all the research you have done to create it. Thank you.


message 43: by MaryF (new) - rated it 1 star

MaryF Karen wrote: "Hi, Michael, I love this book and all the research you have done to create it. Thank you."

I'd be very interested to hear (read) anything Mike has to say about research he did toward creation of the book. (I do, however, recognize that he's a driving force behind the book, but he's never mentioned doing any research. For all I know, he's someone author looked to as it relates to certain research holes that aren't covered by any of author's comments on the topic in the Preface, the Aftermath or elsewhere.)


Terri MaryF wrote: "Karen wrote: "Hi, Michael, I love this book and all the research you have done to create it. Thank you."
I'd be very interested to hear (read) anything Mike has to say about research he did toward..."


Read through all of the posts above and you will find some very interesting information.

Your comment comes across as quite harsh and accusatory. Did you mean for it to be that way?


message 45: by MaryF (new) - rated it 1 star

MaryF Terri wrote: "Read through all of the posts above and you will find some very interesting information."

It's unclear why you'd operate from an assumption that I'm unfamiliar with content of this thread (or the others).

As for whether I meant for my comment to come across as "quite harsh and accusatory", no. It was matter-of-fact, though I'm not clear why it would matter. The question itself suggests that you're not very familiar with the controversy on the topic of the book and what the author chose to do (and what Mike has chosen to do for that matter). You may want to read up elsewhere. That said, you may not want to invest the effort if approaching with a mind closed off to penetration of fact.


Terri Your response proved my point.


message 47: by Debra (new)

Debra Hi Michael! We are in Bellagio today, hoping to rent a car tomorrow and drive to Motta, Casa Alpina and Madesimo tomorrow. We came here specifically because my husband was so moved by your dad and his story! You'd mentioned earlier in the thread that sometimes (with careful screening) you could set up a meeting with your dad, which would mean the world to my husband -- even if just to meet for a quick coffee, our treat of course! :) I am new to goodreads and I'm not sure how to communicate my email address, but maybe you can see it? We are a nice couple from Hermosa Beach, CA and we have a beautiful bambino who is nearly six years old. Sorry so last minute but we never dared to dream that we might actually meet your amazing, heroic father. Grazie mille for your kindness to all the ppl who love your dad and the book!


message 48: by MaryF (new) - rated it 1 star

MaryF Terri wrote: "Your response proved my point."

When someone's intent on viewing something through a particular emotional or psychological lens, there isn't much someone else can do to change that. I've often noted that if the same information comes from someone the recipient likes, that alone changes the processing and perception.

Someone else reading message 44 and "Your comment comes across as quite harsh and accusatory. Did you mean for it to be that way?" might, in context, assess it as disingenuous (if approaching from assumption that you're familiar with not only this thread but, again, the entire controversy).

Then again, I don't know your definition of "harsh and accusatory", so you may want to provide examples in order that I may have more information by which to assess beyond just these two messages.

Circling back, again to where this began before the interruption, I'd (still) be very interested to hear (read) anything Mike has to say about research he did toward the project (before or after the author came into the picture).


message 49: by MaryF (new) - rated it 1 star

MaryF Debra wrote: "Hi Michael! We are in Bellagio today, hoping to rent a car tomorrow and drive to Motta, Casa Alpina and Madesimo tomorrow. We came here specifically because my husband was so moved by your dad and ..."

Never let it be said that I'm an entirely unhelpful meanie. (While I am still the face of the Resistance to the book, that cannot be fairly assessed as any personal animus toward the author or the protagonist.) At any rate, if you look in Mike's profile (and some of his responses), you'll find that he lists his email address: [email protected]


message 50: by Debra (new)

Debra Thank you so much Mary F! You are the opposite of an unhelpful meanie, a most helpful nicey. :) Your kindness is sincerely appreciated.


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