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In 1933, Bella Stuart leaves her socially constrained life in London to become a tutor in Italy. Her pupil, Alec, is the 'not quite right' child of a beautiful Jewish heiress and an elderly Italian aristocrat. Living at the family's summer residence, Bella's habitual reserve softens as she comes to love her young charge and finds friendship in Maestro Edward, his enigmatic music teacher.
But as the decade draws to an end and fascism takes hold over Europe, Alec's Jewish heritage endangers his very life. Bella and Edward decide to take Alec on a perilous train ride away from Italy - a journey they have no reason to believe any of them will survive .
Christine Dwyer Hickey is an award-winning novelist and short story writer. Her bestselling novel Tatty was longlisted for the Orange Prize and shortlisted for the Hughes and Hughes Irish Novel of the Year Award. She lives in Dublin.