Virginia Baily - Little, Brown Book Group

Virginia Baily



Virginia Baily holds a PhD and MA in English from the University of Exeter. She founded and co-edits Riptide, a short-story journal. She is also the co-editor of the political series of the Africa Research Bulletin. She lives in Exeter, Devon. Her novels include Early One Morning and The Fourth Shore.

www.virginiabaily.com

Books currently available by this author

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The Fourth Shore

Virginia Baily
Authors:
Virginia Baily

The Fourth Shore: the sliver of fertile land along the Tripoli coast, the 'lost' territory Mussolini promised to reclaim for Italy. Which is how, in 1929, seventeen-year-old Liliana Cattaneo arrives there from Rome on a ship filled with eager colonists to join her brother and his new wife.Liliana is sure she was on the brink of a great adventure, but what awaits her is not the Mediterranean idyll of cocktail parties, smart dances, dashing officers and romantic intrigues she had imagined. Instead she finds a world of persecution, violence, repression, corruption and deceptions both great and small. A child of fascist Italy, blown about by the winds of fascism and Catholicism, Liliana becomes enmeshed in a dark liaison which has terrible consequences both for her and those she loves most. The Fourth Shore is the engrossing and intensely poignant story of Liliana's journey from Rome to Tripoli to a north London suburb where, as plain Lily Jones, she begins to uncover a secret she has buried so deeply that even she is far from certain what it is.

Virago

Early One Morning

Virginia Baily
Authors:
Virginia Baily

A grey dawn in 1943: on a street in Rome, two young women, complete strangers to each other, lock eyes for a single moment.One of the women, Chiara Ravello, is about to flee the occupied city for the safety of her grandparents' house in the hills. The other has been herded on to a truck with her husband and their young children, and will shortly be driven off into the darkness. In that endless-seeming moment, before she has time to think about what she is doing, Chiara makes a decision that changes her life for ever. Loudly claiming the woman's son as her own nephew, she demands his immediate return; only as the trucks depart does she begin to realize what she has done. She is twenty-seven, single, with a sister who needs her constant care, a hazardous journey ahead of her, and now a child in her charge - a child with no papers who refuses to speak and gives every indication that he will bolt at the first opportunity. Three decades later, Chiara lives alone in Rome, a self-contained, self-possessed woman working as a translator and to all appearances quite content with a life which revolves around work, friends, music and the theatre. But always in the background is the shadow of Daniele, the boy from the truck, whose absence haunts her every moment. Gradually we learn of the havoc wrought on Chiara, her family and her friends by the boy she rescued, and how he eventually broke her heart. And when she receives a phone call from a teenage girl named Maria, claiming to be Daniele's daughter, Chiara knows that it is time for her to face up to the past. This epic novel is an unforgettably powerful, suspenseful, heartbreaking and inspiring tale of love, loss and war's reverberations down the years.