Related to: 'The Fourth Shore'

Fleet

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.

Alex Kava

Alex Kava is the New York Times bestselling author of the critically acclaimed series featuring former Marine Ryder Creed and his K9 dogs, and the international bestselling Maggie O'Dell series. Published in thirty-two countries with over six million copies sold, Kava's novels have been on a multitude of international bestseller lists. She is a member of the Nebraska Writers Guild and International Thriller Writers. Kava and her pack of Westies divide their time between Omaha, Nebraska and Pensacola, Florida.

Andrew Sean Greer

Andrew Sean Greer is the bestselling author of five works of fiction, including The Confessions of Max Tivoli, which was named a best book of 2004 by the San Francisco Chronicle and the Chicago Tribune. He is the recipient of the Northern California Book Award, the California Book Award, the New York Public Library Young Lions Award, the O Henry award for short fiction and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York Public Library. Greer lives in San Francisco. He has traveled to all of the locations in this novel, but he is only big in Italy.

Ben Fergusson

Ben Fergusson's debut novel The Spring of Kasper Meier, was selected for Waterstones Book Club, WH Smith Fresh Talent and the BBC Radio 2 Book Club. It was longlisted for the Authors' Club Best First Novel Award 2015 and shortlisted for The Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award 2015. It won the 2015 Betty Trask Prize for an outstanding debut novel by a writer under 35 and the HWA Debut Crown 2015 for the best historical fiction debut of the year.

Carrie Hope Fletcher

Carrie Hope Fletcher is an actress, singer, author, vlogger and, thanks to her popular self-named YouTube channel, 'honorary big sister' to over a million young people around the world. In 2017, she won the public vote for Radio Times Online Champion of the year. Carrie's first book, All I Know Now, was a number one Sunday Times bestseller and her debut novel, On the Other Side, also went straight to number one in its first week on sale. Carrie's second novel, All That She Can See, was a Top Three Sunday Times bestseller in hardback and a Top Ten bestseller in Ireland.Carrie played the role of Eponine in Les Misérables at the Queen's Theatre in London's West End for almost three years and received the 2014 WhatsOnStage Award for Best Takeover in a Role. She has since played Beth in The War of the Worlds, Truly Scrumptious in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Wednesday Addams in The Addams Family and Brenda Payne in Tom Fletcher's The Christmasaurus. Carrie lives just outside of London with numerous fictional friends that she keeps on bookshelves, just in case.

Cath Weeks

Cath Weeks was born and raise in Somerset. Her debut novel, Blind, was published in 2017 and she was named as an Author to Watch by Elle magazine. Cath lives in Bath with her husband and two sons.

Chevy Stevens

Chevy Stevens grew up on a ranch on Vancouver Island and still lives on the island with her husband and daughter. When she's not working on her next book, she's camping and canoeing with her family in the local mountains. Her debut novel, Still Missing, won the International Thriller Writers Award for Best First Novel.

Chris Brookmyre

Chris Brookmyre was a journalist before becoming a full-time novelist with the publication of his award-winning debut Quite Ugly One Morning, which established him as one of Britain's leading crime authors. His Jack Parlabane novels have sold more than one million copies in the UK alone, and Black Widow won both the McIlvanney Prize and the Theakston's Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year award.

Christobel Kent

Christobel Kent was born in London and educated at Cambridge. She has lived variously in Essex, London and Italy. Her childhood included several years spent on a Thames sailing barge in Maldon, Essex with her father, stepmother, three siblings and four step-siblings. She now lives in both Cambridge and Florence with her husband and five children.

Cynthia Harrod-Eagles

Cynthia Harrod-Eagles is the author of the hugely popular Morland Dynasty novels, which have captivated and enthralled readers for decades. She is also the author of the contemporary Bill Slider Mystery series, as well as her new series, War at Home, which is an epic family drama set against the backdrop of World War I. Cynthia's passions are music, wine, horses, architecture and the English countryside.

David Samuel Levinson

DAVID SAMUEL LEVINSON is the author of Antonia Lively Breaks the Silence and the story collection, Most of Us Are Here Against Our Will. He has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and has received fellowships from Yaddo, the Jentel Foundation, Ledig House, the Santa Fe Arts Institute, the Sewanee Writers' Conference and the Marguerite and Lamar Smith Fellowship for Writers. He has also been published in The Atlantic, RE:AL, storySouth, The James White Review, The New Penguin Book of Gay Short Stories, The Brooklyn Review, Prairie Schooner, The Toronto Quarterly, West Branch, and Post Road, among others. He has formerly served as the Emerging Writer Lecturer at Gettysburg College and as the Fellow in Fiction at Emory University. He lives in Brooklyn.

David Sedaris

With sardonic wit and incisive social critiques, David Sedaris has become one of America's pre-eminent humor writers. The great skill with which he slices through cultural euphemisms and political correctness proves that Sedaris is a master of satire and one of the most observant writers addressing the human condition today. David Sedaris is the author of Barrel Fever and Holidays on Ice, as well as collections of personal essays, Naked, Me Talk Pretty One Day, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, When You Are Engulfed in Flames and his most recent book, Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls, each of which became an immediate bestseller. The audio version of Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls was a Grammy nominee for Best Spoken Word Album. He is the author of the New York Times-bestselling collection of fables entitled Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Wicked Bestiary (with illustrations by Ian Falconer). He was also the editor of Children Playing Before a Statue of Hercules: An Anthology of Outstanding Stories. Sedaris's pieces appear regularly in the New Yorker and have twice been included in 'The Best American Essays'. There are a total of ten million copies of his books in print and they have been translated into twenty-nine languages.

E. S. Thomson

E. S. Thomson's work has been longlisted for the CWA Endeavour Historical Dagger, and shortlisted for the Saltire Prize, the Scottish Arts Council First Book Award and the William MacIlvanney Crime Book of the Year Award. She has a PhD in the social history of medicine, and tries to fit as much medical history into her books as possible. She works as a university lecturer by day, and writes by night. Elaine lives in Edinburgh with her two sons.

Elizabeth Chadwick

Much of Elizabeth Chadwick's research is carried out as a member of Regia Anglorum, an early mediaeval re-enactment society with emphasis on accurately re-creating the past. She also tutors in the skill of writing historial and romantic fiction. She won a Betty Trask Award for The Wild Hunt and has been shortlisted for the RNA Awards four times.

Elizabeth Hoyt

Elizabeth Hoyt lives in central Illinois with her husband, two children and three dogs. Visit her at www.elizabethhoyt.com

Eva Woods

Eva Woods grew up in a small Irish village and now lives in London, where she dodges urban foxes and tuts at tourists on escalators. She runs the UK's first writing course for commercial novels and regularly teaches creative writing.

Fiona Melrose

Fiona Melrose was born in Johannesburg but has spent the majority of her adult life in the UK, first in London and then in East Anglia. She moved to Suffolk to concentrate on her writing and it is there that Midwinter was conceived. Previously Fiona has worked in academia, NGO's, public affairs and as an emerging markets analyst. She continues to keep a foot in both continents and is currently spending the majority of her time back in South Africa where she is completing her second novel.

Gilly Macmillan

Gilly Macmillan is the New York Times bestselling author of What She Knew and The Perfect Girl. She trained as an art historian and worked at The Burlington Magazine and the Hayward Gallery before starting a family. Since then she's worked as a lecturer in photography, and now writes full-time. She resides in Bristol, England.

Gyles Brandreth

Gyles Brandreth is a writer, broadcaster, former MP and Government Whip - and one of Britain's most sought-after award ceremony hosts and after-dinner speakers. A reporter on The One Show on BBC1 and a regular on Radio 4's Just a Minute, his many books include The Oscar Wilde Murder Mysteries and the No 1 best-seller: The 7 Secrets of Happiness.

J. Courtney Sullivan

J. COURTNEY SULLIVAN is the New York Times best-selling author of the novels The Engagements, Maine, and Commencement. Maine was named a 2011 Time magazine Best Book of the Year and a Washington Post Notable Book. The Engagements was one of People Magazine's Top Ten Books of 2013 and an Irish Times Best Book of the Year, and has been translated into seventeen languages. She has contributed to The New York Times Book Review, the Chicago Tribune, New York magazine, Elle, Glamour, Allure, Real Simple, and O: The Oprah Magazine, among many other publications. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.