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Under a Sardinian Sky by [Alexander, Sara]
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Under a Sardinian Sky Kindle Edition

3.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Length: 400 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Product description

Review

"Alexander's novel will leave readers riveted until the explosive conclusion."
-Publishers Weekly
"This enchanting novel is a delightful read, perfectly suited for a warm beach with a cold beverage. Readers who enjoy Adriana Trigiani's historical Italian family sagas will adore Alexander's debut."
-Booklist

About the Author

Sara Alexander completed her postgraduate diploma in acting from Drama Studio London. She has worked extensively in the theater, film, and television industries, including roles in much loved productions such as Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows, Dr. Who, and Franco Zeffirelli's Sparrow.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1634 KB
  • Print Length: 326 pages
  • Publisher: HQ (20 April 2017)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01M8M3NMI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,118 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I am the first in the line for a good historical fiction, so when the opportunity to review "Under a Sardinian Sky" came my way I didn't hesitate for long. This book is set in the 1950's Sardinia and it includes all of the elements that make a novel really great - lovely setting, interesting background, traditional Italian families and scandal. Hello, I thought, or salve - give me this novel, like, pronto. It immediately transported me into this different era and the characters' world.

So. This book. It gave me a headache, really. I absolutely loved the writing style, the descriptions and even the characters were nicely drawn, but... Yes, but. But after the initial euphoria that I am so in love with the book there came a moment that it started to feel too flat for my liking, and in the end it just didn't wow me. After such a promising start I was expecting the story is going to continue like this but - sadly - for me it just went downhill and it didn't keep my attention.
The story features Carmela, a young Sardinian girl, oldest child in her family, currently engaged to Franco. A very talented girl - a great seamstress who could also speak fluent English, which was very useful, as there were American soldiers stationing nearby, in need of interpreters. And needless to say, this closeness to those Americans was a reason of the troubles that were to come. Introducing here Joe Kavanagh, who felt in love not only with Sardinia and landscape and the Italian hospitality but also with a girl that was promised to another man.
The author introduces us to SO MANY background characters in this story that really quickly I stopped to try to understand who is who and in which relationship they are to Carmela and her family.
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Format: Paperback
The prologue in London 2007 is a poignant family time which brings to light Mina’s obsession about the mystery of missing aunt Carmela. Then we’re taken back to 1952 on the Assumption Day fiesta in the Sardinian town of Simius. Despite GI’s arriving 8 years ago when they liberated the town, the community have little respect for them considering the soldiers rude (and racist!). Carmela is watching the dancers, observing her seamstress skill in their costumes before being made to stand in for one of the dancers. Running away to get changed down an alleyway, a GI follows her believing she may be in danger and fiancee Franco also turns up. The scene is set …

I didn’t like Franco from the beginning. Arrogant and possessive, I just knew that Carmela would certainly lose her passion, self belief and her wanderlust with him as a husband. He made me feel afraid (which was only heightened after one particular scene). One relationship I did enjoy is that with Carmela and sister Piera. It was (mostly) honest and open and I felt Carmela’s sadness that once she was married to Franco, she would feel as if something was missing from not being able to be so close to Piera. I have to be honest and share that it took me over half of the story to have an emotional connection with Carmela. Obviously this is subjective although I have no idea why I didn’t connect before. All of a sudden it was there though, deepening my feelings. After that I cried. More than once! I felt so desolate at one point and yet at another brimming with hope and possibility. Conflict comes from not just Franco and Joe but Agnes too (something she does has such a profound effect on lives).

Jewish immigrants from London, the Curzon family, holiday in the town every summer.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars 4 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Detailed scenes and distinctive characters 25 April 2017
By A. Richard - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Thoroughly detailed scenes and a vast assortment of distinctive characters makes UNDER A SARDINIAN SKY highly engaging. Sara Alexander has created a story filled with emotional issues that are very true-to-life, and I was deeply drawn into the lives of individuals who came alive because of the author’s perceptive writing. I may not have ever been anywhere like the island of Sardinia, but after reading Ms. Alexander’s debut story, I certainly feel as though I am well acquainted with its past citizens plus many of their local traditions.

After her aunt died, Mina decides it is time to learn about a part of her family’s history that has always remained unspoken. Since she writes travel articles for a newspaper, she is going to use some of her skills to hopefully discover the truth concerning Carmela Chirigoni, another aunt who was Italian and lived on the island of Sardinia. Mina knows little about her relative except for the fact the woman went missing back in the 1950’s.

With World War II having been over for several years, those living on the picturesque island are looking forward to better times. Carmela is from a farming family plus she makes fashionable clothing for others. She has been asked to wed a man who could one day be very rich, but she is not too fond of behavior at times. During a big fiesta in her hometown, she comes in contact with an American soldier from a nearby base. They keep meeting at different places, and she ends up becoming an interpreter for Lt. Joe Kavanagh as she speaks some English. This decision will change many lives forever.

While reading UNDER A SARDINIAN SKY, I got a glimpse into what could have easily occurred to someone living in a region once greatly affected by war. Carmela is a spirited yet respectful daughter who plans to obey the wishes of her family, but she dreams of seeing other places and having a rewarding marriage. Her life may be shaped by the wishes of someone else, but it does not stop her thinking about improbable possibilities. People trying to get back to normal after a huge war can find themselves still being influenced by outside forces for years, and Carmela meeting American soldiers deeply changes how she envisions her future. There are many times when her inner feelings battle, as she knows what path should be followed but often would rather not. Her thoughts about her intended husband causes many worries, while sentiments connected to a particular American soldier double her uncertainties. Sara Alexander gives much insight into what leads to the reactions of her characters, thus letting me come to really know these individuals.

The story is told because Mina wants to uncover what actually happened to her aunt, and the author skillfully let me know all the facts through colorful historical descriptions. Italian customs are depicted with much fanfare, while the daily lives of the island inhabitants are also vividly portrayed. From meals to parties to work, I got a sense of what various people experienced while living through these events. Food preparation is especially interesting and often lively. The images visually conveyed throughout UNDER A SARDINIAN SKY cause enthrallment and pure delight.

I voluntarily reviewed the book via NetGalley, and all comments are my honest opinion
4.0 out of 5 stars Loved the story and the descriptions really make you think you are there. The scenery, the people, and the food, the food!!!!! 26 April 2017
By deb - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Beautiful cover with a story rich in Italian traditions filled with many descriptions and emotions...

Carmela is the best seamstress in Simius. You show her a dress out of any magazine and she can make it. She is also very fluent in English and used as a translator for many of the townspeople in Simius. Which is why when the American Army wants to rent land from farmers in the area, they seek Carmela.

Carmela is betrothed to Franco. He is the son of the richest man in all of Simius. While they are of age to marry, Carmela and her family, would like to prolong the wedding for different reasons through the book. Problems begin, however, when Franco thinks his soon-to-be wife is spending too much time with her careers and not with him.

The book is rich with descriptions of the scenic landscapes. And, fair warning, don't read this book hungry. These people are ALWAYS eating. I was a little bummed because Kindle translator was not quite working for me. However, the author's vivid details of what went into the dish helped a lot. I really felt like I was there in those kitchens listening to those Italian sisters fussing and smelling the smells.

I enjoyed this book immensely and would like to thank Kensington Books for approving my request. Also, Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest unbiased review.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved Under A Sardinian Sky 25 April 2017
By Sara Wigal - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I loved Under A Sardinian Sky. The perfect book for dreaming of white sand Italian beaches and all the wine, olives, and pasta in the world! This is nearly "culinary fiction" with it's lush descriptions of Sardinian cuisine on nearly every other page. Sara Alexander's writing is beautiful and poised, and I enjoyed the mystery and difficult choices her characters are faced with through this novel.

I can't wait to go to Sardinia now... have to add it to my list!
5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous book set in Italy - perfect travel/summer reading 25 April 2017
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is BEAUTIFUL! The plot is fantastic, the Sardinian setting is gorgeous, the writing is wonderful and draws you into the story. Each character is fascinating--and did I mention that a love the cover? Definitely a great read, and a good book club recommendation as well.
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