In describing this book, only superlatives come to mind: fascinating, amazing, affecting, wonderful, fabulous, incredible, beautiful, etc. You won’t truly understand, however, unless you read it yourself. The book is based on the true story of teenager Pino Lella, an Italian youth who comes of age in World War II Italy. It is the tale of a real forgotten hero.
Once upon a time when I was younger, I had a best friend. We both lived in southern California and got married within a short time, serving as each others’ bridesmaids. My friend married a sweet, goofy (going by his jokes, anyway) guy named Jim.
My husband Clete and I moved away to Oregon, and we had only minimal contact with the Pratts for many years. Clete and I started a publishing business, and we attended the LDS Booksellers convention every year in the Salt Lake City, Utah area. One year when my teenage daughter came with me to help with our booth, she went wandering around to look at other booths, and she returned, saying that some guy in another booth said he knew me. I therefore wandered over there, and was shocked to see Jim there, signing books! My first thought was, “Goofy Jim wrote a book?”
As an author and publisher, I have often been asked by friends and acquaintances to read their books. Very few are any good, in fact they are usually cringe-worthy, and I’ve had to use my imagination to avoid hurting their feelings without lying to them. “Wow, your book was so very interesting….” Jim gave me a free book and signed the inside. The book was called “The Last Valentine,” and Jim had self-published it.