Italy in 1979 is a country racked by violent anti-government sentiments. Demands for political change have taken a darker turn; everywhere, radical groups are plundering banks and official buildings, kidnapping businessmen and journalists, and clashing violently with the police. It is a dangerous, heady time, filled with bitter hope and fear. In Rome, in the midst of this turmoil, a shy young Englishwoman called Julia meets Ennio. The two fall deeply in love, but theirs is a troubled affair, shrouded in secrecy. For Ennio is a member of the notorious terrorist group Sinistra Armata, and one of the most wanted men in Italy. The lovers meet in La Camillina, a Sinistra Armata safe-house in the beautiful countryside outside Rome, far from the dark forces that threaten their fragile happiness. Twenty years on, the story is taken up by their daughter Lotte, who has been brought up by a grandmother in London, knowing nothing of her parents' love affair, or the shocking events leading up to her birth. On discovering the truth, she journeys to Italy to reclaim her past; only to find herself eerily close to replaying her mother's story.
Haunting, evocative and moving, The Sunlit Stage is a breathtaking novel about love and self-discovery.
Simonetta Wenkert was born in London in 1965 of Italian-Austrian parents. After graduating from Durham University, she translated A Cercar La Bella Morte (In Search of a Glorious Death) byCarlo Mazzantini which was short-listed for the Independent Foreign Fiction Award.Simonetta has lived in Athens, Rome and Jerusalem and has worked as a teacher and a translator of film scripts. She currently lives in London with her husband and three children. The Sunlit Stage is her first novel.