THE LIGHT OVER LAKE COMO | New novel from Roland Merullo (Micronesia)


The Light over Lake Como
by Roland Merullo (Micronesia 1979-80)
Lake Union Publishing
June 2024
280 pages
$14.89 (Paperback), $4.99 (Kindle), 1 credit (Audiobook)


Two lovers separated in war-torn Italy struggle to reunite in a riveting and heartrending historical novel by the bestselling author of Once Night Falls and From These Broken Streets.

It’s 1945. The Nazi occupation of Italy is in its closing days. But risk is ever present.

It’s been nearly two years since Sarah Zinsi found tenuous sanctuary in Switzerland. Unmoored in a foreign land, she heeds a rumor that her village on the Lake Como shore has been liberated. Clutching her young daughter, Sarah navigates the arduous mountain trek back home to be with Luca Benedetto, the father of her child.

A resister to the end, Luca has one last assignment: assassinate Mussolini, the man who destroyed everything Luca cherished and who forced the love of his life to flee. Sarah’s path crosses that of a charismatic and kindly black marketeer turned partisan spy. He vows to keep mother and child safe as Luca’s perilous mission escalates and the Nazis’ final moves devolve into chaos.

But for Sarah and Luca, the pull of love, the will to survive, and the promise of a new family are greater than any odds against them.


Roland Merullo (Micronesia 1979-80)

With his older daughter, Zanny, Roland Merullo writes the popular Substack newsletter Hi Zan, Hi Pa. Merullo is the bestselling and award-winning author of numerous works of fiction, including the historical novels Once Night FallsFrom These Broken Streets, and A Harvest of SecretsBreakfast with Buddha, a nominee for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award; and The Talk-Funny Girl, an Alex Award winner. He is also the author of the memoir Revere Beach Elegy, which won the Massachusetts Book Award for Nonfiction. In Revere, In Those Days won the 2003 Peace Corps Writers Maria Thomas Fiction Award.

His essays have appeared in NewsweekDetails, the New York TimesReader’s DigestGood Housekeeping, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and Boston Magazine, among many other publications. A graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy and Brown University, Merullo lives with his wife, photographer Amanda Merullo, in the hills of western Massachusetts and travels frequently to Italy for research and pleasure. For more information, visit

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