THE LIGHT OVER LAKE COMO by Roland Merullo (Micronesia)

New book —

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 his 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)

Roland Merullo is the author of twenty-seven books of fiction and non-fiction, that range from suspense novels (Fidel’s Last Days, A Russian Requiem, Revere Beach Boulevard, The Return) to love stories (A Little Love Story, The Talk-Funny Girl, Leaving Losapas) to golf and travel books (Golfing with God, Passion for Golf, The Italian Summer, Taking the Kids to Italy) to humorous spiritual road trips (Breakfast with Buddha, Lunch with Buddha, Dinner with Buddha, The Delight of Being Ordinary, Golfing with God,  American Savior: A Novel of Divine Politics.)
In Revere, In Those Days  won the 2003 Peace Corps Writers Maria Thomas Fiction Award.

His books have sold over half a million copies and been translated across the globe, from China to Brazil, from Korea to Croatia, from Turkey to Bulgaria, and he has been the recipient of numerous awards.


His latest novel, A Harvest of Secrets, is the third in a recent series of World War II historical fiction set in Italy. It follows Once Night Falls, which was selected as a November pick by Amazon First Read’s editors who called the novel

“Both epic and intimate in its portrayal of World War II Italy.” They continued by saying, “Merullo expertly illuminates the war’s devastation of the country and its culture. …So immediate, it plunges the reader into this harrowing time, making the story—and the chapter of history—feel intensely personal. …The book is unflinching in its portrayal of wartime turmoil. Yet heroism and hopefulness drive these characters. Once Night Falls is a page-turning, propulsive read, and the stakes are always incredibly high. But it is the characters—and the powerful lessons they bestow—that make this is a truly unforgettable story.”

Once Night Falls was followed by From These Broken Streets, which describes the famous Four Days uprising in Naples in 1943. Kirkus called it, “Stirring and moving: more fine work from a versatile and gifted writer.” And the Booklist reviewed said, “The seamless plot is compelling, making this an altogether deeply satisfying work of historical fiction.”

The third novel in the series, A Harvest of Secrets, also takes place in Italy in 1943, and tells the story of a young woman from a wealthy, wine-producing family, who falls in love with one of the estate’s workers not long before he is sent off to war. The novel already has over 9,000 Amazon reviews and a 4.5 star rating.


Roland Merullo was born in Boston and raised in the working-class city of Revere, Massachusetts. He had a scholarship to Exeter Academy and graduated in 1971, attended Boston University for two years, transferred to Brown University and graduated from Brown in 1975, then earned a Master’s there — in Russian Studies — in 1976.

He’s been a carpenter, a cab driver, a Peace Corps volunteer in Micronesia (1979-80), a college professor, worked for many months on cultural exchange exhibits in the former USSR, and has traveled to 49 US states and across the northern hemisphere. He currently lives in Massachusetts with his wife Amanda and their two daughters. He can be reached at


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