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Diana Rosie

Italy. 1938.

Mussolini is in power and war is not far away . . .

A ten-year-old girl stands at a doorway in a city she does not know. Her mother has disappeared and Clara must find her. Which way should she turn?

A little later, her younger brother, Pippo stands at the same door, looking for his mother and his sister. But which direction did they take?


One child turns left; the other right. And, just like that, their lives change forever – because in a country at war, sometimes it's the smallest decisions that have the biggest consequences.


A novel about family and fate, Pippo and Clara reminds us that an invisible bond connects us to those we love – whichever way we turn.  

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so much of our lives hinges on chance

Diana Rosie is an author of literary, commercial, historical fiction published by Mantle, an imprint of Pan Macmillan. Her books are available online and at all good bookshops.

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Portuguese edition

large print
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"An absorbing story of a brother and sister separated by troubled times in an Italy torn between fascination and hatred of fascism . . . A powerful story sweetly told" Antonio Iturbe, author of The Librarian of Auschwitz

"A heartbreaking read set against the backdrop of WWII"

S Magazine (Express)

"Diana Rosie’s latest novel tells the story of a family pulled apart by conflict . . . Pippo and Clara’s dad was killed when they were very young and when the family move to an Italian city, they find themselves separated from both their mother and each other. Taken in by two different families, they dream of finding each other again as they do their best to survive in Italy’s changing political climate"

OK Magazine


"Moving and evocative . . . Rosie has produced a tender portrayal of wartime Italy, vividly describing the previously vibrant neighbourhoods and the bravery that sometimes comes to the fore in the face of tragedy"

The Lady

"Deeply affecting . . . This is an enjoyable, fast-paced and emotionally engaging story that portrays the ideological divides of wartime Italy from different childhood perspectives"

Historical Novel Society

"This was a stunning read, and in the end, the threads of this story, with its intricate and delicate stitching, handmade with love, finally come full circle to sew together the most powerful and beautiful family quilt"

NetGalley Reviewer 

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