Lisa Scottoline | Eternal

MAY 20 | 5 PM

Please join us on Thursday, May 20, at 5 p.m., for a 2021 History Book Festival “Spirited Discussion” with Lisa Scottoline, author of "Eternal" (Putnam, 2021). Martha Hall Kelly will be in conversation with Scottoline during the event. This event is free but registration is required.

About the book
This historical novel tells the tale of a love triangle that unfolds in the heart of Rome, in the creeping shadow of fascism.

Elisabetta, Marco, and Sandro grow up as the best of friends despite their differences. Elisabetta is a feisty beauty who dreams of becoming a novelist; Marco, the brash and athletic son in a family of professional cyclists; and Sandro, a Jewish mathematics prodigy, kind-hearted and thoughtful. Their friendship blossoms to love, with both Sandro and Marco hoping to win Elisabetta’s heart.

But in the autumn of 1937, Mussolini asserts his power, aligning Italy’s Fascists with Hitler’s Nazis and altering the laws that govern Rome. As anti-Semitism takes legal root and World War II erupts, the threesome realizes that Mussolini was only the beginning. In 1943, after Italy aligns itself with the Allies, the Nazis invade Rome, and with their occupation come new atrocities against the city’s Jews, culminating in a final, horrific betrayal.

Against this backdrop, the intertwined fates of Elisabetta, Marco, Sandro, and their families will be decided, in a heartbreaking story of both the best and the worst that the world has to offer.

About the author
Lisa Scottoline is the bestselling author of 32 novels that have been published in 35 countries. She is best known for her mystery thrillers, but "Eternal" — her first historical novel — is the culmination of a lifetime of interest in the Italian Holocaust that began when she took a seminar at the University of Pennsylvania led by Philip Roth called “The Literature of the Holocaust,” studying the work of Italian Holocaust survivor Primo Levi, among others. Following that course Scottoline knew that one day she’d write about Fascism and the Holocaust in Italy, a story that remains untold in popular fiction. Her background as an Italian American, lawyer, and adjunct law professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School fueled her interest in the subject, and after decades of research, including many trips to Italy, "Eternal" was born.

About Martha Hall Kelly
Martha Hall Kelly will be in conversation with Scottoline during the event. Kelly is the author of three bestselling works of historical fiction: her debut novel set during World War II, "Lilac Girls," and the prequels "Lost Roses" and "Sunflower Sisters." Never an enthusiastic history student, Kelly developed a passion for it when she discovered the long-buried story of Caroline Ferriday, a New York socialite and philanthropist who championed the cause of a group of Polish women nicknamed “the rabbits” who were experimented upon by Nazi doctors at the all-female Ravensbruck concentration camp. Her interest in Ferriday led to the writing of "Lilac Girls."


All registered attendees will receive a follow-up email from “LibCal” with Zoom log-in information. If you don’t receive this email after registering, please check your SPAM folder. If you still can’t locate the email, please contact

Purchase the book
Please help support local independent bookstores by purchasing this book at Browseabout Books, official bookseller of the History Book Festival. Online sources and digital versions are tempting; however, supporting local brick and mortar shops helps to preserve our vibrant main streets. Drop by Browseabout, order books online, or call the store at 302-226-2665. You also may purchase a copy at biblion in Lewes. Each copy purchased comes with a signed archival bookplate.


About the Festival
The HBF “Spirited Discussion” is one of the types of programming offered this year at "2021 History Book Festival: Bring History Home." We are extremely grateful for the virtual venue and assistance in event promotion provided by the Lewes Public Library, in conjunction with the Delaware Division of Libraries and Sussex County Libraries. 

Event date: 
Thursday, May 20, 2021 - 5:00pm to 6:00pm
Event address: