“War was eternal, but so was peace. Death was eternal, but so was life. Darkness was eternal, but so was light. Hate was eternal, but above all, so was love.”
Eternal is Lisa Scottoline’s first historical novel. The story takes place in Italy just before, and during World War II. Elisabetta, Marco and Sandro are all childhood friends who grow up together sharing everything until both Marco and Sandro are in love with Elisabetta. Sandro Simone is from a Jewish family; Marco Terrizzi and Elisabetta D’Orfeo are both Roman Catholic.
When forced to choose between the two men, Elisabetta choses Sandro but because he is Jewish and feels he has nothing to offer her, he tells her he no longer loves her, thinking that she will be safer with Marco. As racial laws are put into place and Jewish families lose their homes, their business and their freedoms, the Terrizzi family leaves gifts of food and money for the Simone family anonymously so as not to make them feel bad.
This novel exposes ethnic, religious and political conflicts while also showing extreme love and treasured friendships. It is both heartbreaking and wonderful.