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It is summer 1956 when 15-year-old Bridget first meets Isabella. In their conservative Connecticut town, Isabella is a breath of fresh air. She is worldly, alluring and brazen: an enigma.
When they receive an offer to study at the Academy in Italy, Bridget is thrilled. This is her ticket to Europe and - better still - a chance to spend nine whole months with her glamorous and unpredictable best friend.
There, lodged in a convent of nuns who have taken a vow of silence, the two girls move towards a passionate but fragile intimacy. As the year rolls on, Bridget grows increasingly fearful that she will lose Isabella's affections - and the more desperate she gets, the greater the lengths she will go to keep her.
Belladonna is a hypnotising coming-of-age story set against the stunning and evocative backdrop of rural Northern Italy. Anbara Salam tells a story of friendship and obsession, desire, betrayal and the lies we tell in order to belong.
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- Dunston Patterson
Beautiful and heart wrenching
This book is compelling. The simmering relationship and its ebbing and flowing tugged on my heart strings. I felt the pleasure and the pain and the raw emotion of the characters. The end could be considered both happy and sad depending on your allegiances which you are so easily drawn into. I wont say what I felt at the end. You have to read it yourself!
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