Most of us would agree that you can consider yourself well integrated into a new country when you stop translating back and forth from your native language and culture. Yet for a handful of assimilated expats, the translating not only continues but becomes a life passion. This is definitely the case for Gayle Ridinger, an American journalist turned professional translator and university instructor, author of The Secret Price of History. She has been living in Italy for over 30 years and her translation skills and knowledge of Italian culture and literature have earned her the honor of being named Knight of the Star Order of Italian Solidarity by Carlo Azeglio Ciampi (Italian President from May 1999 to May 2006).
With her husband Paolo Pochettino, an Italian who spent many years abroad, Gayle embarked on a five-year-long project to write a historical mystery novel about an Italo-American weather girl named Angie and her breathtaking adventure as she unwinds an intricate mystery that threatens her life. The story takes the reader through Italy (including Milan) as it was at the time of Berlusconi, Ratzinger, and the notorious Vatican IOR bank, but, as the plot jumps from the present to the past, the reader is also catapulted into the nineteenth century with its tragic struggles for freedom, which saw Americans engaged in a civil war and Italians in their Risorgimento—their desperate, on-going fight for independence.
As Gayle and Paolo went about their historical research for the novel—discovering in the process more about their own family origins, they unearthed curious facts and little-known anecdotes about events and people that left their mark on Italian history. (Did you know, for instance, that U.S. President Lincoln wanted Giuseppe Garibaldi to be one of his top Union generals?) All this is woven seamlessly into the plot, and as you quickly chase the words down the page, urged on by the desire to know the secret behind Angie’s story, you are taken for a galvanizing ride through the centuries, effortlessly learning more about past times than many of us did as students.
The book, which was an Award Finalist for Historical Mysteries in the 2015 Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards, is a tribute to the country that brought Gayle and Paolo together and that is still home today to their work and passion for history.
The Secret Price of History, by Gayle Ridinger and Paolo Pochettino, is available on Amazon. Also, you can find out more about those fascinating real-life characters from the past on the book’s site: www.secretpriceofhistory.com
During the weekend of March 12th and 13th the e-book version of the novel will be offered for free to all those who request it. See the www.secretpriceofhistory.comfor details.