The Shadow’s Secrets
Nunzio is an idealist at heart. His heart swells with passions. Nunzio’s early years consisted of traveling and developing an appreciation for the people, the nature, and the culture of Italy. His father immersed Nunzio in literature so that even an ordinary day could remind Nunzio of a poem.
While serving as the priest of a small parish in the countryside of Italy, Nunzio’s admiration of beauty gets him into trouble. Mariella, a beautiful woman with great strength and an appreciation for all of the things Nunzio cares about, enters his life, and he calls his holy vows into question.
Although their love is pure and strong, Nunzio is married to the church, and Mariella is wedded to Paolo, a man with a violent temper who is capable of heinous abuses.
Amidst the romantic scandal, a string of children go missing, and when their bodies are discovered, they are horribly maimed. The townspeople begin to suspect that their young priest, from out of town, could be responsible for the grotesque deaths. When a witch-hunt, organized by Paolo, turns the parish against their priest, Mariella discovers that an even greater secret is growing inside of her.
In their clandestine hours together, Nunzio and Mariella marvel at nature’s resilience to the harshest of conditions, but The Shadow’s Secrets proves that no creature suffers quite like a man and a woman in love.
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Reviewed by Miche Arendse for Readers' Favorite
The Shadow's Secrets by Anna Casamento Arrigo follows the tale of Nunzio, a cultured young man who becomes a priest in a small village in the countryside of Italy. It is there that he meets a beautiful woman named Mariella and becomes entangled in forbidden love. While the two struggle with their feelings for one another, children in the village start going missing, eventually turning up brutally mutilated. The villagers suspect Nunzio as he is the only outsider; now he must clear up the suspicions and resolve the relationship between himself and Mariella.
The Shadow's Secrets by Anna Casamento Arrigo is a beautifully written story that touches on themes of forbidden love, tested faith, and dark secrets. We are met with brilliant and well-rounded characters who display a range of depth and character development. I found myself so enthralled and engaged with this story that I actually became emotional several times throughout the book. It is truly a testament to become so emotionally involved in a story and it shows the skill and capacity of Ariggo to write such an engaging piece. The relationship between Nunzio and Mariella is one you cannot help but encourage in hopes that these characters find the happiness they deserve despite the moral grey area. All of this coupled with the murder mystery element made for such an amazing book. I would highly recommend giving The Shadow’s Secret a try. However, this book is definitely suited to mature audiences only.
Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite
The Shadow's Secrets is a crime drama romance novel by Anna Casamento Arrigo. Raised in Palermo, Sicily, Nunzio Aragona grew up learning to cherish everything beautiful in the world. Now a priest at a small church in a countryside village in Italy, Nunzio feels compelled to break his vows of celibacy after being mesmerized by the beauty of Mariella, a young woman trapped in an abusive marriage with a man prone to violence. When her husband, Paolo, discovers their affair, Mariella ends up dying a cruel death that is blamed on Nunzio, along with the deaths of a few missing children whose bodies were brutally ravaged. Sitting in a prison cell, Nunzio is haunted by the memories of Mariella. His freedom now depends on the secrets held by a woman desperate for forgiveness.
A heartbreaking and tragic tale of love, loss, regret, and savagery, The Shadow's Secrets doesn't have a single dull page. Author Anna Casamento Arrigo uses a lot of symbolic and allegorical elements to signify the themes, which when combined with the prose, brings a sense of poeticism to the narrative that is delicious to consume. The characters are conflicted, and their inner turmoil and struggles make them riveting to read. Mariella's character arc is almost relentlessly bleak. She finds solace from her abusive marriage in the arms of her lover, only to meet a fateful end. Nunzio, on the other hand, can only go on remembering his times with Mariella. If you're a fan of tragic romance, The Shadow's Secrets is just the book for you.