Leave If You Can
There is something different about Angelina. She is a passionate and headstrong young woman, German on her father's side, Italian through her mother. She is also an ardent communist and an outspoken atheist. With Europe embroiled in World War II and her father missing in Russia, Angelina journeys alone to seek out her mother's family in Italy. Instead, she finds Giulia, a kindred spirit. In the summer of 1943, with Fascist Italy reeling under repeated defeats, Angelina and Giulia decide to fight for the socialist world revolution. Setting out alone through the wartime chaos, the two join an Italian partisan group led by the dashing Antonio. The partisans are soon in action against the Nazis and Angelina's courage and devotion to the cause earns her Antonio's admiration -- and his love. But when Angelina is injured during a battle, she finds herself locked in a spiritual struggle every bit as daunting as her physical battle against the Nazis. Originally written in German in 1959, Leave If You Can explores the challenge of God's mystical call versus the overpowering allure of the world, set against the backdrop of wartime Italy and the bombing of the abbey at Monte Cassino.
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