Sometimes authors have “backstory” — the part of the story that only the author knows. It seldom makes it into print. A good writer will incorporate backstory into their work so the reader knows important things about the characters.
There’s a story between Carlotta’s Legacy and Rebecca’s Legacy. It’s important because it tells the reader who Rebecca is, what she’s overcome, and why she’s now living on a farm in a remote region of Virginia.
Amelia’s Legacy ended in 1929, on the eve of the stock market crash. Carlotta’s Legacy takes up the story after the crash, when the world has begun to change for my characters. I show the tragic aftermath that sends Rebecca to another country where she will try to pick up the pieces of her broken life.
Carlotta’s Legacy ends as the world begins to change again. World War II is on the horizon. Rebecca’s husband, Ricci, is called back to active duty to serve a leader and a regime he doesn’t respect. Ricci and Rebecca have recently welcomed a son, Dominic.
Rebecca is comforted by her good friend, a servant in her household. Eva (pronounced A-va) Campi’s son, Alessio, is a few months older than Dominic Alvera. Eva’s husband is serving in Africa.
As an American in Italy, Rebecca’s life becomes more complicated. Many of her liberties are stripped from her. She suffers under the hateful glances of her neighbors. She eventually keeps to herself within the confines of their estate at Tres Viti Verde.
When her good friends, Nancy and Robert Emerson, beg her to return to America, Rebecca initially refuses. Then Eva’s husband is killed. Carlotta suffers a fatal heart attack. Ricci is reported missing, and may be dead. Rebecca decides to accept Robert’s offer. But is it too late?
With their sons, Dominic and Alessio, Rebecca Lewis Alvera and Eva Campi move to Perry’s Landing. Rebecca spearheads a farming initiative, hoping to provide produce to area citizens devastated by the war. Robert asks the women to take in several Italian war orphans from respected families of his acquaintance.
The women’s farming business prospers, even though some of the neighbors mistrust them, and talk about them behind their backs. After all, Italy sided with Germany. Italy is the enemy, and these women have come from … Italy.
The women pay no attention. They work hard and find ways to serve the community. Through the local Catholic church, they give their extra produce to the poor.
Gradually, the neighbors note the good works these two women are doing. Their constant love and forgiving natures in the face of hatred and bigotry begins to melt the hearts of their fellow citizens.
Rebecca’s Legacy releases August 7, 2018.