By Margo Sorenson
Many of us have been struggling for almost three years during the pandemic, and teens have been especially vulnerable. Aren’t we all ready to try to forget the hardships and to move forward, dreaming perhaps of even traveling to some exotic country? Unfortunately, many of us have a difficult time escaping, because we have many obligations—work, family, and life just seems to get in the way. 😊 Because of these, taking a trip to escape is probably off the table—that is, unless we pick up a copy of my latest Young Adult/crossover Adult novel, SECRETS IN TRANSLATION, (Fitzroy Books, 2018), about which Allison Hill, current American Booksellers Association’s CEO, wrote, “Utterly charming!”
Besides taking a fabulous vacation in their heads, another appeal for readers, including teens, in SECRETS IN TRANSLATION is being let in on Alessandra’s secret. Who doesn’t want to be “in the know”? What if you could understand and speak a language, but no one else knew you could? What if an American girl was fluent in Italian and could understand everything Italians were saying, but they didn’t realize she could—and because she could speak both languages, she discovered a dark conspiracy that threatened those she loved?
Another pull for readers is Alessandra’s voyage of self-discovery. In these post-pandemic days, many of us, and teens in particular, seem to be deciding what is truly important to us, especially after nearly three years of lockdown and the pandemic. Of course, novels are about so much more than an action plot about a conspiracy, so my main character, Alessandra, needed her own journey of self-discovery to take, and having Alessandra conflicted about who she really was seemed to be a natural problem for her to try and solve. That is Alessandra’s journey in SECRETS, much as she resists it. Of course, because Italian young men can be drop-dead gorgeous, Alessandra had to find an Italian boyfriend, too… (That would be crush-worthy Carlo) In the book, she wonders if there are ANY ugly guys in Italy (probably not). There’s another young man in the book, too, and readers will have to read it to find out more about Giovanni…and his own secrets…
I hope that the lure of a trip to heart-stopping, gorgeous Italy, being able to be “in the know” with a secret, as well as traveling along with a resilient and courageous teen on her journey to find out who she really is, along with a dash of romance, will encourage readers of all ages to read SECRETS IN TRANSLATION. It’s time for all of us to leave the pandemic behind and take a leap into our next adventure!
From the back cover: “In this celebration of Italian life and culture, seventeen-year-old Alessandra returns for the summer to Italy, where she grew up. Pressured by her parents into babysitting a rebellious twelve-year-old—ruining holiday plans with newfound American friends—Alessandra resigns herself to a tedious summer in Positano. Her babysitting gig, however, turns out to be anything but boring! Not only does Alessandra fall for the handsome son of the Bertolucci family, renowned for their limoncello production, but when a body mysteriously turns up on the beach, the influence of organized crime in Positano become frighteningly real. As Alessandra is drawn further into an elaborate conspiracy, she must risk everything to protect herself, her family, and those that she loves, and in the process, she finds herself—and her Italian heart.”
Praise for SECRETS IN TRANSLATION (available everywhere) www.margosorenson.com
“Sorenson has created a fun, dreamy romp in the Italian countryside with a dash of suspense and intrigue to keep life lively. The book is perfect for readers seeking dynamic entertaining summer read that will warm their hearts as they cheer for Alex and her newfound loves.” – Wendy Woodfill, Collection Manager, Hennepin County (Minneapolis) Libraries, Ret.
“Although “Secrets in Translation” is a young adult novel, readers of all ages will turn its pages in suspense.— Kirsten Keppel in The Ambassador, national magazine of NIAF, the National Italian-American Foundation
“A teenage romance as sweet and satisfying as a summer day on the Amalfi coast, with a dark twist to add to the page-turning mystery. Brava!” –Dianne Hales, author of La Bella Lingua and the forthcoming La Passione: How Italy Seduced the World.
“A great story transports you away from the everyday, and in her new young adult novel, Margo Sorenson sends readers into a world of intrigue, romance and self-discovery in Positano, Italy.”—Christine Thomas, Punahou Bulletin, Winter 2018
“This was such a fun book to read! If you like YA novels that transport you to sunny Italy where a young woman comes-of-age, this is a perfect beach read or one to savor as an armchair traveler in front of a cozy fire”.—Laura Fabiani, Italy Book Tours, Library of Clean Reads
“Utterly charming!” —Allison K. Hill, YA Book Buyer, Vroman’s Book Store, Pasadena, CA
“I love how everything fit together in this book. I loved the characters and the setting and the small mystery feel with the involvement of Italian organized crime groups. I loved reading about Italian culture.”—Justina Hallett, Teen Book Blogger, J’s Bookshelf
“What an entertaining read! The descriptions of the beautiful coastal locations and customs are gorgeous and pulled me right into the action which builds up to a suspenseful climax and satisfying ending. You’re sure to enjoy Secrets in Translation!” – Marcia Strykowski, author of Call Me Amy
“Secrets in Translation is a perfect mix of travel, culture, romance and mystery!”—Anita Celucci, Past President MA Library Association, Librarian,Westborough HS
Author of over thirty traditionally-published books for young readers, Margo Sorenson spent the first seven years of her life in Spain and Italy, devouring books and Italian food and still speaks (or tries!) her childhood languages. Her most recent Adult/YA novel, SECRETS IN TRANSLATION (Fitzroy Books, October 2018), takes place in Positano, with plenty of Italian food being enjoyed. You can read more about her and her books, including her NYTimes-featured picture book at www.margosorenson.com