While I'm actively writing, I need silence in the room so I can hear what my imaginary friends are saying. However, during the years it takes to complete a novel, there is always some sort of music I listen to obsessively. That music finds its way into the novels.

Opera continued to be a part of my life while writing this story, which takes place in Italy during World War II. The most important moment of music in this book is on page 218, when the boys of the San Mauro Brigade sing Nessun Dorma, the aria that became the trademark of the late Luciano Pavarotti. Here he is in performance:

Nessun dorma” means “No one sleeps,” an appropriate song for sentries. It ends with the stirring declaration of triumph, “Vincero!” Listening to the young partisans sing, their leader thinks, “The Germans have Tiger tanks… but these boys have Turandot and courage and history on their side.”