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It is summer, 1956, when fifteen-year-old Bridget first meets Isabella. In their conservative Connecticut town, Isabella is a breath of fresh air. She is worldly, alluring and brazen: an enigma.
When they receive an offer to study at the Academy in Italy, Bridget is thrilled. This is her ticket to Europe and - better still - a chance to spend nine whole months with her glamorous and unpredictable best friend.
There, lodged in a convent of nuns who have taken a vow of silence, the two girls move towards a passionate but fragile intimacy. As the year rolls on, Bridget grows increasingly fearful that she will lose Isabella's affections - and the more desperate she gets, the greater the lengths she will go to keep her.
Belladonna is a hypnosing coming-of age story set against the stunning and evocative backdrop of rural Northern Italy. Anbara Salam tells a story of friendship and obsession, desire and betrayal, and the lies we tell in order to belong.
'An enthralling tale of race, secrets and the desire to belong' i
'Thrillingly ambitious, moving, painful and insightful. This book captures something unique about the experience of jealousy, betrayal and the muddied waters that lie between friendship and obsessive love' Daisy Buchanan
'The Virgin Suicides meets Patricia Highsmith's The Talented Mr Ripley, this unputdownable and lush novel had me entranced' Sharlene Teo, author of Ponti