On this July 4th weekend, flags, fireworks, and outdoor activities are all signs of celebration—all visual symbols that demonstrate our independence as a free people. From ancient times, signs have held a significant place in the way people communicate. Belief in symbols as a sign or direction one should take in life finds expression in the many superstitions that remain part of our social consciousness. For Italians, the belief in a sign from God is an enduring tradition.
The second book in the Venetian Masquerades, “A Sign from Heaven Sent,” grew out of this tradition. The story’s heroine, Diane Carrero, appeared briefly in “What Hides Behind the Mask,” but her strong personality demanded a story of her own. The mask she wears is one with which many of us are familiar. We choose a path in life and work toward its attainment. But what happens when we find that goal once attained isn’t what we want after all? What do we do? Well, many of us grit our teeth and drive on. We clap on masks that tell the world and ourselves we’re happy as the proverbial clams with our choices. Others re-evaluate their chosen paths, and for those of us with superstitious or religious beliefs, we place our faith in asking for signs that our way forward has the benediction from some higher power.
In Diane’s case, her sign from Heaven comes from the appearance of an unusual visitor...one rooted in Roman antiquity with ties to a twenty-first century man. What role do the two play in Diane’s future? “A Sign from Heaven Sent” is an enjoyable read with enough mystery to give a surprising twist to its ending.
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