Tell Me, Signora

A novel by Ann Harleman

Kate Hagesfeld, grieving the death of her husband, travels to Italy just after 9/11 to re-start her career as an archaeologist.  Caught up in efforts to aid refugees from the Kosovo War, she must make the choice of a lifetime.


“Within this layered and rewarding story, the Italian setting is a prominent feature.  An atmospheric and satisfying story.”

                                                                         —Foreward Reviews

“A lush, engaging, and deeply satisfying narrative.”

                                                           —Brown University Monthly

Tell Me, Signora is a haunting and deeply suspenseful novel.  I love the honesty with which Kate approaches the many people she encounters: the Kosovo refugees she tutors, a poet also working at the colony, her Italian lover, and the sixteenth-century painter, Sofonisba Anguissola, whose life and work she studies.  I couldn’t stop reading as Kate struggles to save the people around her and, of course, herself.”

—Margot Livesey, author of Mercury

Lush and sensual, this is a book you will lose yourself in from start to finish, and beyond.”

—Ann Hood, author of The Knitting Circle

Tell Me, Signora blossoms from the singular voice of one woman confronting hard personal loss to a chorus, voices of women and girls, survivors of wartime violence, contemporary artists and thinkers, mothers, daughters, and a groundbreaking sixteenth-century artist whose major work remains hidden. Harleman deftly interweaves their stories and page after page reminds us: we’re all in this together.”

—Nancy Reisman, author of Trompe L’Oeil

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