A fast-moving historical tale of religious and class conflicts, told with a personal touch. Coleman … jumps quickly from one action-packed event to another in fast-paced storytelling that’s highly enjoyable.”
 
-Kirkus Reviews

The Book Trailer

“I was drawn into his world and into his time and space. I was truly changed by the experience of reading Peppino’s story – a rare glimpse into a way of life separated by time and circumstance.”

 

– JOSEPH P. THOMAS FEATURES WRITER / RESEARCHER

ABOUT THE BOOK

 

 

Seth Coleman’s Peppino introduces readers to a young Italian boy who is destined for greatness but first must overcome grave obstacles in order to fulfill his potential. Born in nineteenth-century southern Italy, Peppino is the son of the baroness of Bologna. A member of the famous Medici family, one of the most prominent families in European history, the baroness expects her son to claim his role of baron and accept his rightful place among the aristocracy. However, the precocious Peppino rebels against his upper-class position, setting off on his own to fight for the common people.

 Also fighting for the rights of commoners is Nicola, a Christian peasant man who risks his life in order to lead a rebellion against the injustices of the Church and—more specifically—the local monsignor, who has ambitions of his own. The aristocracy and religious institutions have long withheld education from the masses as a way to keep them under control and enjoy absolute rule. Tired of this forced servitude and involuntary ignorance, Nicola is determined to change the tide of history. With his friend Abramo, a Hassidic Jewish peasant, acting as Nicola’s second-in-command, the rebels unite under the one God who rules above all religions. Suddenly, anything seems possible.

Pope Leo XIII is another warrior in the fight for the people’s rights. He successfully fought off the mafia’s stranglehold on the country and worked tirelessly against class injustices. With his niece set to marry Peppino, the novel offers a unique glimpse into the personal life of an often solitary figure, whom millions adore but only a handful really know.

 Ultimately a story of good versus evil, religion versus God, and hypocrisy versus righteousness, Peppino examines history through the lens of the personal. Through his novel, Coleman offers readers a human story with breathtaking scope.

BARONESS OF BOLOGNA
Ippolita Bologna

 

 

When I first saw this picture hanging on a wall in Italy I thought she looked like a sad and misunderstood woman…and an interesting subject for a book. Plus, look at the subdued character on those faces.

PEPPINO & His Family

 

 

This old photo was one of the inspirations for the novel. It was photographed in the 1890s. Dressed here for his time in the Italian Military service. What are the chances of finding this old photo of him, with his brother Vincenzo, another main character of the novel, pointing to him more than one hundred years before a novel was written about his exploits? Peppino introduces readers to a young Italian boy who is destined for greatness but first must overcome grave obstacles in order to fulfill his potential. Born in nineteenth-century southern Italy, Peppino is the son of the baroness of Bologna. A member of the famous Medici family, one of the most prominent families in European history, the baroness expects her son to claim his role of baron and accept his rightful place among the aristocracy. However, the precocious Peppino rebels against his upper-class position, setting off on his own to fight for the common people.

Also fighting for the rights of commoners is Nicola, a Christian peasant man who risks his life in order to lead a rebellion against the injustices of the Church and—more specifically—the local monsignor, who has ambitions of his own. The aristocracy and religious institutions have long withheld education from the masses as a way to keep them under control and enjoy absolute rule. Tired of this forced servitude and involuntary ignorance, Nicola is determined to change the tide of history. With his friend Abramo, a Hassidic Jewish peasant, acting as Nicola’s second-in-command, the rebels unite under the one God who rules above all religions. Suddenly, anything seems possible.

Pope Leo XIII
Vincenzo Gioacchino Raffaele Luigi Pecci
1810-1903

Pope Leo XIII is another warrior in the fight for people’s rights. He successfully fought off the mafia’s stranglehold on the country and worked tirelessly against class injustices. With his niece set to marry Peppino, the novel offers a unique glimpse into the personal life of an often solitary figure, whom millions adore but only a handful really know.

Brancaleone Superior was destroyed by the famous Messina earthquake of 1908 forcing villagers to move to the town now visible below

View of the church from Brancaleone Square

Ruins of Villa Bologna/DeAngelis

Monastery of Saint Benedict, Subiaco, Italy

Neighboring village

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A Few Amazon Reviews

History ultimately makes a fascinating story

5.0 rating
5 months ago

I appreciated the connection to family as well as the triumph of the hero. A good read.

S Davis

Waiting for the sequel . . .

5.0 rating
8 years ago

This is clear, intelligent story telling at it’s best. Mr. Coleman has taken some tricky, complicated scenarios and smoothly translated them into
believable circumstances. I had no problem picturing what was happening. His humor and sense of honor wrap around each character.
I am waiting for the sequel to see what happens to the Americanized “Joseph” DeAngelis after he gets off the boat. Please follow up with that story!

Kindle Customer

Waiting for the sequel . . .

5.0 rating
8 years ago

This is clear, intelligent story telling at it’s best. Mr. Coleman has taken some tricky, complicated scenarios and smoothly translated them into believable circumstances. I had no problem picturing what was happening. His humor and sense of honor wrap around each character.
I am waiting for the sequel to see what happens to the Americanized “Joseph” DeAngelis after he gets off the boat. Please follow up with that story!

Kindle Customer

An enjoyable read

4.0 rating
8 years ago

Peppino lives in late 19th century Italy where the Catholic church reigns. He is the son of a powerful baroness but cares much more for the village folk than the customs and attitudes of the nobility. In particular, he despises the local monsignor who rules the region, making up his own laws. At 14 Peppino makes a lifelong enemy of the monsignor. His actions as a member of a peasant militia fighting for universal education have the reader cheering, but young baron or not, Peppino is forced to get outta Dodge…
He ends up as a student in a monastery near Rome, which, among other things is tasked with getting Peppino to control his temper. It almost works.
He returns home as a young baron, asked by the pope himself to continue to support the common people in a dignified way … but Peppino is Peppino and when he feels he has to take action….
Peppino, group leader Nicola, best friend Emilio, and team member Abramo (a Jew in Catholic Italy), and even the Baroness are good characters and the plot, essentially reporting on Peppino’s exploits, makes for a fun read.

Patricia

good read!

4.0 rating
9 years ago

Recommended to me by a personal acquaintance of the author. Lives up to its billing as “history through the lens of the personal.” I was impressed from the opening pages in which the author makes use of the flight of a bird to give us a literal “birds eye view” of the setting, then the bird itself becomes a metaphor and transitional tool as it alights at the house of the protagonist, Peppino. I knew then that the authors talents would justify sticking with the book and so it turned out. He often follows this pattern at the outset of sections, giving historical backdrop and (very vivid) descriptions of the scene before zooming in on the characters and back into the narrative.
The story itself is engaging and deals with easy to sympathize with struggles and feelings… class distinctions, gaining faith, losing faith, family conflict, hard questions, etc. It has a sense of humor and a good deal of action and even a few tear jerkers at the end.

SFG

Great Book hope to see more of this story!

5.0 rating
9 years ago

I really liked this book. It had a lot of information on churches in Italy. I really liked the characters in book and how they lived their life and their adventures. I was ready for more adventures of Peppino when the book ended. I have recommended this book to all of my friends.
Barbara S.

Barb S.
Visits: 1945