Elaine Coffman's (The Fifth Daughter) 19th-century saga, The Italian, highlights the struggle between Italy and Austria in the years following the fall of Napoleon. Angelo Bartolini is a member of the Carbonari, a secret society committed to uniting Italy and freeing it from Austria's control. Though he has dedicated his life to his country and is now a wanted man, he cannot forget his love for Beatrice Fairweather, the shy English painter who captured his heart years earlier. Upon seeing her again, he realizes she is the only woman for him, but with fate and the enemy conspiring against him, he fears he may not have much of a future to offer her. Coffman renders Italy's plight with the exactitude of a historian, but her tendency to intellectualize love will leave readers cold.