The Secret Price of History - Gayle Ridinger and Paolo Pochettino - Book Cover
Contemporary,  Historical

The Secret Price of History – Gayle Ridinger and Paolo Pochettino

A Piedmonte cheesemaker, the Battle of Gettysburg, a gold medallion with a secret encryption, a hidden treasure – a fascinating journey through time! 


Join me in a fascinating and captivating journey through many places on Earth across different times. It will bring you to America during the Civil War, witnessing the 1863 Battle of Gettysburg as well as its 2008 re-enactment. You will also find yourself in Italy’s Piedmont and Rome, in 2008 and in the mid-1800’s during Risorgimento, the period of establishing general Garibaldi’s dream of a unified Italy by force. In Rome a mysterious medallion can be found, its origins tracing back to Alexander the Great – King of the Ancient Greek – who found two treasures on his conquest of Persia. Several mysterious events suggest a third, even bigger treasure be hidden. How to find that treasure that can turn a beggar into a billionaire? Follow the Mithraic symbols on the medallion but beware: it’s a dangerous quest.


When 21-year-old weather girl Angie Cebrelli attends the 2008 re-enactment in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, little does she know that her life is about to change. She’s all dressed up to present the weather in a Civil War style clothing – with a beautiful addition: a gold medallion with on it a lion heart and a radiating sun, a legacy from Angie’s great-great-great-grandfather Goffredo Morelli, one of Garibaldi’s men supporting the Union cause fighting in the Battle of Gettysburg. What brought a cheesemaker from Piedmont in Italy to the battlefields of Gettysburg? Come with me to the year 1849 when Italy is thrown into a war between the Austrians, the French and the Papal army on the one side and the fighters for the democratic Italian Republic under General Garibaldi on the opposite site. When an Austrian deserter, the Hungarian officer Sandor Kemenj, seeks refuge in Goffredo Morelli’s cheese shop, they become friends for life. Sandor and Goffredo set out to join Garibaldi in Rome, follow him wherever he will go, fighting for freedom and democracy.

In Rome, they meet Eleonora Serlupi, a beautiful redhead who escaped her rich family and found refuge with the American painter James Freeman. A unique friendship is born between the Hungarian officer, the Piemonte cheesemaker and the rich Roman girl. When Goffredo and Sandor come to the rescue of a brutally attacked priest they cannot save him but can fulfil his dying wish: keep his medallion safe. Thus the friends come into the possession of Alexander the Great’s gold medallion – with on it Mithraic symbols referring to a hidden treasure. The secret of the gold medallion is the reason that during their lifetime and even that of their offspring, our friends are threatened with torture and murder. More than ever they are bound by love, trust and loyalty and together they encounter battles and murders, deceit and betrayal. Theirs is an adventurous story that brings them from Italy to America, following the cause of freedom, their conscience and dreams, strong-willed to survive whatever life throws at them.

Even in 2008, people are desperate to find the treasure the Mithraic symbols on Angie’s gold medallion, that has travelled from Italy to America, refer to. Among those is ruthless American businessman Marc-Alexandre Brandeau and his manipulative daughter Susanne. Susanne knows her brother Damian, who cut off his family ties, is capable of locating the treasure as he studied ancient and Mithraic culture and history. After being shot at in Gettysburg, Angie reaches out to Damian’s friend Arjan Gupta, to learn about the history of the medallion. The search for the truth is a dangerous one,  leading her on an adventurous and exciting trip to Europe: from Utrecht in the Netherlands to Milan and Rome in Italy. Around her, nasty and gruesome murders take place.  En route, Angie is told the fascinating tale of the gold medallion from its find in ancient Persia to its travel across the world and the treasure it refers to. Arjan and Angie have arranged to meet Damien in Rome but with murderers on their trail, will they reach Rome alive?

My Thoughts

This is a fascinating tale of a gold medallion, of those who fight for what they believe in, of a unique friendship between three people, brought together by fate. What I absolutely love about this novel is that it entwines the facts of history through the fictitious tales, combines historical characters and existing sites and cities with touching and inspiring tales of life in the mid-1800s and a thrilling story in the present. I am thrilled and overwhelmed after being taken on this engrossing time travel, a combination of history with an imaginative and compelling story. The book shows the profound interest for the Italian, American and classic history of both the authors, the American Gayle Ridinger and her Italian husband Paolo Pochettino. I can highly recommend this enthralling tale!

For more information on the book, the Italian and American as well as the classic history, the towns and sites mentioned and many other things, you can visit and explore the website dedicated to the book.

About the Authors

Paolo Pochettino Author Image Gayle Ridinger Author Image

Gayle Ridinger and Paolo Pochettino spent five years researching the facts of history for this historical novel. Before becoming a Mechanical Engineer Paolo studied Classics in University and his fascination for history could well be originated with his Piedmontese ancestor – an Italian Guard in Napoleon’s army. Gayle has also Italian roots, her ancestors originate in Italy and have crossed the oceans to make a living in Gettysburg, America. She is a former journalist, now not only teaching English and Translation Techniques at an Italian University but also renowned for her translations of Italian poetry. Gayle Ridinger and Paolo Pochettino have spent five years researching the facts of history for this brilliant book.

Book Info

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 Paperback   586 pages
 Publisher   Dante University Press (2 Jun. 2014)
 Language   English
 ISBN-10  0937832219
 ISBN-13  0937832219

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