Rosanna Chiofalo - The Sunflower Girl
In the fields around Tuscany in summertime, sunflowers grow in profusion—wave upon wave of gold and green standing tall against the Italian sky. But for Signora Maria Ferraro, the bright yellow blooms carry only bitter memories. Though she loved them as a child, sunflowers have come to represent the most painful episode of her life. Not even her cherished daughter, Anabella, knows what happened to her during World War II, when the Germans overran her hometown of Florence and Signora Ferraro fell in love with a Resistance fighter. In the aftermath of loss and grief she found salvation through an unlikely source—cultivating roses on her farm in the Tuscan countryside. Now the blossoms symbolize everything that is both good and safe, and she nurtures them with as much care as she guards her past.