Author: Angela Petch
Published by: Forever on Apr. 5, 2022
Genres: Historical Fiction
Book Rating: 9/10
Il Mulino. An old crumbling mill, by a winding river, nestled in the Tuscan mountains. An empty home that holds memories of homemade pasta and Nonna’s stories by the fire, and later: the Nazi invasion, and a family torn apart by a heartbreaking betrayal.
Anna is distraught when her beloved mother, Ines, passes away. She inherits a box of papers, handwritten in Italian and yellowed with age, and a tantalizing promise that the truth about what happened during the war lies within. The diaries lead Anna to the small village of Rofelle, where she slowly starts to heal as she explores sun-kissed olive groves, and pieces together her mother’s past: memories of homemade pasta, Nonna’s stories by the fire, and happy days spent herding sheep across Tuscan meadows cruelly interrupted when World War II erupted and the Nazis arrived. Her mother fleeing her home to join the Resistenza and risking everything to protect an injured British soldier who captured her heart. But Anna is no closer to learning the truth . . . What sent Ines running from her adored homeland?
When she meets an elderly Italian gentleman living in a deserted hamlet, who flinches at her mother’s name and refuses to speak English, Anna is sure he knows more about the devastating secret that tore apart her mother’s family. But in this small Tuscan community, some wartime secrets were never meant to be uncovered . . .
Immersive, emotional, and vivid!
The Tuscan Secret is an absorbing, dual-timeline tale predominantly set in Tuscany during WWII, as well as the late 1990s that takes you into the life of Anna, a young woman who, after her own life seems to be in tatters, journeys to Italy after her mother’s death to unravel her family’s history and discovery the secrets of her mother’s past.
The prose is eloquent and expressive. The characters are feisty, brave, and determined. And the plot is an immersive, compelling tale about life, loss, family, secrets, desperation, tragedy, friendship, resistance, survival, first love, and the atrocities of war.
Overall, The Tuscan Secret is a moving, evocative, beautifully written tale by Petch inspired by real-familial events that I devoured from start to finish and is the perfect choice for anyone who enjoys a well-researched WWII time-slip story with a fresh perspective and a dab of romance.
This novel is available now.
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Thank you to Forever and Grand Central Publishing for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.