Thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture for my copy of The Tuscan Secret. Historical Fiction is fast becoming a steady favourite genre, particularly the era of WWI/WWII. I am fascinated with this period in time. The lives that were changed so dramatically and the secrets they have had to keep buried. Its a truly fascinating subject and one that piques my curiosity all of the time. So When Helen Pryke-Author recommended this to me it was an easy descision to make.
My Review ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
Wow! Why have I not read anything by this author before? The writing is magnificent. Very reminiscent of an author I already love. The blurb lured me straight in and the fascination I have with this period in time is all piqued with books like this one. A thoroughly researched story and great in depth analogy. A story of love, lose, secrets and hope. A story that is also a stark reminder of the ultimate sacrifices made so that we can enjoy life as we know and love today. Italy is beauty personified and I have truly fallen in love with the country helped by such beautifully descriptive stories such as this. A beautiful, touching story that I would recommend to everyone.
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 tantalising 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: happy days spent herding sheep across Tuscan meadows cruelly interrupted when World War Two erupted and the Nazis arrived; 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…
A stunning tale, inspired by true events, about how the tragic consequences of war can echo through generations, and how love can guide us through the darkest times. Fans of Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale and The Letter by Kathryn Hughes will be captivated.
About the Author
I live in the beautiful Italian Apennines for several months each year. Such an inspiring location.
My love affair with Italy was born at the age of seven when I moved with my family to Rome where we lived for six years. My father worked for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and he made sure we learned Italian and visited many places during that time.
Later on I studied Italian at the University of Kent at Canterbury and afterwards worked in Sicily, where I met my husband. His Italian mother and British father met in Urbino in 1944 and married after a war-time romance.
I wanted to write “Tuscan Roots” not only for my amazing mother-in-law, Giuseppina, but also to make people aware of the courage and hospitality shown by families of our Italian neighbours in our corner of war-torn Tuscany.
This is my first novel and is a story about ordinary people who lived through extraordinary times. (Please note it is a revised version of “Never Forget”). I have just been signed by BOOKOUTURE for a two-book deal and one of these will be a slight re-write of “Tuscan Roots”. The new title is “The Tuscan Secret”. I am so proud to be a part of this publishing “family”, as they describe themselves, who have patiently helped me to polish the original. It is available to pre-order at the moment, for 99 pence, and will be published mid-June 2019.
A sequel to this book was published at the end of April 2017. “Now and then in Tuscany” features the same family that appeared in “Tuscan Roots”. The background is the transhumance, a practice that started in Etruscan times and continued right up until the 1950’s.
My research for both these novels has been greatly helped by my kind Italian, country friends, who have vivid memories of both the Second World War and the harsh times they endured in their childhoods.
Italy is a passion but my stories are not always set there. My next book is about two fun-loving ladies of “a certain age” who live by the seaside in Sussex and get up to all kinds of adventures. Watch out for Mavis and Dot! They were launched on December 1st 2018 at St Paul’s Centre, Worthing, West Sussex and have received fab reviews. I have a sequel in mind. All profits from sales go to research into cancer.
At present I am working on a brand new Tuscan novel, inspired by the many ruins I see on my walks in the Apennines. Each dilapidated house holds a story for me, whether true or invented. I still have to dream up a title for this book, which will be put in 2020, also with Bookouture.
Find her; Twitter https://twitter.com/Angela_Petch Facebook; https://www.facebook.com/AngelaJaneClarePetch/ https://angelapetchsblogsite.wordpress.com/?fbclid=IwAR0cXndfQeh9vgdruxy92H9cyEJVHzgpGNGJtnnfJ6qXTyXnvD1OqSiSGCs