Tuscany series by Angela Petch (#2-3)
English | 2021|Historical Fiction| ePUB | 8 MB
Angela Petch is a prize-winning author who lives six months of the year in Tuscany and the remaining half year in Sussex, England. She lived in Rome for six formative years, where her passion for Italy was born. “Tuscan Roots” is her first novel and a sequel was published in April 2017: “Now and Then in Tuscany”.
A Tuscan Memory (aka Now and Then in Tuscany) (#2): Italy, 1923. In a tiny hamlet nestled in the Tuscan mountains, farmers gather after a hard day in the meadows, and children’s laughter rings across the square: but one little boy does not join in their play. Behind his deep brown eyes hides a heartbreaking secret…
Ninety years later. When elderly Giselda Chiozzi discovers a lost little boy, curled up asleep in the beech forest outside her grand but empty home, she can’t help but take pity on him. It’s been a long time since she had a visitor. Waking up to her kind smile and the warming smell of Italian hot chocolate, Davide soon blurts out what drove him into the cold Tuscan night: how he’s different from everyone else, he’s never belonged anywhere, and now his beloved mother is ill.
Giselda promises to help Davide trace his family history – she knows better than anyone that connecting with your roots can ground you in the present – and hopes it will make Davide realise that home is where he truly belongs. Together the unlikely pair discover the story of Davide’s great-grandfather, Giuseppe Starnucci, a young boy who spent his days milking cows, helping with the harvest, and hammering horseshoes in the forge. But after a terrible incident that changed his life forever, Giuseppe also ran away.
David is overjoyed to find a connection with someone from his family at long last, but when Giselda uncovers the shocking reason why little Giuseppe fled to start a new life, she has an impossible decision to make. Telling Davide the truth about his great-grandfather could persuade him to go back home where he belongs. But could it also tear the family apart? All Giselda knows is that she must save this lost boy before her own time runs out and he is left alone for good…
The Tuscan Girl (#3):She ran away through the pine trees when the soldiers came. Staggering into the hiding place, she felt a fluttering in her belly, like a butterfly grazing its wings, and knew instantly she had something to fight for.
Present day: When her fiancé is tragically killed in an accident, twenty-six-year-old Alba is convinced she’s to blame. Heavy with grief and guilt, she flees to her childhood home – the tiny village of Rofelle, nestled in a remote Tuscan valley. Out hiking one day to fill the long, lonely hours, she finds a mahogany box filled with silverware, hidden near the vine-covered ruins of an isolated house left abandoned after World War II. Could finding the rightful owner ease Alba’s heartache, and somehow make amends for her own wrongs?
In search of answers, Alba meets Massimo, an elderly man who wants to spend his final years pruning his fruit trees, alone with his painful memories. His face turns pale when Alba brings up the war, but she senses that their shared grief connects them. An unlikely friendship grows as little by little Massimo speaks of Lucia: a wild young girl with sparkling eyes who fell in love with an enemy soldier, bravely stole precious Italian treasures back from Nazi occupiers, and whose selfless courage and sacrifice altered the course of the war – and Massimo’s life.
With each visit, Alba gets closer to unravelling the mystery of the silver, and they both start putting their ghosts to rest. But there’s one part of Lucia’s story that Massimo might never be able to share – and he’s running out of time. Has Alba churned up emotions that are too painful to ever confront? Or, will unearthing a wartime secret that has lain buried for generations finally bring Massimo peace?
An absolutely beautiful and heartbreaking read that will sweep you away to the rugged mountains and lush olive groves of Tuscany. Fans of The Nightingale, Rhys Bowen and Julianne MacLean will be captivated.