The Tuscan Girl

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 25 Feb 2020

Member Reviews

If you like WW2 books this one is for you. Heartbreaking story, beautiful Italian culture and views portrayed in this book bring the pages to life almost. This story is a modern fiction twist with WW2 period of time. Good read.
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A beautifully written book set in dual timelines.  A central character Massamo features in both stories as he tells his story of WW2 to Alba.  Alba in todays timeline is returning home to Tuscany following a tragedy.  Back in the 1940's we hear the story of Massamo and Lucia. A story of bravery and sadness as the Italian resistance fight the Nazi's. Todays timeline highlights the beauty of Tuscany and the wonderful sights, sounds and food! Both timelines are heartbreaking and heartwarming.
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A great read! Modern day twisted with WWII. If you are a fan of WWII historical fiction, I highly recommend. This book taught me a little more about Italy during the war. I feel like there haven’t been nearly enough books written about it. Great read
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A beautifully written, wonderfully engrossing and completely mesmerizing read, Angela Petch’s The Tuscan Girl is a book readers simply cannot fail but fall in love with.

When Alba’s boyfriend is tragically killed in an accident, she is convinced that she is the one to blame. Consumed by grief and guilt and desperately needing to find a place where she is not constantly haunted by memories of the man she loved, she flees to her childhood home and to the Tuscan village of Rofelle, where she hopes to be left alone to recover from this most devastating of heartbreaks. With long and lonely days stretching out ahead of her, Alba seeks solace in hiking and in being one with nature, but when she stumbles on a mysterious box filled with silverware during one of her hikes, little does she know that she is about to be swept back into the past and into a story of love, secrets and loyalties that will soon take over her life.

As Alba begins to search for answers, she finds herself determined to get to the bottom of this tangled tale and she befriends an elderly man called Massimo, who wants to spend the last few years of his life pruning his trees in peace. Any mention of the war compels him to recall pain and hardship, but he soon begins to open up to Alba and tells her of a young girl called Lucia, who had courageously and valiantly stolen back Italian treasures plundered by the Nazis and returned them to its rightful owners. Her bravery and sacrifice had altered the course of the war and changed Massimo’s life forever.

As Alba begins to get ever closer to uncovering the truth about the mysterious box she had found hiking, old demons are vanquished and ghosts from the past are put to rest, but there is a part of the story Massimo is reluctant to divulge as it is far too painful for him. As time begins to run out, Alba wonders whether she will ever get to the truth about Lucia’s past and whether unearthing Lucia’s powerful secrets will finally set Massimo free.

A powerfully written tale of healing, renewal, courage and second chances, The Tuscan Girl is an unforgettable read told straight from the heart that will move, delight and enthral readers who will find themselves completely and utterly captivated by this outstanding novel. Angela Petch has the storyteller’s gift and she has penned a heart-breaking, dramatic, emotional and devastating read which will make readers cry on many an occasion.

A fabulous read readers will simply not be able to forget, The Tuscan Girl is a book that is heading straight for my keeper shelf.
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I loved the writing style for this book and the cover fits the story perfectly, it was a magic book to read and the author really transported me back in time – it was a gorgeous story to read!

I found this a really easy story to read, the author set the pace and tone for the book brilliantly, it was a book that hooked me in and I carried on reading as I wanted to know how it would all end. The author really brought the story to life for me and I was happy to relax and just let her take me away with the story.

It was quite an emotional read in places and the author left me wanting to give the main characters big hugs at times, they were so well developed and believable - I was really invested in their story! I loved reading how their relationships developed, the story has drama, romance and ultimately their resilience and determination to succeed.

It is 4.5 stars from me for this one, rounded up to 5 stars for Goodreads and Amazon, it was a lovely story, well written with some fabulous characters, it is a lovely piece of historical fiction – very highly recommended!!
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Thank you for the opportunity to read this. I will be posting a full review to Goodreads, Amazon, and Instagram.
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I read this ARC for an honest review
All thoughts and opinions are mine

I really enjoyed this
I liked the way this was written - moving from WW2 to modern and back - my kind of book

Highly recommend
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Every time I read a book about World War 2 I learn something new albeit not in a good way. This book goes from the modern day back to the war, while Massimo relates his and Lucia's story to Alba, a young girl who has gone to visit her parents in Italy, after the death of her boyfriend. A very good, descriptive story.
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Thank you to Netgalley, the publisher and the author for the opportunity to read a complimentary copy of this book in return for a review based upon my honest opinion.

I had the fortune of reading this author's previous book, "The Tuscan Secret" and loved it, I knew when I saw she had a new book that I had to read it, especially when I found out that it that some of the people from her previous book were in it.  It was lovely, heart-wrenching and heartwarming, sad and joyous all at once.  I loved this story, I loved these characters and this mountainside.  

Alba has recently lost the man she thought would be her husband to a fatal accident and she blames herself, perhaps if they had not argued, he would still be alive, but they most certainly would not have been together, she knew he was breaking it off with her.  Feeling lost and heartbroken, she leaves England and goes home to her small village in northern Italy.  There she is soothed by her parents and a familiar way of life.  She soon meets Massimo a 90 year old war veteran from the village, they form a quick bond.  As Alba and Massimo get to know one another, they spend time at his small house in the mountainside and they unburden their secrets and he tells her of his wife, Lucia and she of her James.  The story is told in two parts, the present by Alba and in the past by Lucia.  The story of Lucia will stay with me, is was haunting and full of emotion.  Loved every part of this book.

This author is going on my list of favourites for sure.
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I have read the previous two books in this series and I really enjoyed both of them.  I read the synopsis for 'The Tuscan Girl' and I couldn't wait to get hold of a copy, as it sounded like another fabulous read.  I wasn't wrong either because 'The Tuscan Girl' is a fabulous book, which I thoroughly enjoyed reading but more about that in a bit.
It didn't take me long at all to get into this book.  As soon as I started to read, I knew that I was going to be in for a treat and that I would find it increasingly difficult to put the book to one side for any length of time.  I was right on both counts.  I only meant to read a couple of chapters to fill in the odd ten minutes or so but I became that immersed in the story that the ten minutes stretched into half an hour.  Boring things like life got in the way and so I wasn't able to read the book over the course of a day but I did manage to finish reading the book in three days.  If I had to put the book down, then I would look forward to being able to pick the book up again.  This was a thoroughly enjoyable and emotive read.
'The Tuscan Girl' is well written.  The author has one of those writing styles that is easy to get used to and easy to get along with.  She draws you into the story from the start and then takes you on one heck of an emotional rollercoaster ride.  The story is set mostly in the present day but with frequent mention of things that happened during the Second World War.  I often felt as though I had been picked up from the North East of England and transported to Tuscany, a place where the weather was a lot warmer and the atmosphere was very different.  If I closed my eyes, it was easy to imagine that I was in Tuscany with the sun beating down on my face and that's all thanks to Angela's fantastic descriptions of the area and of the people.  I felt as though I was part of the story myself.
In short, I thoroughly enjoyed reading 'The Tuscan Girl' and I would recommend it to other readers.  I will definitely be reading more of Angela's work in the future.  The score on the Ginger Book Geek board is a very well deserved 4* out of 5*.
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Historical fiction isn't usually my thing, but this magical and memorable book effortlessly transported me back in time (and satisfied my need for a contemporary feel too). Having visited the area of Tuscany where it is set, I felt an even stronger pull, with the author's descriptions of the land, food and people wrapping around me like a comforting blanket.
There are so many strong characters – from Alba, nursing guilt and a broken heart, to Massimo, who we meet both in the past and the present. Then there is the brave and resourceful Lucia, who falls in love with someone against impossible odds, and the enigmatic nun, Lodovica whose kindness and wise counsel help Alba's childhood friend, Alfiero find peace after a traumatic event.
The book is filled with beautiful lines.
 'As the landscape outside froze over, she began to thaw inside.'
'The square at Badia had lost several of its buildings. The little town was like a gaping mouth with missing teeth.'
'They were no longer like buzzards circling each other high in the clouds. Occasionally their wings would touch.'
The horror and futility of war is ever-present, but through it all the message of human resilience shines through. I had tears in my eyes several times, but ultimately felt uplifted by the overriding message of hope.
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This book was such a beautiful well researched historical fiction story that was told in two timelines. The story was truly heartfelt, powerful and heartbreaking too. The story was set in England and Tuscany in the 1940’s in the midst of the second world war as well as present day Tuscany. Alba was reeling from a loss after a tragic accident kills her fiancée. She goes back home to a small village in Tuscany to recover and take the time to heal from the sudden grief. While there, she befriends Massimo and their friendship and the stories they share between each other connects them with their own grief. I thought that the writing was exceptional. The character development was well written as well as all the descriptions from that time which comes from a very well researched story telling. This was an emotional read that was also beautifully written. A must read for Historical Fiction fans.
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Historical fiction is often told from a singular point of view, but that is not the case here. The author approaches the WWII sections from the perspectives of multiple people, which covers more ground, as the characters have different experiences. This, in turn, allows the reader to gain a deeper insight to the lasting effects of war. I also thought the contemporary storyline dovetailed nicely with the historical sections, as it was easy to draw character comparisons. The Tuscan landscape comes alive through vivid descriptions. Actually, there is great detail in every location. I recommend this book for the differing personal stories and the overall arc. For a full review, please visit my blog at Fireflies and Free Kicks. Thanks to NetGalley and Bookouture for a digital pre-release ARC of the book.
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A very moving and interesting novel that takes you to one of my favorite book locations, Tuscany.. Dual timelines kept my interest from page one to the end. Memorable characters make this one I will gladly recommend to friends.
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The Tuscan Girl is the second book from Angela Petch and it was just as good as her first as she transports us away to Italy to tell a story of two women separated by many years but who both endure so much whilst always trying to follow their hearts and do their best. A brief but tense prologue introduces us to Lucia in 1945 as she awakes to the smell of smoke and the sound of screams. She needs to get out as soon as possible but she knows nothing in her life will be routine any more and it's as if there is no point in her continuing on. But she is hiding something and although her heart is broken this perhaps will give her the courage and strength to battle on and push through the most difficult of times to hopefully reach a more happier and contented state of mind.

The story itself moves back and forth between Alba in the present and Lucia back during the war years. Anglea Petch carried off the dual timeline story to perfection as this time around with book two moving back and forth between two different characters and time settings I thought everything worked much more seamlessly than it had in her previous book. In The Tuscan Secret the strands of the story which focused on the past were told in a diary format and for some reason this didn't work for me whereas here we were right there with Lucia as she strives to reach her goal of becoming a doctor all amidst the backdrop of war. I felt I got to know her character very well as we were really present, as her life changes all because she fell in love with someone who was viewed as being the wrong person.

In present day London, Alba Starnucci opens the door to find a police officer standing there with bad news, her partner James has been killed in an accident. This tears Alba's world apart even more so the fact was the last time she saw James they parted on bad terms after having an argument about their future.This guilt will eat away at Alba, she feels James' death is her responsibility. So when her father and stepmother suggest she come visit them in Italy she knows she needs to take the opportunity to get away from everything. To take time out to comprehend what has happened and to try and seek some form of closure and acceptance and to free herself from the culpability that is wearing away at her. Much needed space is on offer with her parents and little does she know she will go through an experience which will provide links to the past and allow her to establish connections and seek resolution in the present.

Something started to niggle at me when Alba reaches her parents house in Italy and when I stopped to go back and check some details about the authors first book then it came to me. Alba was the young girl who featured in The Tuscan Secret and her stepmother Anna and father Francesco were the main characters in that book. I thought this was brilliant that we were getting a continuation of sorts of their story but instead we have moved forward several years and we can see how Alba has changed from the quiet girl we first met. It really was a clever way of bringing a new story to her readers whilst at the same time characters readers had been deeply invested in previously were not forgotten. I would actually love to see could the author continue this with book three or will she turn to a whole new set of characters and even a different setting?

It's clear to anyone that Alba is deeply hurting and as she takes the time to come to terms with her loss she uncovers a story that makes her want to seek answers. She walks around the countryside and mountains which surrounds her family home and high up in the ruins of an old hideaway used by the resistance fighters she believes she sees a man. Is it a trick of light or her imagination? Soon, she discovers a hidden box full of silver objects containing a crest. Immediately Alba's thoughts run riot as to their origin and with the help of Alfiero Paoli, an old schoolmate who now works in the tourist office, Alba sets out uncovering the stories of the past in the hopes of bringing about resolution for her in the present.

Massimo, who played a small role in the previous book, becomes known to Alba and as their friendship grows deeper he recollects to her his own story and how he knew Lucia. I loved the mystery element of the book as a whole and how Alba uses Lucia's story to take her mind off her own anxieties and problems but yet at the same time it was like she needed to do all this and seek answers in order to help with her own healing process. The opportunity to discover the ordinary roles that people played in the war was one not to be missed and as Lucia and her secrets had remained dormant with Massimo for so many years and there were even some elements of the story he did not know, Alba becomes the one who is worthy of discovering the truth behind the contents of the box and in turn the full story of Lucia.

Lucia was a woman ahead of her time in the fact she wasn't one who was going to leave it too late to do the things she wanted to do with her life. She knew life was precious and short even more so with the Germans rampaging across her beloved homeland. She deserved nothing but admiration for wanting to train in a male dominated world of medicine because she knew she had the fortitude to reach her goal and make changes in peoples lives. In the hills above her village resistance fighters had made so many sacrifices and endured brutality and massacres all for their country and even though she couldn't engage in the same way as they did she knew she could play a role no matter how small.

What she couldn't foretell was that her heart would be taken by an enemy soldier whose own heart is sickened by the sights of war and all he is forced to do. One would think when reading that instantly you would judge Lucia for what unfolds but you don't. We are all human and if our heart is telling us something we must follow it no matter the consequences. Lucia took risks and if discovered there would be brutal and far reaching affects. She deserved respect and to be held in high regard for what she puts herself through and I hoped Alba would discover these qualities. Both Lucia and Alba are two strong Tuscan women who are both searching for something and across the tides of time they may just find what they are looking for.

I loved joining the dots between books one and two and combined with a brilliantly plotted storyline and such glorious, vivid descriptions of the Italian landscape The Tuscan Girl was a book I really enjoyed reading. It is a prime example of a historical fiction book which brings the past to life and reminds us never to forget the sacrifices so many made so we could have our freedom today. At its centre is a story of love, loss and heartbreak but also one of sheer determination, courage and strength in times of adversity, cruelty and destruction. Angela Petch casts the spotlight on the Italian resistance of which I did not know much about before and sheds light on just one strand of many which helped to win the war. The characters jump off the pages and feel as if they could be real and this makes for an absorbing, empowering and gripping story. I look forward to where the author will take us next as she definitely as a way of bringing the past to life through such fantastic writing.
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I'm into historical fiction these days. I like reading bout the hardship, trying to survive wars, the pain losing people they love and etc I don't know why but I love it! It feels like I understand them lol 

Omg! I loved this book! It was written in past and present days. The main characters are Lucia and Alba. But sometimes I got confused because there are Florian, Massimo and Alfiero point of views too 😅

Thank you Netgalley, publisher and author for this amazing story of The Tuscan Girl!
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I really enjoyed this novel and the dual timeline worked well.  Both story lines were interesting, which I often gravitate more towards one than the other.   I have read many historical fiction novels about WWII, but nothing about the Italians and the POW camps in the UK.  Great set of characters that were well developed with a great plot - really enjoyed Lucia and Massimo. Overall a great read.

Many thanks to Bookouture and NetGalley for and ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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"The Tuscan Girl" is a fantastic book about a different perspective on WW2. In this book, we follow the Italian troops through the eyes of Massimo and the Italian country side through the eyes of Lucia. It's now years and years later when we meet Alba. A girl who thought her life was figured out, when tragedy strikes. She comes home to be with family and she meets Massimo. The two instantly strike up a friendship. This bond allows him to open up about a past that the whole town seems to avoid.

I love historical fiction and this is historical fiction at its finest. Petch does great work creating characters that are not only interesting, but also characters that we want to root for. Each character has something unique about them, and these little details set apart this story, almost instantly. I think characters like Massimo make for amazing tales, because while they are selfless, they are not perfect. You love them even in their imperfections. Lucia, however, I found a bit harder to love. She is loud and brash and opinionated, but life deals her a bad hand. I don't know that she ever loves Massimo the way he deserves.

One thing I will say on this book is that while the story is excellent, sometimes the actual writing can be a little less than. There are moments that it feels like sentences just don't flow well. It almost feels like a translation gone wrong. These spots are few, but they tripped me up while reading. 

Overall, an excellent read. I gave it 4 stars.
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A lovely dual time line story that moves between London and Tuscany and WWII and the present.  Alba, seeking solace after the tragic death of her fiancé in the UK, returns to her family home in Tuscany where she meets Massimo.  Massimo, who is 90 years old, slowly spools out his story and that of Lucia, the woman he loved.  Those two went through so much during the war and after.  This wraps in some little known aspects of WWII, such as Italian POWS kept in the UK and the impact on their families.  Nicely written and plotted, this is actually a page turner.  Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.  For fans of the genre and historical fiction in general- this one has something new to offer.
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A brilliant book, I loved the story of Massimo and Lucia in the 1940's and Alba in the present day. The story moved along nicely and the transitions between WW2 and current were just right.  A very easy read that I seriously couldn't put down.
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