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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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  • A great novel of wartime friendship

    I got The Tuscan Contessa by Dinah Jefferies from NetGally for fair and honest review. The Tuscan Contessa, is set in Italy during World War II, from 1943 to 1945, the time after the country had been invaded by the Allies and Italy had surrendered to the allies and were now fighting with them against the Germans. The book does this by telling the story of two women one the Contessa Sofia de Corsi’s, a sleepy Tuscan village who helps the resistance with what she can, keeping this from her husband Lorenzo who is also helping the allies. Into this world comes Maxine, with family secrets of her own, an Italian-American with ties to the area, who comes to help the local resistance. The Two women form a strong, bond together and soon both woman get drawn deeper in fighting the Germans. This was a really good novel telling a story of World War II that does not get much publicity, as Italy not only tries to deal with the issues of the Nazi’s occupying them but the split of the country between those fighting for the Italian Fascists, who are loyal to the Germans and those that want the Allies to win One thing I really liked was how with the men all gone it concentrated on how the Women left behind had to deal with the day to day issues of being occupied, and trying to live a normal life. The friendship between the two woman was well written, and seemed natural as though they would have been friends if they had meet under different circumstances. The story also covered other issues that would have been going on such as romance but this felt part of the story, and natural between the couples involved. This allowed the story to seem more real as their was a life outside of the conflict around them, in addition there were mentions that about how the allies killed members of our family and we are meant to support them or they a bombing us. I really enjoyed this novel of war time friendship and having to deal with the problems of being occupied, while dealing with the normal day to day issues of life. This was a really enjoyable book to read, which I would recommend to fans of Dinah Jefferies,In addition if like stories of friendship during times of crisis as well as reading about the difficulties in Italy from the time Italy surrendered to the Allies until their liberation, then, The Tuscan Contessa, is for you.

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  • Historical Fiction WW II Tuscany

    In 1940s Tuscany, Contessa Sofia de' Corsi's lives in a beautiful medieval villa with her husband Lorenzo near the village of Castello and she’s dreading the arrival of the retreating German army. For years Italy has been in turmoil, currently the fascists support the German’s and the Italian resistance or partisans support the approaching Allies. Lorenzo leaves home to work secretly for the Allies in Rome, Sofia is left to run the estate with the help of her loyal cook Carla and she’s fights back as best as she can against the German oppression. After Lorenzo leaves for Rome, Sofia meets Maxine and she’s a spy for the Allies. Maxine grew up in New York, her parents came from a little village called Caprioni in Italy and she can speak fluent Italian and unlike a man she can move more freely around the country and not look as suspicions. Her job is to gather as much information as she can; she passes it on to the resistance and the British army. The Allies are getting close to liberating all of Italy but due to the weather its slow going, Sofia is praying they arrive very soon because the Germans are ruthless, they kill anyone who helps the resistance and everyone is starving. I enjoyed reading The Tuscan Contessa; it’s a book about sacrifice, espionage, intrigue, duty, loyalty and love. Both Sofia and Maxine are very strong determined women, they proved to be too much for the Germans to handle and I gave the book four stars.

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  • Just Brilliant!

    The Tuscan Contessa is a brilliantly told story with a strong sense of place and time. Having previously read another of Dinah Jefferies' novels, The Missing Sister, I was expecting a good one here, and The Tuscan Contessa was not a disappointment! Set amidst the backdrop of WW2, the eponymous Tuscan Contessa makes her home in an idyllic medieval villa which has been owned by her husband, Lorenzo's, family for generations. Whilst Contessa Sofia de' Corsi is the lady of the manor, her elegant façade masks her nerves of steel as she is determined to fight back against the control of a regime which brings trouble, sadness and despair. This wartime drama is high in excitement and sadness, and Dinah Jefferies brings both to the story in bucketloads with her attention to detail and compassionate writing style. The Tuscan Contessa was a lovely read and a perfect combination of powerful description and captured emotions. Atmospheric and mesmerising, it was an intense tale about love, friendship, and loyalty, and the outcomes when these are set against danger, intrigue and despair. I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my request from Penguin Books (UK) via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.

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  • Dissatisfied

    I normally love Diana’s. Jeffries books but was a little disappointed in this one .I felt that there was to much discription about Italy all the way through, and not enough about the characters in it .Disappointing.

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  • Her other books are better

    Didn’t enjoy this as much as I liked her other books

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