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Ratings and Book Reviews (6 25 star ratings
6 reviews
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4.1 out of 5
25
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  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    Compelling WWII and contemporary romance

    Anna is at loose ends, having just been made redundant, mourning her mother, and wondering about her future with her older lover. Along with some cash, she has inherited her mother’s memoirs, and on a whim, she decides to go to Italy to gain more insight into her mother’s past. She makes a fortuitous choice in lodging, and quickly becomes involved in the lives of Francesco, Alba, and Teresa, while learning life-altering facts about her mother’s history. To her surprise, she also finds romance. It’s very easy to get swept into this story. There are a few unnecessarily dramatic, formulaic moments, based primarily on misunderstandings between characters, but these are easy to overlook. As enjoyable as the story is, it really should be a screenplay, so that readers can experience the full beauty of the Tuscan setting. A quick, but memorable, read.
  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    An exceptional and quite emotional read.

    Anna decides to travel to Italy to try and learn more about her deceased mother Ines Santini. As it turns out, Ines had written Anna a diary that chronicled her years during the end of World War II. However, the diary is in Italian, a language that Anna's English father forbade her to learn. Her siblings, Harry and Jane, were pretty much grown up before Anna was even born. Her trip to Italy might be her only way of having that diary translated. Even more, Anna wants to learn the beautiful language. As sad as Anna is to have lost Ines, the box of letters just might teach her more about her mother, and that is a gift in itself. Considering the fact that Anna and Ines always experienced a difficult relationship, deciphering the diary might bring Anna peace. Furthermore, there are things about the war that Anna never understood. One of the first things that Anna learns is that her mother's having kept a diary could have been really dangerous for anyone concerned had it ended up in the wrong hands. Those are a few of the only words written in English. So Anna is more than intrigued. As Anna begins to learn about the contents of the diary, she starts to understand more about her father, and this is important to her. When Anna arrives in Tuscany, she is immediately befriended by the owners of a bed and breakfast, two siblings. Imagine Anna's shock when one of the first thing she discovers is that her mother had a brother named Davide. Quite naturally, Anna wonders why her parents never spoke of him. This news to Anna is only the tip of the iceberg, as layer upon layer of facts and detail are revealed. This includes explaining the fact that her father had PTSD, although the diagnosis was not named at that time. Growing up in England, decades after the war, left Anna seemingly unaffected by those tragic times. Sadly, Anna learns this was not the case with her mother and her family. What sadness! Something else happens to Anna while she is in Tuscany. She draws rather close to Francesco. This is surprising to her, because she certainly did not go to Italy to begin a romantic relationship. What a nice addition to a otherwise touching story. No doubt Angela Petch did extensive research while writing this book. This is a book that definitely made me think, and books like this are definitely keepers. This was truly an emotional read that had me captivated. There were some difficult passages for sure, especially concerning Anna's father. Not only is the story itself something to remember, it is the descriptive style in which the author writes about Tuscany that has definitely left an impression. This impressive story has an absolutely wonderful ending. This book was originally published as Tuscan Roots. I do believe that the sequel, Now and Then in Tuscany, is being worked on. I cannot wait to read that book! Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC to review in exchange for my honest opinion.
  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    Be transported to Tuscany

    Our ancestors call to us, especially when we are given such a small glimpse and are intrigued to learn more. Sadly, Anna’s mother has passed away and left her journals to her youngest daughter. As Anna reads them, she comes to two realizations: she will need help translating the Italian entries and she really wants to go see where her mother lived as a child and met her British soldier father during the war. The older generation didn’t want to speak of the war. They had seen and experienced horrible things, but Anna wants to learn more about her mother, she must! And she is certain there are some older residents in the area that may even remember her mother. As Anna begins her journey into her mother’s past, she comes across family secrets that can change everything. 
The story is well written and brings together the life of locals in Italy during the war and the modern day life that Anna is living. History, family, and love come together to overcome everything and help Anna understand her Mother in a way she never could when her Mother was alive. Be prepared to be transported to Tuscany as you immerse yourself in this story.
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    Excellent Read

    A lovely read ! This book will have you dreaming of eating olives and fresh cheese under olive tree in a Tuscan vineyard . The writing is sublime , the small village location so aptly described by the author is dreamy and the melding of past of present so expertly done. This is a charming story of past and present in a small. Italian village. The story revolves around the horrors of WWII and the present day where life is peaceful and charming . Anna’s mother Ines, passes away leaving Anna a box full of old letters. Anna becomes especially intrigued by the aged letters written in Italian by her mother. She is unemployed , does not like her life and on impulse travels to Tuscany to have the letters translated. She befriends members of a small village and soon the book is traveling back to WWII and the occupation and melding perfectly back to the present. Anna discovers the bravery of her Mother and the village under the tremendous horror of the occupation. The descriptions of the Tuscan countryside fill the reader's senses . .The culture of Italy is described in detail from the people, the landscape and the wonderful food. I loved this book and look forward to further works by the author. Thank you for the ARC for review. My opinion is my own. I highly recommend this book. Very well done to the author !
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    Good Read!

    The Tuscan Secret by Angela Petch 3.5 Stars In Italy, at the end of WWII, Ines meets, falls in love and marries a British soldier. After the war, she moves to England with him and has three children. When Ines passes away, and now both her parents deceased, the younger daughter, Anna, decides to travel to Italy to learn more about her mother’s life. Ines had bequeathed Anna a diary that chronicled her years during the end of World War II. With her curiosity piqued, a diary written in Italian, a language that Anna's British father forbade his children from learning, she embarks for Italy. Her elder siblings, Harry and Jane, were pretty much grown up before Anna was born. Reading “The Tuscan Secret” you learn much about the plight of the Tuscany region, during WWII. The author, Angela Petch, will transport you to the region with its descriptions of the flora and landscape. I felt a little bit too descriptive and verbose, however, the “my wanting to know more” kept me reading. It is a lovely story of family secrets, love and loss, sometimes sad. A good read!
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