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Secrets of the Tower

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  368 ratings  ·  47 reviews
An alternate title/cover for this isbn can be found here.

Two women, centuries apart, bound together by the secrets of one of the most iconic buildings ever created.

Pisa, 1999
Sam Campbell sits by her husband’s hospital bed. Far from home and her children, she must care for Michael who is recovering from a stroke. A man she loves deeply. A man who has been unfaithful to her.
Paperback, 1, 384 pages
Published March 20th 2015 by Bookouture
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Average rating 4.02  · 
Rating details
 ·  368 ratings  ·  47 reviews

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Simpering garbage. DNF.

Additionally, in her notes at the end, the author says she was determined to get the historical backdrop as accurate as possible as 'there's nothing worse that finding anachronistic anomalies in a historical novel.' Hmm. So it's ok for a 12th century character to say 'ok' is it?
Renita D'Silva
Feb 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
An absolutely fabulous story that had me living and breathing Pisa. The author has woven a very clever tale about how the tower came about and created a convincing story about who might be the architect involved in designing the tower. Both parts of this amazing story, the one set in Pisa in the 12th century and the one at the end of the 20th century are described so beautifully that both settings came alive for me. Most of all, I loved Berta, Aurelia and Gerardo’s story. The parts switched seam ...more
Clare O'Beara
May 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a speculative historical fiction, which looks at the Leaning Tower of Pisa. We begin in modern day with a woman who is almost convinced that her TV producer husband is seeing someone else, while she's had to leave her journalism career to raise their three kids. Then the husband has a stroke out in Pisa, where he's researching for a documentary, and his wife has to go to him.

Next we see life in the Renaissance town of Pisa, a marshy place full of disease but on a good trade route. An arc
Aug 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
For many years my husband had a dream to visit Tuscany; I was willing enough, as I love seeing the world and I had not yet been to Italy. Finally, in 2012, we all went: my whole family, that is my husband, myself and our two adult children. It would be our last holiday together, as my husband’s health has since deteriorated so dramatically that he is now bedridden in a care home. And so my memories of the enchanting Tuscan landscapes and the beautiful cities we visited will always hold especiall ...more
Mar 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Secrets of the Tower is a novel that captivates and intrigues and uses Pisa and its unique Tower as a backdrop to a fascinating and thoroughly entertaining tale.

Recounted through narratives alternating between two different time periods, 12th century Pisa and the end of the 20th century, Debbie Rix manages flawlessly to capture the essence of both periods with vivid images and glimpses into the lives of both past and present day Pisa and its landscape, architecture, customs and inhabitants.

Rebecca Stonehill
I loved the fascinating setting that Debbie Rix evoked in her novel - I knew nothing whatsoever of what life might be like in 12st century Italy and Rix has clearly done a huge amount of research for this book which sings confidently throughout its pages. The characters were wonderful, particularly that of the passionate and impulsive Berta and if I ever make it to Pisa (which I very much hope I will!), I will definitely re-read this book before going to make my visit more meaningful. I was real ...more
nikkia neil
Jan 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Thanks Bookouture and netgalley for arc

Perfect historical fiction mixed with present day. I can't say enough how much I enjoyed this book. It had just the right mix of emotions, love scenes, history, and atmosphere. I gobbled it up over the afternoon and night. Definitely want to read this author again. Debbie Rix found a unique part of history to explore, and it was just right.
Oct 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was born in Pisa and I couldn't wait to read a book set in my city. It was an interesting and fascinating reading, the author was very good at describing life in the 12th century that really seemed to be there. Both stories, the one set in the XII century and the one in the XX , are well built and the transition from one to another was very compelling making the reading even more engaging.
Sam's husband has a stroke while in Pisa to make a documentary. She reaches him and casually discovers the
May 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed reading this book based around the history of the Tower of Pisa.
Mar 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
“Secrets of the Tower is inspired by Debbie's own story: her husband, a television producer, had a stroke whilst making a film for Channel 4 about the Leaning Tower of Pisa in the 1990s. The novel also reflects her love of architecture - an interest which is hard-wired into her DNA as both her parents were architects. Many of the historical characters featured are based on real people”.

Pisa is a city that is beautiful, ornate, and rich in history. It is home to some of the most magnificent attr
Joseph - Relax And Read Reviews
I would like to say a big thank you to Bookouture and NetGalley for allowing me to read this magnificent book in exchange of an honest review.

Well, what can I say about this book? I love history, I love Italy, I love the Italian language and I love reading a good book with strong, believable characters. This book simply had the right mixture of ingredients for me. It is beautifully written with the past blended in nicely with the present. I couldn't ask for more.

Who was the original designer of
Joanne Robertson
Jan 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
What a wonderful book, with the balance just right between the historical and present day stories. I read it in a couple of enjoyable sittings.
In 1999 Sam has come to Italy to the bedside of her unfaithful husband. He has had a stoke while researching a documentary about the leaning tower of Pisa and so she decides to use her time to continue his research after becoming increasingly fascinated by the mystery of who designed the tower.
In the twelfth century Berta, married to a rich merchant, beco
Mar 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle
What a thoroughly beautiful read, took me away to 12th century Pisa, and the modern story was equally strong too. Proper review to follow...
Mar 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
I got offered a chance to review this book, and given that it was historical fiction, I grabbed it.

I still find it difficult to believe that there was a time when I used to find history boring. I couldn't stand it, while in school. It took Philippa Gregory's books to make a convert of me.

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Two women, centuries apart, bound together by the secrets of one of the most iconic buildings ever created.

Pisa, 1999
Sam Campbell sits by her husband’s hospital bed. Far from home and her children
Jo Barton
Mar 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Two women separated by time, experience the beautiful city of Pisa in a story which abounds with duplicity, passion and the temptation of marital infidelity. In 1999, Sam reacts to the news of her husband, Michael’s infidelity with sadness and confusion, which is made all the more poignant by discovering her husband has been taken seriously ill whilst making a documentary film about the iconic Leaning Tower of Pisa.

In twelfth century Pisa, Berta di Bernardo is the young, pampered wife of a rich
Tara Chevrestt
I had no idea until I picked this book up that there was so much mystery around just who really designed the tower. I walk away from this story with so much more knowledge about Pisa, Italy, its history and architecture, than I had before.

But despite that awesome premise, I must confess I only made it to 65% before I had to just quit. Truth is, I wasn't enjoying the story. For me to enjoy a story I have to like and relate to its characters and while I could relate to the modern heroine, a wife a
Jun 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: n, 2015, kindle, net-galley
This book has a dual narrative – set in 12th Century Pisa and modern day (1999). I loved the atmosphere of Pisa wrapped round you as you read. It’s somewhere I’d love to visit and I could really feel as though I was there, throughout the book. The two women in the book are bound by the history of the tower.
Sam is devastated to hear that her husband has suffered a stroke whilst on a research trip in Pisa. She goes to his side- even though he’s been unfaithful. Whilst dealing with all the stress s
Tracy Shephard
Jul 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
I love books with facts that I can google to find out more. Secrets of the Tower is a fabulous story with the history of Pisa beautifully told.

Sam’s husband, who is researching Pisa’s wonderful history, has had a stroke. Sam starts to read his notes and learns about Berta. Berta is remarkable, she is strong and fiesty, which in the 12th century was probably uncommon.

Told in two time phases, this tale is captivating and fabulous.
I must admit I am not a fan of historical novels but this one amazed
Lesley Williams
Mar 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
*A goodreads first read * A beautifully written book with a parallel between the historical and the present day. Two women, both with a passion for the Leaning Tower of Pisa. One to build it, the other to find out who was the force behind the tower and who designed it.
The story takes us back in time and then back to the present in a seamless provocative way, enticing the reader with what will happen next.
A passionate love story with tragedy weaving in and out of this romantic 12th century setti
Annemarie Macken
Feb 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Enjoyable and engaging read, based on a possible theory into the mystery of who designed the Tower in Pisa, now known as the Leaning Tower of Pisa. The author has blended the past and the present cleverly, making clear links between the events and the characters, which provide the reader with a glimpse into events in the past and their lasting effect on the present. Some lovely descriptions of Pisa, both now and then, create a real sense of atmosphere that it is impossible to ignore and leave th ...more
May 30, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
Absolutely terrible. This book is proof that traditional publishing is doomed: this got by the self-styled 'gate-keepers' while doubtlessly thousands of well-researched and well-written novels are relegated to the slush pile.

The writing is dismal. I can only assume that the author has never read anything about writing fiction, or perhaps any other novels. It's clumsy and stilted and relies on boring clichés. Particularly depressing is the depiction of modern Italians who are reduced to national
Anna Bartlett
Simply ok.
The history was very interesting but the writing was mediocre at best.
Although I generally love a story flipping between two time frames I did not feel it worked with this book. The present century was simply not needed for this story.
Julie Reynolds
Jun 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Very good story. Well written. The author draws you in. Excellent.
Jul 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

The Girl With Emerald Eyes: A Heartbreaking Historical Novel of Love, Tragedy, and Secrets is by Debbie Rix. This is a wonderful and unusual novel set in Pisa, Italy around 1170 and again in the 1990’s. It is told in alternating chapter of the present and the past.
Samantha Campbell was a stay-at-home Mother of three these days; however, she had been a prominent journalist prior to having children and she missed that life. Her husband, Michael was in Italy filming a documentary on the Leaning To
Emma Crowley
Mar 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Bookouture are fast becoming one of my favourite publishers due to the wide variety of genres on offer. I don't think I have yet been disappointed with anything I have read by this innovative publisher. The Poet's Wife and The Small Fortune of Dorothea Q having been just two of their brilliant reads released in the past few months that I thoroughly enjoyed. So I looked forward to reading this debut historical fiction novel by Debbie Rix – Secrets of the Tower. This is a time slip novel and as I ...more
Oct 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The modern day part of this novel was okay. Can't say I loved it. However, I did love the historical love story behind the building of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Fascinating research done by this author. Very informative.
Jul 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved the history behind this book ,and the story between two people ,and their relationship and heartache .
This book

I'm afraid I found this book pretty boring it had few highs or lows.and did we really need to know the exact ingredients of every meal as had no relevance to story
Mar 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I was sent a copy of this book in return for my honest review. Many thanks to Kim Nash at Bookouture.
This is a beautifully constructed novel that alternates between the Pisa of 1999 and that of the 12th Century.
1999 - Sam has rushed to Pisa to be with her husband Michael who has suffered a stroke while filming a documentary on the iconic ‘Leaning Tower of Pisa’. But she is conflicted: before he left, she discovered that Michael had been unfaithful to her, a matter that they had not had the chanc
Feb 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received an e-arc of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

I have been to Pisa several times over the years, and I absolutely love the city and, of course, its wonderful monuments. So, when I read the blurb for this book, I was at once delighted and scared to see it was set in one of my favourite cities. But, to be honest, I was mostly scared, because in my experience, foreign writers setting their books in Italy tend to get our country very, very wrong. I often find my
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 2 Oct 02, 2015 11:07AM  

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I started writing novels after a long career in broadcasting and journalism. My first novel - The Girl with Emerald Eyes (originally published as 'Secrets of the Tower' in March 2015), is set in two time zones - the modern day and 12th century. It explores the extraordinary woman who left the money to build the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
My second novel: Daughters of the Silk Road follows the journey