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The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  2,361 ratings  ·  413 reviews
A trio of second-born daughters set out to break the family curse that says they’ll never find love on a whirlwind journey through the lush Italian countryside by New York Times bestseller Lori Nelson Spielman, author of The Life List.

Since the day Filomena Fontana cast a curse upon her sister more than two hundred years ago, not one second-born Fontana daughter has found
Paperback, 400 pages
Published November 17th 2020 by Berkley (first published September 26th 2018)
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Eve One of the characters reveals themselves as gay through a relationship they choose to pursue. Any more than that and it becomes a spoiler :-)

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Nilufer Ozmekik
Dec 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Lo amo I’Italia!E un viaggio fantastico !

How can you resist charm of this amazing country? Swimming in Lake Como, sipping those tasty wines at Tuscany’s vineyards, taking a gondola tour at Venice, shopping at Milano, eating amazing margarita pizzas in Napoli, saluting Pope at Vatican, giving ridiculous poses in front of Tower of Pisa as if you’re holding it not to collapse, spending hours and feeding your soul with amazing paintings at Uffizi and of course taking a yacht tour at Capri while dev
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Nov 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
I’m already a fan of Lori Nelson Spielman’s books, and this is her best yet.

How about that cover? Inside, the story is just as charming.

There’s a curse keeping two cousins and their great aunt from finding love. They take a trip to Italy determined that they’ll overcome the family hex. Traveling the canals of Venice to the vibrant Amalfi Coast, and everything in between, will love be found and what old secrets about this family will be uncovered?

LOVED the Italy setting and love love loved the
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

This comes out today. If you're looking for an escape, maybe you can find it in Tuscany : )

3.5 Stars

The Fontana family has had a curse on the second-born daughters for over 200 years. Always to remain spinsters, true love will never be in the cards for them. Emilia has sort of resigned herself to the fact that the curse is a real thing as she remains consistently unlucky in love. Her cousin Lucy takes a different approach – quickly fa
Chris  C - A Midlife Wife
What an amazing story. Deep dark family secrets are not what they seem to be.
Have you ever read a story that just makes your heart sing? A story that is so rich and warm you just want it to go on forever? The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany is that book.

Speilman gifts her readers with an amazing story that crosses generations and completely pulls you in. From New York to Italy, The Berlin Wall to a tiny church in Ravello, we hear a story about a love so profound it can cross the
Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)

I love when a story can sneak right up to you and punch you in the feels and take your breath away. When you aren't expecting much of anything and yet get everything.

Such a beautifully heartbreaking tale told in a back and forth pattern of the then and the now of a family as it has both overcome and succumbed to old prejudices, curses, and struggles from a time and place when women still had very little to say in what their life would be like. A story of three strong women trying to overcome fam
Whispering Stories
Book Reviewed on

There was a curse put upon the Fontana second-born daughters which has come true for generations gone meaning that the second born daughters will not find love. For cousins Lucy and Emilia who are the second-born they really hope that the curse isn’t real, however, they also haven’t found love as yet.

When their elderly Aunt Poppy invited them to go travelling with her in Italy the women are desperate to go but have some hurdles to get over first.

Could Po
Yangsze Choo
Jun 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I sat down with an early ARC of The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany on a lovely sunny afternoon and couldn't stop reading. Needless to say, dinner was late at our house... When Emilia and her cousin set off to break the curse of loveless second sisters under the guidance of her great-aunt, she discovers far more about her family than simple curses. Lori Nelson Spielman's deft and tender touch illuminates a glorious journey through Italy, and the heart. The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany is unfl ...more
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
Emilia is one of the many cursed, second-born daughters of the Fontana Family who are said will never be able to find love.

Emilia took this seriously because for generations, that seems to be what has happened.

Emilia's Aunt Paolina not only didn't find love, but she was ostracized from the family by her sister, and no one would tell why.

When Paolina asks Emilia to go to Italy with her, Emilia is torn between family loyalty and what she knows could be the chance of a lifetime.

Apr 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fancy an escape? Dreaming of sunnier climes? Lusting for romance? This book ticks all of the boxes.

Such an easy five stars to award. I fell in love with Poppy from when she is first introduced and could happily picture her and her flamboyant ways. Her “Poppy-isms” made her wise and it was fascinating to see her behaviours rub off onto Lucy and Emilia. Whilst they appear such opposing characters who would never normally mix, the leap of faith that both girls take when they accompany Poppy reflect
Jan 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed Lori Nelson Spielman's first two novels, so I was excited to hear that she was publishing another one and couldn't wait to get my hands on it. I'm so glad she wrote The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany because it was an absolute delight.

The entire novel was incredibly good and so easy to devour. I loved both Emilia and Poppy's stories. I wish Lucy had gotten to share her own perspective through a narrative, but I still enjoyed getting to know her through Emilia's eyes. I thought
Jan 16, 2020 rated it it was ok
There were two things that I liked about The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany: Rico and Poppy. I enjoyed their story and found myself wishing that the entire book had been only about them. Unfortunately, the flashback scenes were few and far between and I found myself putting the book down quite a bit.

For me, Emilia's story was the complete opposite of Poppy's. Where Poppy was exciting and interesting, Emilia was too plain Jane and boring to be believable. What was it about her that supposedly ma
Mary Jackson _TheMaryReader
Apr 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
Set is such a place I would love to be right now.This time slip as I call it was very well written. Past and present writing takes a gift, Spielman has that gift. I enjoyed the family drama, the little secrets. The family, friendship and the love are poured through out this book. I hope that I get the chance to read another book by her again soon.
I gave this book 4 stars.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expresse
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I hate to start a rave review with a negative but I kinda loathe the title and here's why: this book title conveys nothing of the depth of emotion, story, and change that occurs in this awesome novel. This title sounds frivolous and silly and this book is anything but that. This is, on one level, a sweet romance but it is also so, so much more. This book literally made me sob, I was so invested in the characters and their stories. There is some deep brilliant advice in here. Advice I had to stop ...more
Feb 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Take a trip to Italy from your armchair as three second-born daughters attempt to break a centuries old curse that has denied them true love. Lori Nelson Spielman’s THE STAR-CROSSED SISTERS OF TUSCANY is a beautifully told tale of the desire for love, the destruction of an old family “curse” and three determined women who discover long-buried family secrets among the beauty of a country made for romance. Heartwarming, emotionally vibrant, the “action” lay in the descriptions, the feelings, and t ...more
Meredith Jaeger
Jun 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
With lush descriptions of Italy, poignant writing and intriguing family secrets, The Star Crossed Sisters of Tuscany is as effervescent as an Aperol Spritz and written in Lori Nelson Spielman’s signature heartfelt style. Emilia’s journey of self-discovery transported me to Venice’s enchanting canals and the striking beauty of the Amalfi Coast, while Poppy’s story—set sixty years earlier—wove in the lasting impact of the Berlin Wall. I didn’t want to leave Nelson Spielman’s lovably flawed cast of ...more
Kaira Rouda
Jun 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing

Simply wonderful! Fans of Adriana Trigiani will rejoice in this book. A stunning journey that celebrates family, life and love. Ciao Bella!

Jillian Doherty
Sep 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Moon Stuck meets Under the Tuscan Sun - Join the Fontana women as they travel across Italy to Venice, Tuscany and the Amalfi Coast to challenge a family curse and discover who they really are.

The perfect heartwarming and romantic getaway to escape February blues; sweet and charming trade original!

Spielman explores the nuanced dynamics between sisters and how far our actions can reach as the secrets the Fontana women have guarded for generations are slowly revealed.

Galley borrowed from the publis
Sep 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This is the perfect Spring vacation read!

This a delightful story about family, myths, and love. It follows two incredible women, Poppy and Emilia, as they reflect on the past and push for a better future. In their family, second-born daughters are cursed from finding love. While all the ladies of the family pretend they don't believe it, the truth is that it's sort of become a self-fulfilling prophecy for them. Poppy is determined to break that though on her eightieth birthday when she must mee
Jodie (That Happy Reader)
Nov 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: for-review
Emilia Fontana is a woman living a safe life in her family’s bakery in Brooklyn. She is the second born daughter of an Italian family said to have a curse that has lasted 200 years preventing second daughters from finding love. Indeed, no woman in their family born in this birth order has married. The legend that surrounds the curse is strong in many of the older generations, while some of the younger members of the family are somewhat skeptical.

Emilia’s Aunt Poppy is also a second daughter. App
Nov 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"One of life's loveliest moments is witnessing another person's grace."

Siiiiiigh. What a lovely book. Inspired by a man who lived behind the Iron Curtain during the Cold War, this is a book I'd set my sights on back in April, when it was originally due out. As with many releases at that time, it was pushed back, and I must say, it was worth the wait, and also a truly lovely fall read.

I love sweeping family epics, and where this novel especially shines is in portraying the complexity of familial
Samantha Bailey
Jun 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
From my blurb for this gorgeous book: “In The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany, Lori Nelson Spielman has created a stunning, heartwarming, multi-generational story of family secrets and self-discovery, spanning the globe from New York to Italy. Emilia, Poppy, and Lucy’s deeply emotional, life-changing, and life-affirming journeys instantly captured my heart, broke it then put it back together. Spielman will make you believe everything you want to be is possible.” I received an advanced reader cop ...more
Bonnie Perdue
Jul 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Just love this author. Can not wait for her newest book to arrive . It is another "5" for sure!
Nov 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I’ve come to the conclusion that my words, or any words, will not be able to do this book justice. As Poppy loves to say, “There are no words when one has witnessed [or in this case, read] magic.” It is with confidence that I can say it is my favorite book of 2020, and will remain so for the rest of the year.

This book was brilliance. From the beginning, we learn of the dreaded Fontana family curse: that the second-born Fontana daughters will never find love. Two hundred years later, present day
marie stoner
Feb 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Just finished reading this novel. Could not put it down. I loved the characters, especially Poppy. It has lots of family drama, secrets, romance and dual time lines! Lori Nelson Spielman is a new author to me. I will definitely read more of her books.
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I won this book in a goodreads giveaway. It's a beautiful, sad, inspiring, and emotional story that I truly enjoyed experiencing.
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Meh. This wasn't for me. It's melodramatic and over-the-top in a very soap opera kind of way. While I can enjoy stories like that at times (a number of Beatriz Williams' books come to mind), I have to invest in the characters, and I didn't much like anybody in this book, although I'm sure the nerdy, bookish, jaded heroine was meant to appeal to someone like me. This is also one of those books that's all about forgiveness, and it's granted with nothing more than an apology (or even without one) t ...more
Christina (Confessions of a Book Addict)
The Fontana family believes in curses, especially when it comes to their family. The second-born daughters in the family are cursed; love never works out for them. Emilia and her older sister don't believe in their family's curse though that is until they looked at a family tree. To their horror, every second born daughter remained unmarried dating back 200 years. Could there actually be some truth to this curse? Even their cousin, Lucy, a second born daughter, can't keep a boyfriend around. Emi ...more
Claire Watson
Apr 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One Italian Summer is the first book I’ve read by this author. It follows the story of three women and one family curse - no second-born daughter in the Fontana family has ever married.

Lucy is desperate to find love, her cousin Emilia sees the curse as a blessing. Then we have Great Aunt Poppy who announces she will reunite with her long lost love in Italy on her eightieth birthday.

This is a beautifully written story, full of emotive and evocative prose. You are taken on a journey with the thre
Nicole Winter
Nov 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I’m rating this 5 well-deserved stars! This is one the best books I’ve read all year! I’m not sure how this one was not on my radar but I’m so glad BOTM chose it as a main November pick because that led me to its discovery. This book is full of so many themes including family secrets, self-discovery and growth, and so many different stories of romance. I loved the Italian setting and the characters so much! I’m not usually a huge fan of contemporary fiction as the stories are usually amazing but ...more
Jan 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, own
The second-born daughters in Emilia's family are all cursed. None of them marry. Emilia has resigned herself to this date, living a full life, acting like a handmaiden to her sister and grandmother. But when her estranged aunt, her grandmother's sister, invites her and her cousin Lucy, another second-born daughter, to go with her to Italy for her 80th birthday, Emilia's life is about to change.

This was a lovely story about eschewing expectations and finding your own way. The wonderful descriptio
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Book of The Month: The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany *Spoiler Discussion* 2 22 Nov 06, 2020 04:54AM  
Lori Nelson Spielman is a former speech pathologist, guidance counselor, and teacher of homebound students. She enjoys fitness running, traveling, and reading, though writing is her true passion. Her first novel, The Life List, has been published in over thirty countries and optioned by Fox 2000. Her second novel, Sweet Forgiveness, was also an international bestseller. Her third book, The Star-Cr ...more

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