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Tuscany #3

The Tuscan Girl

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She ran away through the pine trees when the soldiers came. Staggering into the hiding place, she felt a fluttering in her belly, like a butterfly grazing its wings, and knew instantly she had something to fight for.

Present When her fiancé is tragically killed in an accident, twenty-six-year-old Alba is convinced she’s to blame. Heavy with grief and guilt, she flees to her childhood home – the tiny village of Rofelle , nestled in a remote Tuscan valley. Out hiking one day to fill the long, lonely hours, she finds a mahogany box filled with silverware, hidden near the vine-covered ruins of an isolated house left abandoned after World War II. Could finding the rightful owner ease Alba’s heartache, and somehow make amends for her own wrongs?

In search of answers, Alba meets Massimo, an elderly man who wants to spend his final years pruning his fruit trees, alone with his painful memories. His face turns pale when Alba brings up the war, but she senses that their shared grief connects them. An unlikely friendship grows as little by little Massimo speaks of Lucia : a wild young girl with sparkling eyes who fell in love with an enemy soldier, bravely stole precious Italian treasures back from Nazi occupiers, and whose selfless courage and sacrifice altered the course of the war – and Massimo’s life.

With each visit, Alba gets closer to unravelling the mystery of the silver, and they both start putting their ghosts to rest. But there’s one part of Lucia’s story that Massimo might never be able to share – and he’s running out of time. Has Alba churned up emotions that are too painful to ever confront? Or, will unearthing a wartime secret that has lain buried for generations finally bring Massimo peace?

An absolutely beautiful and heartbreaking read that will sweep you away to the rugged mountains and lush olive groves of Tuscany. Fans of The Nightingale , Rhys Bowen and Julianne MacLean will be captivated.

‘ Loved it!!! ... Beautiful description of the landscape… heartbreaking ... The ending of the book was perfect … Definitely recommend … Loved everything about it. ’ Goodreads Reviewer

‘I don’t even know where to begin... beautiful … I absolutely adored this book … The picture that the author paints is both beautiful and devastating … the descriptions are so detailed, I could actually picture it in my mind. ’ Goodreads Reviewer, 5 stars

‘ The mysteries and the discoveries come fast and leaving the reader often gasping for breath … A lovely read.’ I am, Indeed

‘ Mesmerizing … captivated me… Angela Petch made the story of the past and present come alive … brilliant … I was completely taken over.’ Book Reviews by Shalini , 5 stars

‘ Omg! I loved this book! ... amazing story of The Tuscan Girl !’ Goodreads Reviewer

‘ This book did not disappoint … heartbreaking … wonderful descriptions of the beautiful Italian countryside… beautifully done … Highly recommend reading. ’ Goodreads Reviewer, 5 stars

‘The prose was mesmerizing, the beauty of the story just reflected off the words like sparkling gold … captivated me… Angela Petch made the story of the past and present come alive … I was completely taken over. ’ Shalini’s Books & Reviews , 5 stars

‘ A fantastic book … this is historical fiction at its finest … an excellent read.’ North of Nonsense South of Sophisticated

‘Very powerful and heartbreaking story about love and loss… riveting book that I really enjoyed.’ Goodreads Reviewer, 5 stars

348 pages, Kindle Edition

First published February 21, 2020

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About the author

Angela Petch

12 books169 followers
Born in Germany on account of my father being stationed there in the British army, post-war, I have not stopped travelling and collecting stories since. The remainder of my childhood was spent in Rome, I married in Italy, worked for a Dutch company, lived in Tanzania, East Africa and now divide my year between Tuscany and West Sussex, England.

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5 stars
1,126 (47%)
4 stars
834 (35%)
3 stars
335 (14%)
2 stars
63 (2%)
1 star
11 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 153 reviews
Profile Image for Karren  Sandercock .
852 reviews175 followers
September 30, 2021
Alba Starnucci has been living in London, when her partner James is killed in a tragic accident, and she returns home to Rofelle a small village in Tuscany. Alba has always enjoyed walking, it helps her clear her mind, and on one of her hikes she finds an old wooden box filled with antique silverware near the ruins of a house destroyed during the war.

Alba has always been interested in the wartime history of the area, but decades later and she’s not sure if she can solve the mystery. Alba meets Massimo, during WW II he fought in Egypt, was a prisoner of war in England and returned to Tuscany in 1946. He finds it painful to talk about the past, when he returned home after the war ended, he was shocked by the destruction and atrocities committed against the local people.

His childhood friend Lucia, was a spirited young girl, who fell in love with a German soldier, she was punished for being a collaborator and in fact she was a member of the local partisan resistance. Captain Florian Hofstetter, was horrified by his fellow Germans treatment of the Italian people, stealing priceless treasures, and he did what he could to stop them from being sent back to Germany.

The dual timeline story, goes between Tuscany during WW II and the present time. Alba and Massimo become close, and he shares with her his memories of the war and what happened to Lucia. The Tuscan Girl by Angela Petch is full of wonderful characters, historical facts and an engrossing read. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, I highly recommend reading it and five stars from me.
Profile Image for Kathryn Gauci.
Author 14 books114 followers
October 31, 2020
I followed the story of Massimo and Lucia with great interest. It was a time when villagers could not reveal their role with the Resistance and where suspicion and envy had immense repercussions. The author's descriptions made me lose myself in the beautiful Tuscan countryside torn apart by war and her characters were so alive that I felt I was in hiding with them, walking the steep donkey tracks and hiding in caves alongside them. I couldn't wait to see how it would end. A poignant story of heroism and loss. Highly recommended.
Profile Image for Shalini (shaliniandbooks).
2,524 reviews208 followers
February 16, 2020
I don't read many historical fiction, but when an author is recommended, then I do. This was one of them.

Alva in the present time had lost her fiancé to an accident. Heartbroken and listless, she went back home to Tuscany to her parents to get her life sorted. There she met a 90-year-old Massisimo, and his story and secrets brought Alba back to the world of living.

My first book by author Angela Perch, the prose was mesmerizing, the beauty of the story just reflected off the words like sparkling gold. There was a sense of timelessness telling me the events of the present along with taking me back to the times of strive. I felt like a river being taken in hand and shown the path to follow. I could do nothing but flow down the course of the story as it went through every bend and twisted turns. Lucia, Florian, and Massimo fascinated me with their love, and their story captivated me.

The generosity of their hearts and their capacity for love humbled me. Author Angela Perch made the story of the past and present come alive in its fluidity. Alba in the present, who got to know the entire story via Massisimo, was transformed over the pages. I loved her kindness and how she healed slowly over time.

There was enough of a mystery happening in the book that made even a non reader of this genre like me to get into the story. Angela has done a brilliant job with this book. I was completely taken over by her story.
Profile Image for Ixxati.
282 reviews15 followers
February 26, 2020
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!
754 reviews5 followers
February 11, 2020
Very powerful and heartbreaking story about love and loss going between England 1943, Tuscany 1945 and present day Tuscany. Alba Starnucci is living in London with her boyfriend James when he is killed in an accident. Alba blames herself and returns to her father and step-mother's home in Tuscany to recover. When Alba meets 90 year old Massimo things get very interesting as hidden secrets are revealed. This is a very well researched and well written story about Tuscany during World War II. I felt the characters were well-developed and likeable for the most part. Thank you NetGalley and Bookouture for the ARC of this very riveting book that I really enjoyed.
Profile Image for E.J. Bauer.
Author 2 books65 followers
March 27, 2020
Tuscany. What an evocative word. This book links the beauty of Arrezzo's hilly countryside with a poignant recounting of life during the last months of WWII. Cleverly weaving events of the present day with the stark realities of German occupation and Italian resistance, the author introduces a cast of finely drawn characters who share their hopes, fears, joys and loves with the reader. Another book I couldn't leave and well worth 5 stars.
Profile Image for Carolyn.
635 reviews
September 9, 2020
This book, sadly, is the victim of very poor editing, at least in the Kindle format. Character names were wrongly interchanged, Anna for Alba, and Alba for Lucia. Also, Alba meets elderly Massimo at a Christmas party at her parents' home, and later in the book, her parents tell Alba they want to meet him, as if they haven't before. The book is told in three different time periods, present-day, 1944, and 1946. Alba is the main character in present day Tuscany, the home she returned to after a broken romance in London. Lucia is the Tuscan girl in the 1940's, and her story is in two parts. First is her relationship with a German soldier, and then two years later, her rekindled friendship with her childhood friend Massismo. It's not a bad story, but the editing errors were very distracting.
Profile Image for Robin Loves Reading.
2,240 reviews393 followers
January 28, 2020
Alba is devastated and plagued with guilt when her fiancé is killed in an accident. She thinks she will be able to regroup by heading to her childhood home in a very small village in the Tuscan valley. When she discovers a box filled with silverware, near the ruins of a house abandoned after the second World War, she finds direction. She wants to find the owners of the silverware.

One of the people she meets is an elderly man named Massimo. When Alba is speaking with him, the pain and sadness is evident in his face. Alba cannot let go, however, and speaks to Massimo yet again. The two find make a connection in their grief. More and more Massimo trusts Alba and he begins to tell her of a young girl he knew during the war named Lucia. This is where the story often switches to the past. Lucia was a brave young woman and changed Massimo's life forever.

What a mystery to be solved. However, it is heartbreaking. As the horrors of the war grew close to Lucia and Massimo they were not happy-go-lucky young lovers. Their love was fraught with heartbreak and danger. Alba finds ways to help Massimo to recount these memories, although it is clear his life cycle is nearing its end. I do love the decisions each of the main characters made throughout the story, but especially Alba.

The Tuscan Girl is a touching story that touches on yet a different aspect of the war. It never ceases to surprise me as I continue to read historical fiction novels on how many ways lives were affected and forever changed. I did read The Tuscan Secret previously by Angela Petch and I fell in love with Tuscany then. She did another fantastic job of making the characters and the settings feel real to me. I enjoy her writing and look forward to reading much more as time goes on.

Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.
Profile Image for Audrey.
Author 10 books104 followers
March 2, 2020
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.
Profile Image for Cherihy808.
369 reviews
September 14, 2020
3.5 stars. This is a tough one for me to write a review on. Historical fiction has become one of my favorite genres and I was so excited that this book was offered on Amazon for 99 cents in kindle. After seeing such high reviews l could not wait to start the book. Sadly, the first half I was bored. I just couldn’t get into the story and I felt like it was overkill on the descriptions. I like detail in my books, but this was just a bit too much. I was determined to keep going because the reviews were so high and I needed to see why. Then I reached around the 50% mark and I must say it was like the whole second half was a completely different book! If I based my review solely on the second half, it would have been a 5 star review. I loved the story itself and how the chapters switched from past to present. Lucia and Massimo’s stories were both so touching...the things they went through during the war and how they came together years later. Would I recommend this book? I think so. The beginning was rough for me but that doesn’t mean someone else wouldn’t enjoy it. I definitely think the second half of the book was worth reading and I’m glad I stuck with it.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
483 reviews30 followers
January 26, 2022
It is absolutely amazing that a book can be so full of sadness and horror but still so sweet and full of such lovely characters. The back and forth between present day and WW II was done so well that I never felt startled by it. The flow of this story was incredible. So many brave people doing what they could. Italy sounds like such a beautiful place. Maybe someday I will be able to visit. I will remember these people like they are my own dear friends for a long time. Thanks to Snag A Read for Free for the gift of this wonderful book.
Profile Image for Eric.
508 reviews29 followers
September 3, 2020
An interesting tale of the struggles of the locals in Italy during the fascist regimes of WWII. Love lost and found. The prejudices among people. Excellent descriptions of the countryside. Better, Angela Petch tosses in Italian phrases and words to give flavor to the writing. "Best," she describes authentic Tuscany / Italian recipes. More than a few I looked up and will try. Cooking for me is another form of alchemy. I could almost give this book four stars based on recipe ideas. :))

A nice interlude for me who is still searching for what to read that will last for more than a few days.
Profile Image for May.
780 reviews70 followers
October 28, 2022
I truly enjoyed this post WWII novel. This was a different look at what happened to the families in war torn Tuscany and how they managed to rebuild their lives after the Germans left. Characters I could care about, a plot that was informative and cultural details that enriched the novel.
Profile Image for Sydney Long.
223 reviews24 followers
February 25, 2020
I don’t even know where to begin. I suppose a brief summary of this book is a good start. It alternates between present day and the early 1940’s in Tuscany. Present day Alba returns home to Italy after tragically losing her boyfriend in a motor accident. There she meets Massimo, an elderly former WWII POW. Together, they help each other heal. Massimo has been bottling up his wartime experiences and Alba blames herself for her boyfriends death. They instantly feel a connection and for the first time, Massimo feels comfortable enough to tell his story. His story helps Alba heal and find her way again. There is so much more to this beautiful story but I want you to discover that for yourself.

I absolutely adored this book. I suppose it’s best if I start by saying how connected I personally feel to one of the main, present day, characters...Alba. I’m often drawn to the WWII generation and they are extremely comfortable with me. It was extremely easy for me to slip into Alba’s shoes as she befriends Massimo. There is so much that generation can teach us, we just have to be willing to listen. And for many of that generation, they’ve held in their stories until the right now. As that generation slowly disappears, these stories are precious and should be heard as well as learned from.

The picture that the author paints is both beautiful and devastating. What I love even more is that the descriptions are so detailed, I could actually picture it in my mind and those are my favorite kind of stories...ones that I can completely immerse my imagination into. While liberties were taken throughout the story, much of the historical events were very real. I encourage you read the authors notes to give you more detail on the historical aspect. Too little is known about the Italian resistance during WWII and this story sheds some light on that.

Thank you so much to NetGalley, Bookouture, and Angela Petch for the privilege of reading this story early!
Profile Image for Karyn.
249 reviews
January 26, 2020
The Tuscan Girl
I love historical fiction and especially stories about WWII and the lives of those living in the desperate times of Nazi invasion and the heroic partisan fighters. This book did not disappoint. It is well written and well researched. The lives of Italian men, women and children living through the war is heart breaking. Young men being enlisted to fight and ending up as prisoners of war. The partisan fighters and their strength of will. The fear of people living with war on their doorstep. The wonderful descriptions of the beautiful Italian countryside.
There are so many parts to this book. The love story of Lucia and her German captain Florian; Lucia’s childhood friend Massimo and his life abroad and then his return to his childhood village. Alba and the loss of her fiancé in London and her return home to Italy to recover and her befriending Massimo and learning of his and Lucia history. The story is spun through a mix of timelines which is beautifully done.
Thank you to Netgalley and Bookouture for the opportunity to read and review.
Highly recommend reading this title. 5/5
Profile Image for Veronica Barton.
Author 16 books62 followers
May 27, 2020
Alba is reeling from a catastrophic break-up with her boyfriend in London. They’ve been together for years, but in an unexpected twist, James breaks up with her. A tragic accident sends Alba into a deep depression. Her family and friends are deeply concerned, will she recover from the fatal relationship?

Alba returns to her parents home in Tuscany to recover mentally and figure out her new life directions. A chance holiday dinner encounter brings her in touch with Massimo, an older man from the village with a bittersweet WWII past. As Alba regains her mental footings, she reaches out to the man with the war torn past, listening to his sometimes tragic and heartwarming lessons of experiences and relationships gone-by. Will the gift of life’s insights help heal her wounded heart?

Author Petch gives us an insightful read on dealing with heartbreak, tragedy and new directions in the present, guided by the sagas, dreams and lessons learned from the past. A delightful life journey filled with visual descriptions that transport you to the scene. A moving historical fiction tale, highly recommended!
Profile Image for Pam.
4,366 reviews43 followers
April 29, 2022
The Tuscan Girl: Completely gripping World War II Historical Fiction is by Angela Petch. This book is absolutely stunning. Once you get started, it compels you to finish it before you can put it down. The questions it raises are raised at different times so you go off on another search just as you think you figure it out. The characters are so very realistic, it seems they could be in your room looking over your shoulder as you read so you don’t miss something. There are so many stories about World War II that we don’t know and won’t ever know either because those involved have died or they aren’t talking. Every person’s view of the war was personal and definitely from different directions. I would highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to read about the Italian war. The other Tuscan stories by Angela Petch are just as good.
Profile Image for Carol Thomas.
Author 8 books22 followers
March 25, 2020
This is an absorbing read that transports the reader to Tuscany, past and present. The dual timelines of WW2 and the present day work well together, and I found myself wanting to read on, to find out what would happen next across each of the stories as they unfolded. There are many likeable characters, though Massimo, who spans both timelines, was my favourite. As with the author's previous novels, the setting is brought to life through beautifully descriptive prose. Overall, it is a lovingly written, emotive story.
Profile Image for Sandy  McKenna.
712 reviews16 followers
March 4, 2020

Oh my goodness, this is such a poignant and emotional story, set in Tuscany during the present day with reflections back to World War II and immediately after.
Alba befriends an old veteran, and long held secrets from the past are finally revealed.
I loved The Tuscan Secret, and this book is equally as good.
So well written and researched, this story had me hooked from beginning to end. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
Profile Image for Emma Crowley.
890 reviews120 followers
February 26, 2020
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.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
975 reviews28 followers
January 17, 2020
Loved it!!! Beautiful description of the landscape. It wasn't until the end that I realized that Anna and Francesco were the same people from "The Tuscan Secret" (which I loved!!!!) My favorite part of the book was reading about Massimo and Lucia. I didn't realized how many Italians were kept as POWs in England during the war. I found it very interesting reading about Massimo and Salvo's time with the Spinks. I hated how Lucia's neighbor's treated her. The scene with her in the town square and what happens to her house and family were heartbreaking. I'm not sure how Lucia survived before Massimo finally returned home. Massmo was such a sweet man. I loved the relationship he had with Lucia, Alba and I can't forget Lupino. He was such a sweet and loving man. So glad Alfi and Alba were able to reconnect as friends after so many years. They were able to help each other with the James and Beatrice situations. Beatrice is one scary lady. I would always keep my doors and windows locked. The ending of the book was perfect.

Definitely recommend the book. Loved everything about it- the story, characters and writing style. Look forward to reading more books by the author. Love the cover of the book!!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bookouture through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Profile Image for Rosemary Noble.
Author 11 books12 followers
March 2, 2020
For those who love Ms Petch’s previous Tuscan books, Tuscan girl will continue to delight. This one takes the story of Anna’s family forward to the next generation. Alba needs a project to lead her back to normality after her boyfriend’s demise and she finds it in the mountains of her youth. The ruins of a partisan hiding place on the Mountains of the Moon give her a glimpse into the troubled past of WW2 and the story is set as Alba is drawn into a mystery of discovered treasure and a mysterious wraith.
Once again, this book is a feast of the senses. The wildflowers which beckon Spring, the tastes of a simple feast, the mountain views – all make you want to hop on the next plane to visit the area.
I loved the character of the elderly Massimo who reveals the story of the enigmatic Lucia, a victim of both the Germans and her neighbours. The relationship which develops between the old man and Alba is beautifully told.
Profile Image for Donna Maguire.
4,429 reviews114 followers
March 20, 2020

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!!
169 reviews
November 22, 2020
3.5 stars The story was intriguing but but there seemed to be a different writer for the dialogue than for the description & storytelling. The first was too basic & the second was more richly written.
In fact, if the author had fleshed out the story the way she described Alba’s paintings, the whole story would have been better.
I also would have eliminated some of the minor characters as I kept forgetting who they were or just didn’t care.
Profile Image for Darlene Karalash.
426 reviews4 followers
January 11, 2023
I’ve finally figured out how to fit some reading into my vacation time in Maui…on a chaise lounge at the condo complex pool. There is even a “take a book, leave a book” library, but the selection is limited to the paperback novels that you find on a stand at a corner grocery store.

My Baba would have described this book, “Such a nice story!” I appreciated the Paper Bag Princess ending!

Profile Image for Cindy.
31 reviews
April 26, 2022
Enjoyed the multiple stories and time lines and how they all come together. A little distracted by some bad editing but that didn't take away from my reading enjoyment.
114 reviews
October 5, 2022
La casa sulla collina dei papaveri

Un bel libro, da consigliare!!
Profile Image for Brenda S.
66 reviews1 follower
March 25, 2020
The Tuscan Secret, and Girl

I read both books and fell in love with the characters and Tuscany. I cried for their lost loves, their suffering and their pain. I walked those mountain trails with you and felt the sun and breeze on my face. I heard the wolves howl and the laughter from the villagers. I heard the cannons and the bullets hitting all around. Yet, I also felt the peace, sorrow and love of the people whose depths of character helped to put my broken heart back together with their wisdom , gentleness and incredible stories.I
thank you, for writing these beautiful stories and sharing them.

Profile Image for theliterateleprechaun .
1,393 reviews28 followers
March 21, 2021
Angela Petch explores forbidden love during World War Two in book two of the Tuscan series, “The Tuscan Girl.”

Inspired by Bruno, an elderly man in Petch’s Tuscan village who passed away in 2020 at 100 years old, Petch felt compelled to share his experience. Changing his name to Massimo, she writes of an elderly man who lives alone with his memories. When he meets Alba Starnucci, a 26-year-old widow, their shared grief connects them and they work together to put their ghosts to rest.

Alba has discovered a mahogany box filled with silverware in the ruins of an abandoned house while she’s out hiking one day. She has no idea that it connects to Massimo’s past and a story of Lucia, whose selfless courage and sacrifice changed his life. You may remember Alba is Francesco’s daughter and it’s wonderful to come back to her story and see how she’s grown. You’ll love reading about these two strong Tuscan women who are both searching for something.

Petch really is the Queen of Dual Timeline, isn’t she? I’ve never seen an author so seamlessly transition across time and location. I think one of her trademarks is her beautifully descriptive writing. The teacher in me loves to see all the metaphors and similies and the visual learner in me loves to imagine the setting as I read. Petch allows me to follow along in my ‘mind’s eye’ as I read. Among Petch’s strengths is also her ability to bring forgotten history alive and her dedication to connecting generations and highlighting their experiences, proving the tenacity and human desire to live and be remembered.

This beautiful, yet tragic love story shows the necessity of sharing the burden and the power of redemption.
Profile Image for Desiree.
447 reviews4 followers
May 2, 2020
The Tuscan girl by Angela Petch turned out to be one in a series of three books set in Tuscany during the second World War and in the present.
When I started reading Tuscan girl I was not aware that it was a sequel to a book I read before, The Tuscan Secret, but a couple of chapters into the book I started realizing that I "had met" some of the characters before. I write had met because the characters in Petch's books really seem to come alive when you read the books.t
This is the story about Alba, the daughter of Francesco and stepdaughter of Anna from the previous book who returns to her native Rofelle in Tuscany after her fiancé dies in a car accident. Like in the other book this story is also set in two separate time-frames because a major part of the book centres around Massimo, an old man Alba meets and whose life (and love) story during the second World War she slowly discovers during this book.

In the present day Alba's own love-story with her former classmate slowly develops despite encountering some ups and downs.

I can recommend this book to everyone who is into historical novels, Tuscany or just anyone who wants to read a great story. I'm looking forward to reading the next sequel.
Definitely 4,5 stars

I want to thank Netgalley And Bookouture for providing me with an ARC of this book
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