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The Tuscan Girl

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  1,612 ratings  ·  116 reviews
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 day: 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
Kindle Edition, 346 pages
Published February 25th 2020 by Bookouture (first published February 21st 2020)
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Average rating 4.26  · 
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 ·  1,612 ratings  ·  116 reviews

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Kathryn Gauci
Oct 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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 he ...more
Feb 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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 sparklin
Feb 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
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!
Lee Husemann
Feb 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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 fel ...more
E.J. Bauer
Mar 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
Sep 09, 2020 rated it it was ok
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 bro ...more
Robin Loves Reading
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
Sep 14, 2020 rated it liked it
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 ...more
Sep 03, 2020 rated it liked it
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 inter
Mar 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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.
Jan 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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 d
Veronica Barton
May 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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 v
Carol Thomas
Mar 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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 wr ...more
Sandra McKenna
Mar 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing

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.
Emma Crowley
Jan 28, 2020 rated it liked it
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 ...more
Jan 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
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 w ...more
Rosemary Noble
Mar 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Donna Maguire

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 t
Nov 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
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.
Sydney Long
Jan 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020-reads
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 t ...more
Brenda S
Mar 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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
May 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
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
Feb 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
The Tuscan girl. What an overall sweet story. This is one of those stories that jumps between present day and WWII.

Alba has been through a traumatic event in her life and moves home to grieve and recover.
Massimo is an older gentleman who lives in a group home as he has no family to care for him, but it's only his physical limitations that keep him from his home.
Lucia is the love of Massimo's life. She is young and spunky and completely sporadic and fun.

All three of these individuals come and
Jena Henry
Jan 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Ever since the popular book and movie, “Under the Tuscan Sun”, Tuscany invokes in me the feeling of getting away and starting a new life filled with peace and tranquility in the midst of timeless history. Author Angela Petch is up to the challenge of portraying her vision of the Tuscan countryside in an equally evocative and inspiring book that showcases the foods, homes, families and culture of Tuscany. Who hasn’t dreamed of taking a chance and starting anew in Tuscany?

The Tuscan Girl is a stan
Mar 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
I have read the previous two books in this series and I really enjoyed both of them. I read the synopsis for 'The Tuscan Girl' and I couldn't wait to get hold of a copy, as it sounded like another fabulous read. I wasn't wrong either because 'The Tuscan Girl' is a fabulous book, which I thoroughly enjoyed reading but more about that in a bit.
It didn't take me long at all to get into this book. As soon as I started to read, I knew that I was going to be in for a treat and that I would find it inc
Alba has lived her life splitting time between London and Tuscany, until she retreats after her long-term boyfriend is killed and she is in need of healing, time away and a way to offload her guilt. Returning to the family home, she’s morose and everyone is worried for her. But, with time away, there is a sense of healing and opportunity – and she heads out to walk in the hills surrounding the home. Strange moments and feelings, like someone is watching her brings Alba to asking questions, some ...more
Apr 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
This was a beautiful and thought-provoking book and was an utter joy to read. You can feel her love for Tuscany radiate off the page and it has made me want to visit the area even more! But it was the characters which made this book sing, they are so beautiful in their souls.


When it comes to history I am very much interested in individuals lives, especially when it comes to war. I don’t really care about battles and manoeuvres, it’s about how people coped with the circumstances surrounding the
Jessie Cahalin
May 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Tuscan Girl is packed with heart, soul and wisdom. Petch artfully weaves the past and the present, connects the generations and breathes life into forgotten histories. Troubling experiences of World War Two shape the memorable characters who will remain with you.

Emotions gripped me throughout the novel. I had to find out more about the Tuscan Girl, Lucia, who is like the guiding light through the narrative. Lucia is contrasted with the modern day, Alba, whose spirit also burns brightly. Lucia’s
Apr 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
In the present day, a personal tragedy send Alba back to her family in Italy where she learns to come to terms with her grief. She befriends an elderly man Massimo and he begins to tell her about his experiences of the Second World War.
The narrative is split into three separate timelines: Alba in the present, Lucia mainly in 1944 and Massimo mainly in 1946. The author uses dramatic irony to a certain extent as we know that Massimo and Lucia marry so know what will be the partial outcome but we s
Mar 20, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2021-reads
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 dis
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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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