Jena Henry's Reviews > The Tuscan Girl: Completely gripping WW2 historical fiction

The Tuscan Girl by Angela Petch
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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 stand-alone companion to the author’s first Tuscan valentine, The Tuscan Secret. As we have come to expect from a book by Angela Petch, the characters and settings are the main course of this Italian feast. We get to know and deeply care about the characters from the World War II part of the story, Lucia and Florian, Salvo, Molly, the Spinks. The characters from the present are equally compelling, Alba, Alfi, and Lodovica. Massimo is the heart of the book and he appears in both the World War II story and the present. I found myself rereading a quote or description because it was filled with joy, humor, or wisdom.

The descriptions of Tuscany are reason enough to read the book. Many of the views of Tuscany are seen through Alba’s keen artist eyes. I know many readers may be used to skipping over descriptions of scenery or food, but don’t- you won’t want to miss a word. The characters love their world and share it with us from their views of trout in a stream to the unfolding of mountains and valleys. The scenes would bring joy to an Italian Renaissance painter.

There are two Tuscan girls in the story- Lucia in World War II and Alba in the present. The story of Italy’s travails during World War II are horrific and should not be forgotten.

So, why did I give this lovely book 4 stars? Mainly because there is too much. Too many changes in time which take away from the puzzles and mysteries by revealing too much, too many characters, and too many individual stories. On the other hand, many readers may find this story to be just what they wanted. Overall, this is a lovely poem to Tuscany and all that she has endured and given to the world. Recommend.

Thanks to NetGalley and Bookouture for a review copy. This is my honest review.

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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
January 24, 2020 – Shelved

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