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 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.
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!!