A Tuscan Memory: Completely gripping and emotional historical fiction

· Bookouture
2 reviews

About this ebook

Italy, 1923. In a tiny hamlet nestled in the Tuscan mountains, farmers gather after a hard day in the meadows, and children’s laughter rings across the square: but one little boy does not join in their play. Behind his deep brown eyes hides a heartbreaking secret…

Ninety years later. When elderly Giselda Chiozzi discovers a lost little boy, curled up asleep in the beech forest outside her grand but empty home, she can’t help but take pity on him. It’s been a long time since she had a visitor. Waking up to her kind smile and the warming smell of Italian hot chocolate, Davide soon blurts out what drove him into the cold Tuscan night: how he’s different from everyone else, he’s never belonged anywhere, and now his beloved mother is ill.

Giselda promises to help Davide trace his family history – she knows better than anyone that connecting with your roots can ground you in the present – and hopes it will make Davide realise that home is where he truly belongs. Together the unlikely pair discover the story of Davide’s great-grandfather, Giuseppe Starnucci, a young boy who spent his days milking cows, helping with the harvest, and hammering horseshoes in the forge. But after a terrible incident that changed his life forever, Giuseppe also ran away.

David is overjoyed to find a connection with someone from his family at long last, but when Giselda uncovers the shocking reason why little Giuseppe fled to start a new life, she has an impossible decision to make. Telling Davide the truth about his great-grandfather could persuade him to go back home where he belongs. But could it also tear the family apart? All Giselda knows is that she must save this lost boy before her own time runs out and he is left alone for good…

Inspired by true stories of rural Italian life, this absolutely stunning historical read is perfect for fans of Dinah Jeffries, Rhys Bowen, and anyone who’s ever longed to stroll beneath the cypress trees and taste the fresh mountain air of Tuscany.

Previously published as Now and Then in Tuscany.

Read what everyone’s saying about A Tuscan Memory:

‘It’s impossible not to fall under Angela Petch’s spellBeautifully lyrical, highly emotional and so intriguing and evocative that readers will feel as if they are in Tuscany… sure to bring a tear to the eye… Angela Petch is a superb writer… an emotional, uplifting, poignant and mesmerizing tale… sure to haunt and linger in the reader’s mind and heart long after the last page is turned… A wonderful tale to curl up with as the nights begin to draw in.’ Bookish Jottings, 5 stars

‘I had a fantastic time reading this book… a terrific read… I got swept up in the book and didn’t want to stop reading. I cried a lot reading this. This is a fantastic book.’ The Book Lover’s Boudoir

‘If you love Italy or history, like me, you will LOVE this storyBeautiful writing… Make sure you have a nice glass of Chianti because this will put you in a red wine mood.’ Amy’s Booket List

‘Angela Petch delivers another astounding storyA Tuscan Memory is more than an incredible read… will lodge itself in the reader’s mind.’ Gia Scribes

A beautiful and fascinating tale… captivated me… a wonderful story.’ Goodreads Reviewer

‘As lush and beautiful as the countryside setting itself… compelling… would definitely recommend this book.’ Fireflies and Free Kicks

‘I have only had the pleasure of visiting Tuscany once, but Angela Petch’s stunning descriptions whisked me straight back… the characters and scenery vividly come to life.’ Tales of a Natural Spoonie

Ratings and reviews

2 reviews
Eileen Gittins
September 12, 2020
A Tuscan Memory was two love stories set in Tuscany - the earliest was Giuseppe and Marissa and the second was the love story of Giuseppe's grandson Francesco and his wife Anna. In the early 1900s, Giuseppe, a smart young boy, was sent to the seminary school where he thrived and aspired to become a teacher. A sinister encounter with a seminary priest abruptly ended his education and Giuseppe refused to return to the seminary, knowing full well that his life would be much harder from this point on. In 1917, he left his family's home to join the shepherds who traveled yearly by foot to the coast from September to May - called the transumanza.. This became a yearly event for him and was a life of hardship and loneliness. During one of his trips, he meets a woman and although warned by his fellow shepherds of her wantoness, he continues seeing her. She gets pregnant and a little boy named Dario is born. Giuseppe can't give him up so he leaves the shepherds and heads home to the mountains and his friend Marisa. Marisa, although ten years older than Giuseppe, has always loved him. She tells him they will marry and she will help him raise Dario. In the present day, Giuseppe's grandson Francesco and his wife Anna and their children still live in the mountains of Tuscany. Their son Davide has an interest in his Nonno (Giuseppe) and so the family decides to learn more about him and the transumanza. The best part of this book was the telling of Giuseppe and Marisa's stories. Where the book fell apart a bit for me was connecting to the present day lives of Francesco and Anna and Davide. For me this part of the book and the characters were not as well developed as those in Giuseppe and Marisa's timeframe. I learned a lot about life in the 1900s in Tuscany and this book was an enjoyable read for me. My thanks to NetGalley and Bookouture for allowing me to read this book. I am definitely going to read the other books by this author!
Carla Kovach
May 3, 2022
What an amazing journey Angela Petch has taken me on with, ‘A Tuscan Memory.’ I enjoyed reading both the present day chapters and the historical chapters. It didn’t take long for me to become attached to the main characters and each of them had a moving story to tell. One character who I totally loved was Giselda and I actually laughed out loud a few times. The sweary parrot was something else and her relationship with Davide was moving. Anna’s worries had me gripped and I couldn’t wait for them to discover the truths. There’s heartbreak galore. If you’re after an epic journey of discovery, an authentic walk through Tuscan life and lots of emotion, then this book will take you there. Fantastic!

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