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Publisher's Summary

An absolutely gripping, emotional, World War II historical novel

Il Mulino. An old crumbling mill, by a winding river, nestled in the Tuscan mountains. An empty home that holds memories of homemade pasta and Nonna’s stories by the fire, and later: the Nazi invasion, and a family torn apart by a heartbreaking betrayal.

Anna is distraught when her beloved mother, Ines, passes away. She inherits a box of papers, handwritten in Italian and yellowed with age, and a tantalizing promise that the truth about what happened during the war lies within. 

The diaries lead Anna to the small village of Rofelle, where she slowly starts to heal as she explores sun-kissed olive groves, and pieces together her mother’s past: happy days spent herding sheep across Tuscan meadows cruelly interrupted when World War Two erupted and the Nazis arrived; fleeing her home to join the Resistenza; and risking everything to protect an injured British soldier who captured her heart. But Anna is no closer to learning the truth: what sent Ines running from her adored homeland? 

When she meets an elderly Italian gentleman living in a deserted hamlet, who flinches at her mother’s name and refuses to speak English, Anna is sure he knows more about the devastating secret that tore apart her mother’s family. But in this small Tuscan community, some wartime secrets were never meant to be uncovered....

A stunning tale, inspired by true events, about how the tragic consequences of war can echo through generations, and how love can guide us through the darkest times. Fans of Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale and The Letter by Kathryn Hughes will be captivated.

This book was previously published as Tuscan Roots.

©2019 Angela Petch (P)2019 Bookouture

What listeners say about The Tuscan Secret

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  • Overall
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Profile Image for Whitney
  • Whitney
  • 04-11-2019

Frustratingly naive main character (spoilers)

How could Inez, a member of the Italian resistance during WWII, be so obtuse. She, a girl from rural Italy, should at least be knowledgable about the birds and the bees from the farm animals if nothing else. But to expect her life to become a fairytale after experiencing first hand the horrors of the war is a down right silly premise for a novel. The narrator really played up young Inez's naivete too with her childish voice. I felt no connection with any of the characters because there wasn't sufficient insight into their history to sympathize with them. I only get the briefest of glimpses into the previous lives of all the other characters except Inez and still her story wasn't well developed. And how could her husband suddenly become the villain when he returns to England? He was a POW before meeting Inez so don't try and tell me the last few months of the war while the 2 were apart were enough to change him into a different person. If this were the 1st WWII era novel I'd ever read I might have given the story 3 stars for lack knowing better, but this I can't finish. I hate wasting my time listening to bad stories.

1 person found this helpful

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  • paula wright
  • 11-08-2019

Learned so much Italian history during ww2

What a great story. There are very few Italian stories during ww2. I know beCause this subject is my main genre. Good character development and descriptions of land both great. Would read more from this author. Highly recommend

1 person found this helpful

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  • anne
  • 11-08-2019

An enjoyable listen.

I enjoyed this Angela Petch book, my first. Although romance is not my usual genre , I was captivated by the Tuscan people’s struggle against their leaders in the Second World War. . Refreshing to hear new resistance stories. Ms Petch is a master descriptive writer! I loved how she created the sights, sounds, food and ways of the
Italian people and countryside. Some of the most evocative I’ve listened to. I also have to admit that even the romance parts were acceptable! And that’s high praise from me. My only real quarrel with this whole audiobook, which I received as a free copy, was the grating “little girl” voice the narrator used for Anna, the central character and occasionally she slipped into it for other people. Aside from that her narration was really good. So with reluctance I can only award three stars for the narration, it should have been 4.

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  • Jan M
  • 03-08-2019

WWII new perspective

The Tuscan Secret by Angela Petch is a gem! The book gave me a new perspective of WWII in Italy. Parts of the story are tragic. Some of the characters were incredible showing determination to survive and flourish, while others were despicable. I found myself fascinated by the story, The imagery was vivid in portraying the scenes and atrocities. The storyline kept me engaged. I really enjoyed the Tuscan Secret, and it will stick with me. Ellie Heydon was great bringing the characters to life. She added the right emotions to her voice, and had had distinguishable voices and accents that were fitting. I requested this review copy audiobook and have voluntarily written this review. I would definitely listen to more books by this author and narrator.

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  • Ana M. Rhodes
  • 20-05-2021

Very nice story

Very good story and fun to listen to. I wanted to keep listening. slightly predictable but overall,really good.

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  • Chickykeeper
  • 18-05-2021

Multi-generational story of love and strife...

Totally enjoyed the book as I gardened. Did not want it to end! Learned some Italian too!

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  • Johanna & Michael Ballard
  • 24-04-2021

Love to go to Italy

At times it got hard to listen to but so happy I completely listened to the whole book.

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Profile Image for Luisa
  • Luisa
  • 15-04-2021

Un cuento más

Bastante predecible y superficial . No tiene mucha credibilidad en lo que se refiere a la guerra.
Es una novelita rosa.

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Profile Image for Alison Marcelli
  • Alison Marcelli
  • 21-03-2021

The Tuscan Secret

I received the physical copy of the book as a gift. I decided to get the audio version as well, and I am so glad I did. Following along while listening made me feel like I had experienced everything that was going on in the book! I definitely recommend this book and the ones to follow!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-01-2021

Beautifully written, wonderful story but a little racy at times

I loved everything about it except for several moments of seemingly unnecessary detail during intimate moments for the characters. I wish it could have been less explicit as I don’t feel I can recommend it to friends with parts like that included. But the story was wonderful and Angela Petch is a fantastic writer!

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