Escape To Tuscany by Kat Devereaux is a compelling dual timeline novel that enthralled me and entertained me from the start.
Two stories run parallel, having similarities and differences as we follow teenager Stella in Tuscany in 1944 and Tori who escapes to Tuscany in 2019. Both women are under estimated by those around them – seen as weak but possessing an inner strength that surfaces when it is really needed. The chapters alternate as we hear their stories.
Tuscany was under Nazi occupation in 1944. The resistance was strong but there were fierce reprisals and fighting. Strong stomachs were needed to deal with the injured and dying.
1944 was a time of secrets, in order to survive. We witness breakdowns of relationships as those who are nearest and dearest feel betrayed.
We see a close relationship between a brother and a siter. He lives life on the edge even after the war has ended.
In 2019 a granddaughter, Tori, is searching for her grandmother’s roots after her death. Their close bond over the years sends her to Tuscany to try to discover her early life story – but she uncovers more than she could ever believe. A lifetime of secrets are unearthed.
There are several abusive relationships as we witness the power of the tongue to wound. If we are told the lie often enough that we are worthless, we soon begin to believe it. We need others to tell us that we are worthy and we are loved.
The freedom of Tuscany in 1944 was worth fighting for. Parallels in 2019 show a mentally imprisoned life to also be worth fighting for release too.
All the characters were realistic and likable. Their interactions were wonderful to witness, as was the scenery painted by Kat Devereaux’s marvellous pen.
Escape To Tuscany was a fabulous read. It was my first by Kat Devereaux but I definitely want to read more, more, more!
I received a free copy via Rachel’s Random Resources for a blog tour. A favourable review was not required. All opinions are my own.
Escape to Tuscany
‘A rich and engaging vision of life gone by and a lust for one woman’s future, rolled into one. And now I want to move to Italy!’ Mandy Robotham
A gripping and moving debut novel about two women, decades apart, whose fates converge in Florence, Italy. Perfect for fans of Patricia Wilson, Mandy Robotham and Lucinda Riley.
Only fourteen, Stella Infuriati is the youngest member of her town’s resistance network during World War II. Risking imprisonment and death, she relays messages, supplies, and weapons to partisan groups in the Tuscan Hills. Her parents have no idea, consumed instead by love and fear for their beloved son, Achille, a courier and unofficial mechanic for a communist brigade fighting the fascists.
Then, after 1945, Stella seemingly vanishes from the records, her name and story overshadowed by the tragic death of her brother – until a young writer arrives in Tuscany in the spring of 2019, uncovering long-buried secrets.
Fleeing an emotionally abusive marriage and a lonely life on an isolated estate, Tori McNair has come to Florence, the beautiful city her grandmother, Margaret, taught her to love, to build a new life. As she digs into her family history with the help of Marco, a handsome lawyer, Tori starts to uncover secrets of the past – truths that stretch back decades, to a young woman who risked everything to save her world….
‘A glorious read full of rich detail that made me ache to be back in Italy. I loved the characters and the story.’ Liz Fenwick
‘Conjures Tuscany so beautifully that I felt I was taking a holiday there whilst reading it. The spirit and atmosphere of Italy simply sizzle from its pages. A true escape!’ Fiona Walker
‘This moving page-turner is a love letter to Florence – past and present – and filled with all the juicy elements that hist-fic lovers will celebrate: love, passion, history, courage, secrets and second chances.’ Lisa Barr, New York Times bestselling author of Woman on Fire
‘A poignant, emotional novel about love, loss, and new beginnings.’ Christine Wells, author of Sisters of the Resistance
Author Bio –
Kat Devereaux was born near Edinburgh, and lived in the United States, Russia, France, Chile, Germany, and the Czech Republic before finally settling in Italy. She is a writer and translator with a special focus on Italian literature.
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