Secrets & Lies
An Italian Secret by Ella Carey is a simply marvellous dual timeline novel. It is the first book in the Daughters Of Italy series which promises to be fabulous.
The action is set in present day and in Northern Italy in 1944. 1944 was naturally a time of great unrest as the partisans were fighting against the occupying Nazis. All around was great danger as one was not always sure where sympathies lay. It was a time of great risk and extraordinary bravery. Rumors existed but where did the truth lay?
In present day a deathbed letter throws a character into confusion. Has her whole life been a lie? She travels from America to Italy in search of the truth.
Since 1944 there have been rumors about a baby existing whose father was a high-ranking Nazi. A branch of the family is seen as originating from a black sheep. Will the truth ever be known?
There are beautiful bonds between fathers and daughters in both time periods. The love radiates through the pages.
Secrets and lies have been formulated in order to protect the innocent and for lives to be lived out in peace and quiet.
As a family villa is crumbling and in the process of renovation, an old family diary comes to light. Will we finally learn the truth from long ago?
The beauty of Italy comes to life under Ella Carey’s marvellous pen. This beauty contrasts with the danger and ugliness of war in Italy in 1944.
All the characters were delightfully drawn and sprang to life in both time periods.
I thoroughly enjoyed An Italian Secret. It was a mesmerizing and powerful read.
I received a free copy from the publishers. A favourable review was not required. All opinions are my own.
Tuscany, 1944. Did she fight for the resistance or betray her people?
When the Nazis storm into northern Italy, Contessa Evelina Messina, the owner of the beautiful Villa Rosa, welcomes the Germans to her valley. In a dazzling rose silk dress, she entertains soldiers with priceless wine from her ancient cellars. Privately, she tells the townspeople this will keep the enemy at bay, but her disguise is so good, it is impossible to tell on which side her heart truly belongs…
Years later, American Annie Reynolds gazes up at the peach-coloured walls of the magnificent, empty house. Grieving deeply for her beloved father, Annie remembers his last words before he slipped away—he told her she was adopted and that the Villa Rosa was her birthright. Desperate for answers, Annie’s heart breaks when the locals tell her the Contessa had a child with a Nazi. She is devastated and ready to turn away from her dark past.
But everything changes when Annie uncovers a musty old diary from 1944 amongst the Contessa’s belongings. Pages have been meticulously cut out and Annie is sure these missing entries hold the clue to her past. As she frantically searches old papers, Annie sees how hard the Contessa worked to keep her people safe and wonders if the locals’ stories are wrong. Can Annie find the Contessa’s missing child, born at the end of the war? And will discovering the truth about what happened alter the course of her own life for good?
An utterly gripping, sweeping page-turner that will transport you to the olive groves of Tuscany. With a truly heartbreaking family secret from World War Two at its heart, fans of Kathryn Hughes, Fiona Valpy and Victoria Hislop will be enchanted.
Ella Carey is the international bestselling author of The Things We Don’t Say, Secret Shores, From a Paris Balcony, The House by the Lake, and Paris Time Capsule. Her books have been published in over fourteen languages, in twelve countries, and have been shortlisted for ARRA awards. A Francophile who has long been fascinated by secret histories set in Europe’s entrancing past, Ella has degrees in music, nineteenth-century women’s fiction, and modern European history. She lives in Melbourne with her two children and two Italian greyhounds who are constantly mistaken for whippets.
Ella loves to connect with her readers regularly through her facebook page and on her website.
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