(2 customer reviews)
Publication Date: March 28, 2022
Categories: HistoricalISBN: 9781913913854
Two women, separated by two generations and continents, both trapped in their grief and unable to move forwards.
Upon inheriting Stazzana, a crumbling farmhouse in the wilderness of northern Tuscany, Emma flies out to Italy in the hopes that unravelling the truth of the past will heal her present.
Local retired farmer Luciano befriends them and finds a new lease of life introducing them to the traditions and wildlife of the mountains, but he has his own secret to harbour, his own need for redemption. His sister, Giuliana, left Italy in 1945, and has spent her life running from the past. The past that Emma now seeks.
Can the truth of what happened at Stazzana set them both free?
Despite graduating in Philosophy and French, it is Italian that truly speaks to Anna Valencia. Her passion has seen the writer live in Rome, Milan, and Tuscany. She currently resides with her husband and three children on the family farm in the Dartmoor National Park, Devon, England. Between teaching English to Italian students, she is currently writing her second novel. Her debut, The Chestnut House, is directly inspired by Anna's farm in the Tuscan village of Montaltissimo, and the local history generously shared by her neighbours there.
Gabrielle Davis (Guest Review) - 26 Mar, 2022
Such a beautifully constructed story; the characters draw you in immediately and I felt like I was experiencing their life with them. A page turner of a novel, would highly recommended. Anna's use of language to paint such vivid pictures of happiness, torment and resilience is breath taking.
Margaret Moore (Guest Review) - 10 May, 2022
I loved the way the book was written, with each chapter following the story from the point of view of one of the key characters as the plot develops. The descriptions led to clear visualisation in my mind of the scenes portrayed and I learned a lot about the struggles of local people during WW2. I highly recommend this to other readers. (I'm hoping a rate of 5 is the best :-) )