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 spell… Beautifully 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 story… Beautiful 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 story… A 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