Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Blog Tour: The Lost Village by Daniella Sacerdoti

I know if you take a look back through my blog archives you could be left thinking that I have no other aspirations other than to go back to France and to read all the books set in France, all of the time. Whilst that could be true, I am more of an equal opportunity reader and so I am happy to read books with other settings. And so it was that I jumped at the chance to read this book, set in a small Italian village. I am really glad that I did.

Luce Nardini (pronounced Lu-chay) is suffering from empty nest syndrome. She split up from her husband Ethan several years before, and now her son Eli has moved from Seattle to New York to go to college.  Feeling adrift from family, Luce decides that now is the time to track down her Italian family, despite knowing that her mother would forbid it, if she knew. Luce's mother, Angelina, had not had any contact with her family back in Italy for many years, and would never talk about why that was. 

When Luce finds a small clue as to where her family might have come from, she uses Facebook to connect with her younger cousin Mathilde who had no idea that Luce existed. Within a short time, Luce has made the decision to go to Italy and find out, once and for all, who she is and where she comes from.

Whilst Mathilde is very excited to welcome Luce, the two cousins are apprehensive about the reception that she will get when she meets her elderly grandmother for the first time, not to mention her uncle. Nonna is more than pleased to meet her, but her uncle is incredibly hostile. What could possibly have happened to have completely destroyed this family so irrevocably.

Slowly, her Nonna tells her about what happened in the small village during the war, about blackshirts and partisan rebels, about giving birth to her daughter in the woods. However, before the truth about the family secrets can be fully revealed, the village of Boscanero is hit by a massive earthquake. Now, the past doesn't matter so much as surviving. Lives are lost, others are changed irrevocably, and for Luce, the truth about what, or who, really matters becomes much clearer.

The descriptions of the village were very good. I could feel what it must have been like to be sitting in the village on a warm summer night. It definitely made me wish I could be there, at least before the quake. I thought the scenes after the earthquake were particulary well done. The panic, the despair, the dust and the loss were superbly written. 

The author made some different decisions from what you would nomally expect to see in a novel of this type. It is refreshing when an author surprises you! 

The subtitle for this novel is "an emotional World War Two historical romance set in Italy" (at least it is on the Goodreads entry) but I am not sure that is 100% correct because it doesn't convey the action that the story tells, right up to the very unexpected ending. There is an undertone of romance, sure, but for me it wasn't the main element.

What I am sure of is that I need to read more from this author as soon as possible!

Rating 4.5/5

Thanks to the publisher, Bookouture, for a review copy of this book.

Book Description:
1945, Italy. Two sisters give birth to two little girls on the same night, huddled under blankets, deep in the black woods that surround the village of Bosconero. They hold their babies close as footsteps approach. If they make even the slightest sound, the German soldiers will find them…

2006. Luce Nardini searches the cobbled streets of a remote Italian village for a house with a faded blue door. Since her only child left home, and with her estranged husband more distant than ever, she’s been completely untethered. Discovering why her mother cut all contact with her family and the village she loved feels like Luce’s last hope at understanding who she is.

Inside the house, she’s relieved to find the grandmother she never knew living out her final days. With a longing look at an ornate wooden box on her nightstand, her grandmother is just beginning to tell the heart-wrenching story of a little village ravaged by war, and why Luce’s mother swore never to return, when then the unthinkable happens: an earth-shattering disaster that shakes the little village of Bosconero to its core.

Feeling more lost than ever before, Luce fears that the secrets of her past have been buried forever. Her only hope is to win back the trust of the small community and find her grandmother’s little wooden box amongst the rubble of the village.

But will the surprise arrival of the husband she thought she’d lost help sew Luce’s family back together, or tear it apart for good? And will anything have prepared her for the devastating betrayal she finds hidden inside the box…?

An unputdownable historical novel about the secrets we keep to protect the ones we love by the author of million-copy Amazon No 1. bestseller, Watch Over Me. Perfect for anyone who loves Fiona Valpy, Lily Graham or The Letter by Kathryn Hughes.  

Author Bio:

Daniela Sacerdoti is the author of the bestselling Glen Avich series which has sold over one million copies in ebook to date, Sacerdoti’s debut novel Watch Over Me was named the eighth bestselling Kindle book of all time in 2015, when she was also ranked as the eleventh top-selling Kindle author. She lives in a small village in the middle of nowhere, with her Scottish husband, two children, a Cocker spaniel and a foundling kitten (who was definitely a witch in a past life).

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  1. I haven't heard of this one before, but it sounds like one I would like. Thanks for the heads-up!