☼ Excited to be part of this Blog Tour ☼
23 July 2020
My thanks to the publishers for my e-copy of this book
and the invitation to be part of this blog tour
A sweeping new novel from the number one Sunday Times bestselling author of The Tea Planter's Wife, available for pre-order now
In 1940s Tuscany, Contessa Sofia de' Corsi's peaceful home in a medieval villa among the olive groves has been upturned by the arrival of German soldiers. She is desperate to help her friends in the village fight back in any way she can, all while keeping her efforts secret from her husband Lorenzo, who fears for their safety. When Maxine, a no-nonsense Italian-American, arrives in Tuscany to help the resistance, the two women forge an uneasy alliance. Before long they find themselves entangled in a dangerous game with the Nazis, each trying to save the ones they love...
What did I think about it..
The eponymous Tuscan Contessa makes her home in an idyllic medieval villa which has belonged to her husband's family for generations. Whilst to all intents and purposes Sofia de' Corsi is the indomitable lady of the manor, under her elegant facade is a woman who has nerves of steel and who is determined to fight back against the control of a regime which brings nothing but trouble, sadness and despair. What then follows is a dramatic wartime adventure which has both high excitement and desperate sadness, and as always this talented author brings both with a fine eye for detail and a compassionate way with words.
In the latter days WW2 Italy was a fearsome place with many secrets and much danger. The heightened sense of doom overshadowed the natural beauty of the Tuscan landscape and so much distrust flourished in dark corners that no-one ever really felt at ease. Peace of mind was overshadowed by dangerous intrigue and the sense of distrust between neighbours or friends who, if they suspected your motives, would quickly betray your interests to the authorities.
The story flows well and the sense of impending danger is never far away. There is always some incident, or some character, to worry over and I think that's where this author's strength lies, in that she makes you really care about the people, so that when times get tough, as they do in this novel, you read with bated breath hoping that events will work out well for them. I especially loved Contessa Sofia, she is loyal and brave, and putting her alongside Maxine, an American with Italian origins, who is determined to do her bit for the war effort, is inspired, as each of these brave and bold young woman demonstrate fierce determination against all odds.
I know from reading the author notes at the end of this novel that Dinah Jefferies has a natural love for Tuscany and has researched the area well. This comes across in her beautiful descriptions of the place and its people.
The Tuscan Contessa is a thought-provoking WW2 story about loyalty, love and friendship, and what happens when pitted against danger, intrigue and despair.
About the Author
Dinah Jefferies was born in Malaysia and moved to England at the age of nine. Her idyllic childhood always held a special place in her imagination, and when she began writing novels in her 60s, she was able to return there - first in her fiction and then on annual research trips for each new novel. Dinah Jefferies is the author of four novels, The Separation, The Tea Planter's Wife - a Number One Sunday Times bestseller, The Silk Merchant's Daughter and Before the Rains. She lives in Gloucestershire.
Twitter @DinahJefferies #TheTuscanContessa