Love, Lies, and Betrayal in Wartime Italy.
Two girls growing up in Mussolini’s Italy share a secret that has devastating consequences.
Against a backdrop of fear, poverty and confusion during the Second World War, friendship is tested, and loyalties are divided until a chance encounter changes everything.
Their lives diverge when beautiful, daring Martina marries and moves into Villa Leonida, the most prestigious house in their Tuscan mountain village, while plain, studious Irena trains to be a teacher.
But neither marriage nor life at Villa Leonida are as Martina imagined. And as other people’s lives take on a new purpose, Irena finds herself left behind.
Decades later, a tragedy at the villa coincides with the discovery of an abandoned baby, whose identity threatens to re-open old wounds among the next generation.
The Secret is available in ebook and paperback now! The ebook is currently only £1.99 but you can purchase a copy of both using the link below.
As regular readers of my blog know I’m a big fan of dual timeline stories that are based in world war two, so I can’t believe that I haven’t come across this author before as her writing is truly superb.
The author does a fantastic job of setting the scene and I really felt like I was there in Tuscany watching all the action unfold. I’m not sure if the author has some kind of connection with Italy but she seems to have a lot of knowledge about the Italian way of life, their food and their culture. I especially loved the scenes centering around the restaurant as I felt that was a wonderful climpse into Italian life.
The story drew me on from the beginning with a very intriguing opening which immediately made me want to read more. A tragedy during WW2 is hinted at from the beginning and I liked the way the details of this was gradually revealed to the reader. Some of the details involving this were very poignant to read about and I definitely had tears in my eyes whilst reading about it.
The thing that most stuck me about this book is that it is based on a real event, The Sant’Anna di Stazzema massacre, which made it a very emotional read. I can’t believe that people would be capable of doing such horrible things and it’s definitely a book that will stay with me because of it.
This is the first book by this author I have read and I will definitely be reading more from her in the future. If you like dual timeline mysteries based on true events with some wonderful, realistic characters then you’ll love this book!
Huge thanks to Rachel from Rachel’s Random resources for my copy of this book and for inviting me onto the blog tour.
About The Author:
Katharine Johnson is a freelance writer and editor and has worked for a variety of magazines. She has a passion for crime novels, old houses and all things italian (except tiramisu). She grew up in Bristol and has lived in Italy. She currently lives in Berkshire with her husband, three children and madcap spaniel. When not writing she plays netball badly and is a room guide in a stately home. She is currently writing her third novel.
For Katharine’s latest news, writing advice, book releases and gossip follow her on
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