Monday, September 13, 2021

BLOG TOUR - The Italian Girl's Secret


Italy, 1943. In the hills outside Naples, the silver moon shines brightly on a whitewashed farmhouse. An urgent knock on the door breaks the silence: and in that moment, one young woman’s act of incredible bravery changes the course of the war.

For Carmela del Bosco, a farm girl in a remote Italian village, sheltering an English spy is the most dangerous thing she could do. If she’s caught by the fascists it would be the end, especially for her beloved grandmother sleeping soundly upstairs. But taking in the pleading brown eyes of the man calling himself Sebastiano slumped at her door, and his terrible injuries inflicted by the Nazi occupiers, Carmela remembers how Nonna always taught her right from wrong. Risking everything, she hides him in a ruined tower on the edge of the farm.

Each day Carmela tends his wounds, and the passion that kindles between them is a light in the darkest time. Sebastiano has information that could end the war, and needs her help to send it. But tracking down fellow members of the resistenza in the mountains means risking her life and bringing danger to everyone she knows.

Carmela knows she must find the courage to do what’s right for her country. But if she leaves the farm, will she ever see her beloved nonna again? And will her sacrifice tear her away from the only man she’s ever loved, forever?

An absolutely stunning and heartbreaking historical novel about the impossible choices people are forced to make in wartime. Fans of The Nightingale, All the Light We Cannot See and Rhys Bowen will be captivated.


:   The Italian Girl's Secret
Author:  Natalie Meg Evans
Publisher:  Bookouture
Genre:   Historical Fiction
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   306
Date of Publication:   September 10, 2021
My Rating:   5 Stars

It is Italy, 1943, and the world is in the grips of World War II. Carmela is living a quiet life on her nonna's tomato farm when asked by illegitimate half-brother Danielo to hide a fugitive named Sebastiano. Carmela reluctantly agrees, despite knowing that the Germans will kill anyone in their path considered an enemy. There is now change at every turn for Carmela, including the cruel and vengeful attention from her second cousin Tino. So, not only must Carmela hide Sebastiano from the Germans, but from Tino as well.

Soon Sebastiano escapes and then Carmela is forced to flee to Naples to the home of her estranged father. It is in her father's home that Carmela again meets Sebastiano. In this riveting story of the resistance in Italy, there is danger facing Carmela and Sebastiano. His work as a spy is more dangerous than ever, and Carmela finds herself fighting as best she can, despite times when betrayal plays a cruel hand.

Carmela is a fabulous character, and her love for her dog Renzo all but broke my heart. Of course her donkey Nearco was impressive as well, and played a small role when it came to their safety. Sebastiano was incredibly strong, despite bearing many wounds and a betrayal that floored him. The Nazi occupation was awful for anyone concerned. The level of cruelty was so heartbreaking, but the level of bravery shown in this story was incredible. The fact that Carmela and Sebastiano could find love amidst the darkness was incredibly touching. 

Borne of war and many of its devastating effects, The Italian Girl's Secret is a touching story of a war-time romance. However, it is far, far more. This is a story of bravery, sadness, horror and death.
Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.


Natalie Meg Evans has been an art student, actor, PR copywriter, book-keeper and bar tender but always wanted to write. A USA Today best-seller and RITA nominee, she is author of four published novels which follow the fortunes of strong-minded women during the 1930s and 40s. Fashion, manners and art are the glass through which her characters’ lives are viewed. Each novel is laced with passion, romance and desire. Mystery is never far away.

An avid absorber of history – for her sixth birthday she got a toy Arthurian castle with plastic knights – Natalie views historical fiction as theatre for the imagination. Her novels delve behind the scenes of a prestige industry: high fashion, millinery, theatre, wine making. Rich arenas for love and conflict. Most at home in the English countryside, Natalie lives in rural Suffolk. She has one son.

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1 comment:

  1. Wonderful reviewing, this book looks divine. I envy your mad skills in reviewing and sniffing out good books