Tuesday, December 5, 2023

BLOG TOUR - The Lost Gift To the Italian Island


Italy, 1943. With tears in her eyes, Giulia listens out for the sound of bombers flying overhead and thinks of the baby growing inside of her. Through the fabric of her lace dress her fingers touch the cold bullets carefully sewn into the seams. Luca might never forgive her, but she has to do this…

New York, present day. When Tori Coleman discovers that her mother was adopted, her whole world shatters. Jeremy, her boyfriend, wants to get married, but how can Tori commit when she doesn’t know who she truly is? The only clue to the identity of her biological family is a mysterious postcard with a photograph of an ornate wedding dress her grandmother Giulia made, which she’s told was gifted to a museum on an Italian island…

Tori arrives on Parissi Island, surrounded by turquoise Mediterranean waters, with the sweet smell of orange blossom filling the air. She soon finds the museum and learns that Giulia was Jewish, and secretly lived there during World War Two. 
She thought her grandmother abandoned her mother, but was she forced to leave and give up her child?

Just as she’s getting closer to answers, an unexpected call from Jeremy stops Tori in her tracks. As he passionately urges her to find out the truth, suddenly Tori wishes he were in Italy by her side, ready to propose again.

But then Tori is shocked to find bullets sewn into the lining of one of Giulia’s dresses and a notebook claiming she did something terrible during World War Two. 
Will the secrets in her family help her follow her own heart, or send her home from Italy with it finally broken forever?

An enchanting, unforgettable novel about desperate decisions in the dark days of war and the uplifting power of true love. Perfect for fans of Lucinda Riley, Soraya Lane and Victoria Hislop.

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The Lost Gift To the Italian Island
Author:  Barbara Josselsohn
Series:   Sisters of War #2
Publisher:  Bookouture 
Genre:   Women’s Fiction; Historical Fiction 
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   320
Date of Publication:   December 4, 2023
My Rating:   5 Stars

“Light was better than darkness, knowledge better than secrecy.”

In this dual-timeline story, we learn of Giulia’s story around the year 1943. She was the middle sister to Annalisa and Mia. This story is also set in present day about Tori Coleman and her search for answers about her maternal grandmother. 

Tori’s life is going through changes. For one thing, she learns that her actual grandmother might reside in Italy by finding out a connection to a postcard with a very stunning wedding dress that was made decades ago. Tori is in fact a wedding dress designer herself, and she learns that this dress was designed by the woman who is actually her grandmother. That’s not the only thing that Tori is experiencing. A single mother, in a long-term relationship with her boyfriend, she’s not sure that marriage is in the cards for her. For now she wants to find out the history of her past.  Learning the history behind Parissi Island just might unlock secrets that Tori is desperate to uncover. 

With regard to the past, Giulia barely escapes to Parissi Island with her life and she receives help. However, this help came with a price. Now Giulia is forced to possibly give up her dream to go to America and to reunite with her two sisters. There are the dangers of the Nazi threat as World War II is blazing, all while a slow romance is brewing. Is there the possibility that Tori’s grandmother is actually Giulia, a woman who would be well into her 90s?

Barbara Josselsohn has written a compelling story, one that pulled me in from the very first page. This book contained so much and was impossible to put down. I loved both Tori and Giulia’s story and we’ve had Mia’s story with Secrets of the Italian Island. I am definitely looking forward Annalise’s story with the third book in this trilogy.

Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.


Barbara Josselsohn is an award-winning journalist and novelist who loves crafting stories about strong protagonists facing a fork in the road. Her novels center around second chances, family relationships and, of course, romance. She is the author of the Lake Summers series set in the fictional town of Lake Summers, nestled in the Adirondacks Mountains, which includes the books The Lilac House and The Bluebell Girls. Before joining with Bookouture, she published The Last Dreamer, a women’s-fiction novel from Lake Union Publishing, along with hundreds of articles and essays in major and regional publications about family, home and relationships. She lives just north of New York City and enjoys escaping to the beach or the mountains whenever she can. Other than writing, her biggest passion is her family: husband, her three kids, and her indefatigable shih-poo!


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