I am probably one of the worst Italians there is: I don’t like pasta sauce, I don’t drink coffee, I hate cooking, and I’ve never had a desire to travel to Italy. So, when I first came across this book, I wasn’t overly in love with it. What is the deal with Italy?
If you read the cover flap, you’ll think this book is about a silly curse preventing all second-born daughters in the Fontana family from finding true love. But it’s so much deeper than that (fortunately). This is the beautiful story of love, life, and loss. And the courage to spread your wings and take a leap of faith. Just wait until you get to the author’s note at the end!
Title: The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany
Author: Lori Nelson Spielman
Rating: An Unexpected Gem
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Page Count: 378
In the present day, Emilia, is in her late 20s and has resigned herself to the fact that she’ll never find true love. Instead of getting hurt, she prefers to hide behind frumpy clothes and granny glasses, spending most of her time at the family bakery or home alone in what she calls Emville. Her cousin Lucy is in her early 20s and is so desperate to find love, that she practically sleeps with a new guy each night and waits for them to call – but they never do. Out of the blue, their soon to be 80-year old aunt asks them to accompany her on an all-expenses-paid trip to Italy to celebrate her birthday and promises to break the curse. And so, begins the journey.
I’m not going to lie, I found Lucy to be super annoying and juvenile. And Em was a bit timid and negative. But this early depiction of them was needed to show how the characters grew over their week-long trip in Italy. Lucy emerged wiser, calmer, and embraced a new side of herself. Emilia became more adventurous and optimistic. The girls both learned to lean into who they are, not what their family wants them to be. That was the most magical part (and maybe even lesson): that sometimes you have to break free and be unapologetically you.
And so, I thought this would be the perfect read for Valentine’s Day. Whether you’re looking for the love of your life or to love yourself, this book will tug on your heartstrings and fill you will inspiration. And yes, as expected, it ends happily.
A sweet love story. Not just romantic love, but the love only a family can share. Whether you’re an only child, or one of many, you’ll appreciate this story. And just wait until you read the author’s note at the end. Grab the tissues!
If you liked this book, you might enjoy: Under The Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes.