Escape to the Italian countryside in this hopeful family drama about love, a curse, and second chances.
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Why I love it
Author, The Night Tiger
One of my favorite ways to travel is through a book, and during these odd pandemic times, this has been more of a comfort than ever before. I curled up with The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany on a sunny afternoon, and polished it off in one gloriously indulgent sitting. Many hours later, in the midst of squabbling children and Legos strewn about the floors, I found myself still sighing over Emilia’s sun-kissed journey to Tuscany and the family secrets that she unearths.
The second daughters of the Fontana family are afflicted with a curse to never find love—in order to break it, Emilia embarks on a quest with her great aunt Poppy and cousin Lucy to fulfill an old promise. Their path forward requires that they deal with the complexities of family, betrayals, and the tensions that they have long endured. Yet the lies and darkness of the human heart are met with grace and forgiveness, which gives The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany a tender edge.
Long after I closed the book, Emilia’s warm and heartfelt travels lingered with me, not only as a dream of the canals of Venice (which I now promise myself I will one day visit!), but as a journey of love and redemption: a wisely humorous reminder of brighter days, hopefully for all of us to come.
Since the day Filomena Fontana cast a curse upon her sister more than two hundred years ago, not one second-born Fontana daughter has found lasting love. Some, like second-born Emilia, the happily-single baker at her grandfather’s Brooklyn deli, claim it’s an odd coincidence. Others, like her sexy, desperate-for-love cousin Lucy, insist it’s a true hex. But both are bewildered when their great-aunt calls with an astounding proposition: If they accompany her to her homeland of Italy, Aunt Poppy vows she’ll meet the love of her life on the steps of the Ravello Cathedral on her eightieth birthday, and break the Fontana Second-Daughter Curse once and for all.
Against the backdrop of wandering Venetian canals, rolling Tuscan fields, and enchanting Amalfi Coast villages, romance blooms, destinies are found, and family secrets are unearthed—secrets that could threaten the family far more than a centuries-old curse.
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A beautiful story, with wonderful and well-thought out characters whose stories i followed so closely. This book was already a game changer for me — and then i read the author’s note at the end. ❣️❣️
Baton Rouge, LA
I will never find the words to articulate how I felt about this. To say I “loved” it will not suffice. It’s extremely rare that a book makes me cry from happiness, but it accomplished that many times.
Fort Howard, MD
Love isn’t strong enough to describe how I feel about this book. you’ll experience EVERY single emotion while reading it! Truly one of the most amazing books I’ve read this year. Left with a hangover!
This was a super cute story with a very satisfying ending. I didn’t think I was going to get into it but then I’d read 100 pages then 100 more and all of a sudden I only had 60 to go then I was done!
Absolutely LOVED this book! The relationship between all of the characters really hit it on the head of what a multi-gen family is like, even down to arguments & who’s side you’re on. HIGHLY recommend
New Milford, CT
I absolutely loved this book. Poppy and Rico’s story inspirational and reminds you to go after what you love. ￼Emelia and Lucy learn so much on their journey through the curse. Would highly recommend!
Absolutely adored this book! So wish that I could have had a wise, eclectic, and “knowing” Aunt Poppy. True love, betrayal, family dynamics and gorgeous Italian cities made this book hard to put down!
At first I thought, meh- I don’t love the characters and the story sounds a little kitschy… but I’m so glad I gave this book a try! The wisdom of Poppy, the character development, and oh! The tears!
Durham , CT
My (Italian) grandmother’s wake was last night and her funeral this morning. When I got home today, I started this book, couldn’t put it down. Read in one day. Absolutely loved and just what I needed.
I’m not sure I’ll ever have the proper words to describe how I feel about this book. It found me at the perfect time & wrecked me in the best possible way. Rico, Poppy, Johanna, Emilia, & Lucy forever
I love this book so much! It’s sad, romantic, beautiful, reads like a movie, and has well-developed characters & relationships. 10/10 would recommend! This should’ve been a Book of the Year finalist.
I felt like I was right back in Italy reading this book! The multi-generation intertwined story of Emilia and Poppy is incredible. You can’t help but root for both of them to find happiness and love.
Loved this book with all my heart. I couldn’t put it down! It really made me think about my own life and what I wanted out of it. This was just a great story all around and I definitely recommend it.
Fort Collins, CO
I absolutely adored this book, and what’s not to love about it? A family curse, women of various ages finding their path in life, and absolutely stunning imagery of the Italian countryside! I love it!
Long Valley, NJ
I went on an emotional rollercoaster with this book...smiling, crying, cheering, even feeling angry. I was right there with the characters sharing their experiences. Loved it! “It’s possible”. ;)
I absolutely adored this book, from the easy to like characters to the difficult ones, hiding behind their hurt. It’s a book about love in its many beautiful and complicated forms and I so enjoyed it!
This book made me yearn for travel. I’ve been to Italy, but not like this. The characters felt as though I’d known them forever. This was such a great read and made me feel like one of the sisters.
St Louis, MO
This book took me back to living in Tuscany in my early 20s—a life changing experience captured w/ the beautiful detail & perfect humor of the Italian culture. Read this book when you need to escape.
East Dubuque , IL
I loved this story and all the characters. It had a great message that we should often remember while inviting you into the lives of characters you fall in love with. It’s a feel good story I needed.
Rochester , MN
Like a master violinist, Spielman hits all the right notes at just the right times. It’s just the right funny, just the right sad; it’s just right. I literally just hugged the book when I finished!