Lori Nelson Spielman
November 17, 2020
Blurb: A trio of second-born daughters sets out on a whirlwind journey through the lush Italian countryside to break the family curse that says they’ll never find love, by New York Times bestseller Lori Nelson Spielman, author of The Life List.
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.
While The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany by Lori Nelson Spielman may feel like a cross between Under the Tuscan Sun and any movie/book in which the female main character goes from being the ugly duckling to a swan, it is very much its own book with enough heart to prove it.
Emilia is the second born daughter in the Fontana family, cursed to never love, marry, have children. That is if you believe in the curse. And, Emilia doesn’t. Or does she? It works for her. She can dress and look the way she wants. She’s comfortable. Until her Great Aunt Poppy arrives on the scene, full of life and color and sparkle and telling Emilia that she can be and want more. And this is how Emilia finds herself on the trip of a lifetime, eight days in Italy, expenses paid by her always surprising Aunt.
Well, let’s get this out of the way: I LOVED THIS BOOK! There.
Emilia is a wonderful character. She gives people who do her wrong a piece of her mind, but when it comes to her Nonna and her older sister Daria, she always backs down. However, she becomes that swan in the company of her Great Aunt Poppy and other Fontana second-daughter, Lucy.
I must admit that sometimes Lucy drove me crazy by complaining about going on an all-expense paid trip to Italy. Who does that? Lucy just wants the curse obliterated so she can find love and happiness, and if that’s not going to happen, she doesn’t want any part of the trip. But Lucy discovers herself as well along the way, and she, too, blossoms.
And Great Aunt Poppy. If only we all had one in our lives. Someone so vivacious, carefree, and totally living their lives the way they please. Someone who does the right thing, believes in everlasting love, and always hopes.
All of the characters are given depth and the reader cares about them, good and bad.
While I guessed the ending circumstances (no spoilers here), it in no way affected my love for this book. It’s seldom that we find a book that makes us happy as well as gives us hope, but The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany is just that kind of book.
The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany is women’s fiction at its heart-warming best.
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
5 out of 5 butterflies