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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
It Happened In Tuscany is a dramatic work of women’s fiction penned by author Gail Mencini. Accessible to all readers due to its clever and delicate approach to adult themes, this charming and intriguing story focuses on interpersonal drama, the after-effects of war and the theme of self-discovery, no matter where you are on life’s pathways. Will Mills is a veteran soldier from the Second World War who was rescued by Italian partisans after one dangerous night in 1945. In the modern day, Will persuades his impetuous neighbor Sophie Sparke to accompany him on a journey to the hills of Tuscany to find the people who once saved his life. So begins an incredible journey through the demons and secrets of the past.
Author Gail Mencini has created a literary masterpiece in It Happened In Tuscany, which combines all the best elements of women’s fiction, contemporary drama, and historical fiction into one. The characters are by far the strongest elements of this already-strong novel, and in both Will and Sophie readers are sure to find much that they can embrace and see reflected in themselves. Will’s past haunts him terribly, and Mencini’s emotive prose allows us access to his mind with beautifully painted word-portraits of his bitterness and pain. Sophie is an independent soul that readers can relate to, learning more about the world and herself as the plot goes on. What results is an emotionally full tale with a powerful story arc and some excellent reflective moments that will stay with you long after reading.