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Reviewed by Kathryn Bennett for Readers' Favorite
The Walls of Lucca by Steven Physioc takes us back in time to Italy during the First World War. A love story set in tense times while the fascist government of Mussolini is on the rise. Isabella Roselli, a young woman who has spirit and is also spiritual, works to bring down barriers that separate families. Isabella was orphaned and was raised by convent sisters who help her grow into the wonderful young woman she is. Her gifts include an ability to grow things and cook, all coupled with a kind heart. Many in Lucca are also inspired by Isabella’s kind heart for anyone who is hurting. Some of the lives she touches include Franco, a soldier who can't escape the horrors of war, and Angelina, a mother of four who has been widowed by the war.
I love a good historical romance and when you dive into one that is set during one of the worst times in history, you know you will get something that is full of a variety of emotions. Whether the backdrop is right in the war or right after, there are so many feelings and emotions, horror, and the strength it takes to get through and everything else. This book ticks all of those boxes for me. Author Steven Physioc has really managed to find the perfect balance of romance and real life. On a personal level, when I am reading a story I need it to feel as if it could be real in order to really enjoy it.
Isabella is the type of character I immediately understand and feel a connection with. She has had a tough start in life, but rather than allowing it to control her and turn her into a person soured by it, she thrives and turns into someone who spreads love and kindness. I don't want to spoil the story, but I can say if you love a good romance and a good solid story, you will enjoy this one for sure. Isabella has such a fantastic spirit, the kind of girl I could see myself being. Again, to me that makes the best type of book when you feel like you are walking with the characters. I can't wait to read the next book.