Mar. 24, 2021

It Happened in Tuscany

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It Happened in Tuscany by Gail Mencini

Category:  Adult Fiction (18+), 408 pages

Genre:  Mainstream Fiction / Historical Fiction

Publisher:  Capriole Group

Content Rating: PG-13. The novel includes violence in war scenes and non-explicit sex scenes, but not f-words, religious profanities, or crude terms as described.

Book Description:

From the multiple-award-winning author of To Tuscany with Love comes a captivating story of the epic tug of war between honor and duty, the irrepressible power of love, and the concept of family.

In 1945, Will Mills and his fellow soldiers in the 10th Mountain Division scaled Italy’s treacherous Riva Ridge in the frigid night to break through the nearly impenetrable German line of defense. Severely wounded, Will was rescued by Italian partisans and one, a beautiful girl, tended his injuries until he had the strength to rejoin the U.S. troops.

Tormented and haunted by his decisions and actions during wartime, Will knows he has unfinished missions in Italy to complete. The passage of time and years of carrying this unfulfilled need have molded Will into a bitter, angry man.

Seventy-five years later, Will’s spunky thirty-two-year-old neighbor, Sophie Sparke, faces disaster in her life. Everything is going wrong—her job, her love life, even her dog. Part of the problem is that confident and fiercely independent Sophie lets her quick mouth get her into trouble.

Grouchy, mean-spirited Will finagles Sophie into traveling with him to Tuscany to find the partisan who saved his life. Will also secretly hopes to confront the demons his wartime actions created. Sophie and Will comb enchanting Tuscan hill towns on an improbable and unfolding mission with few clues to aid them. Will’s passionate tenacity drives their quest and in the process exposes their darkest secrets. The journey alters the course of their lives, and Will and Sophie find more than they had imagined in the hills of Tuscany.

Buy the Book: AmazonAudible ~ B&N ~ IndieBound ~ Apple

Meet the Author:

Gail Mencini is the acclaimed author of It Happened in Tuscany and To Tuscany with Love, both of which are Denver Post #1 bestsellers and award winners. Gail grew up in DeWitt, Nebraska, graduated from Wartburg College with a BA in Accounting and Economics, and earned a master of taxation degree from the University of Denver. A frequent visitor to Tuscany and a homegrown gourmet cook, Gail has toured Italy by car, train, bus, Vespa, and foot. She lives in Colorado with her husband.

Connect with the Author: Website Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Instagram ~ Pinterest ~ Goodreads

My Book Review:

Lush, beautiful depictions of Tuscany, as along with some spice of romance, passion, history, and pain, "It Happened in Tuscany" is not to be missed. It is sure-as-heck one of a story that needs to be told, especially in these times. Plus, not to mention, since most of us can't travel right now, Mencini has done her best to transport us into the hillsides of Tuscany. No extra fees, no extra charges :)

So what is "It Happened in Tuscany" about? Well, to sum it up shortly, it's about "Will... (who) knows he has unfinished missions in Italy to complete. The passage of time and years of carrying this unfulfilled need have molded Will into a(n)... angry man... Grouchy, mean-spirited Will finagles Sophie into traveling with him to Tuscany to find the partisan who saved his life... Sophie and Will comb enchanting Tuscan hill towns on an improbable and unfolding mission with few clues to aid them."

It's a great adventure for the two as they go along Tuscany and try to find the things each is looking for. Finding more than that as well.
If you're someone who's down for a new book about WW2, alongside many other genres, you need to check this book out! You will not regret it.

Interview:

Hi Gail! Thank you for being willing to share some personal insights with us.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

Why not shoot for the stars? The Hollywood stars, that is. I wanted to be an actress. In high school and college, I directed and acted in theatre programs. My practical side soon took over, and I pursued degrees in subjects where I had a better chance of landing a job after college.

What is your favorite food?

Any kind of pasta prepared as it is in Tuscany using the freshest ingredients.

What is the best part of your day?

Anytime I am with my husband—walking our dog along a nature trail, visiting over coffee in the morning, unwinding with a glass of wine by the fireplace in the evening. He is my best friend, my partner, my confidante, and my lover.

Have you ever been on any sports teams? If so, what sport?

In high school, graduation requirements included participation in one sport, and cheerleading didn’t count. I went out for softball. You may have seen the rocket-fast-pitches thrown in girls’ softball games and the extraordinary level of fielding and hitting by today’s athletes. That wasn’t what my team was like. We were average in a noncompetitive league. Softball was a no-cut sport. I was the last person to sub in from the bench. The last. And I was terrible. I chuckle at the memory and wonder how I could have been so awful with no desire to improve. Looking back, I realize that I should have gone out for track. As an adult, I grew to love taking part in 10K races and even ran a Half Marathon one year.

What’s your favorite spot to visit in your own country? And what makes it so special to you?

Hawaii is my favorite place to vacation. I am not a “beach person” in that I while I love the sound and sight of the ocean, I usually stay out of the water unless snorkeling, and off the beach unless walking on it. I prefer to relax and read beside a swimming pool and be able to look up and see the ocean. 

I relax as soon as I arrive in Hawaii. My husband and I make the long flights part of our vacation and even enjoy those. One year, we flew to Hawaii for one night only!

Writing ideas flood my mind when I am in Hawaii. It happens every time I’m there. I’ve enjoyed every Hawaiian island I’ve visited, but my favorite is Maui.

Thank you for a glimpse into your life, Gail!

A note from Gail: 

Thank you for this interview! My goal in writing is to entertain and for a brief time, transport readers to another world. If you read It Happened in Tuscany, I sincerely hope you enjoy it. When you finish the novel, please consider leaving a review on Amazon or Goodreads, or a shout-out on Facebook. I love reader comments, they inspire me to continue writing!

Giveaway:

Win 1 of 5 copies of IT HAPPENED IN TUSCANY (choice of signed print, ebook, or audiobook) or GRAND PRIZE (book, canvas bag, PLUS $50 Amazon GC) (6 winners) (USA shipping only).