Exciting time!! My new book THE ITALIAN WIFE is published on 25 November in Australia and New Zealand. It is always a breath-holding moment when a new book is launched into a big wide world of waiting readers and I am thrilled that my loyal Australian and New Zealand readers will be getting their mitts on it for Christmas. But don’t worry if you are in the UK because THE ITALIAN WIFE will also be published on KINDLE on 25 Nov.
So champers all round!
What’s the book about?
It is set in beautiful Italy in 1932. Mussolini is in power and Fascism grips the country with an iron first. No one is safe.
One bright autumn morning, architect Isabella Berotti sits at a cafe in the vibrant piazza at the heart of the new town Bellina, when a woman she has never met asks her to watch her nine-year-old daughter, Rosa. Just for a moment. Reluctantly Isabella agrees – and then watches in horror as the woman climbs to the top of the town’s clock tower and steps over the edge. This tragic encounter forces Isabella to probe deep into the secrets of her own past and, with the help of charismatic photographer Roberto Falco, she discovers that some secrets are more dangerous than either of them could have imagined.
From the glittering marble piazzas to the picturesque hillside villages and winding streets of Rome, THE ITALIAN WIFE will take you on a complex journey of intrigue, romance and betrayal.
Why did I choose Italy?
I defy anyone not to fall in love with Italy, it is so enchanting. I have always wanted to set one of my books there, but was looking for the right story and the right setting. I like to embed my stories in tumultuous times, in fragile moments of history, and the regime of Mussolini provided exactly that. But it wasn’t until I heard about Il Duce’s ambitious draining of the Pontine Marshes, the ‘Agro Pontino’ – a mammoth undertaking – in order to build five new towns, that I knew I had found my precarious moment that would form the background to my story. My heroine Isabella is an architect who designs the town’s clock tower. When I travelled to Latina, one of Mussolini’s showpiece new towns 30 km south of Rome, I looked up at the magnificent clock tower and imagined what would be going through Isabella’s head when she sees the woman step off her tower. That moment changes Isabella’s life. She has to discover whether the man she loves has secrets that may prove him to be her greatest enemy …..
Everything about this fascinating time and place inspired me. I hope you will enjoy exploring them with me..