I have been wanting to read this book for probably two years, and I'm so excited that it's finally being released in the states.
I love historical fiction books set in Italy during WWII, and in my opinion there are not enough. I feel that most people don't understand about Italy's involvement during the war or the horrors the people of Italy went through during the Nazi occupation.
Tuscan Rose didn't mince anything. It showed the true story of Italy during the time of Mussolini and WWII through the eyes of fictional characters, who are probably not unlike the real people who lived through it. Mussolini was an absolute madman, and that's putting it lightly. He single-handedly ruined Italy, all because he wanted to be Hitler's lapdog. And for the horrors Italy went through during the Nazi occupation, you can read my review of The Villa Triste, which focuses just on that specific time.
The book ran a bit long, sometimes there was almost too much detail. When the partisans were discussing strategy, I admit to just skimming. Even if I read it word for word it would have went over my head.
The story follows the character Rosa over a period of fifteen years. When we first find her she's sixteen and living at a nunnery where she was left sixteen years prior by a mysterious man called The Wolf. We see through her eyes the rise of Mussolini, the war, and the occupation. Over the years she grows from an innocent young girl to an efficient woman doing whatever it takes to survive and save the ones she loves.
The ending was a rollercoaster ride. I went from crying my eyes out, to being in shock over something I never saw coming. What a twist!