Martellino Series 1: The Walls of Lucca – Steven Physioc

Happy Thursday guys!

Ah, Italy. I must say that Italy is one of my favorite countries to visit. This time I’ve finished a lovely book about this particular country. It contains many of my favorite elements, and one of them is history. I actually just bought the second book on Amazon because I need to know how this ends! The synopsis is borrowed from Goodreads:

As Italy tries to heal from the shocks of World War I, one young woman brings together a number of strangers from disparate sections of the struggling country’s society. Isabella Roselli has an inner strength that defies understanding and her mission will touch those still hurting from the scars of war and violence.

When the orphaned Isabella happens on the Martellino vineyard, she pulls in a widowed mother of four, a shell-shocked soldier, and an imperious matriarch. As these and other characters in the town of Lucca get to know Isabella, they are challenged to surrender their fears. Fascism is taking hold of the heart of Italy, and it is ensnaring all Italians in a web of brutality and dictatorship. Will Isabella’s unconditional love and strength be enough to break its hold? Find out in this compelling novel about love, hope, and the family we choose for ourselves.

The Walls of Lucca is a great book in many aspects! First of all I love our two main characters, Isabella and Franco. The way Physioc is able to portray feelings and relationships, both between the main characters and other characters throughout the book, is rather extraordinary in my opinion. It was so easy to relate to the characters feelings even though the historical times were different. Physioc is also able to show how one person can bring so much happiness, joy, and change to other people by simply being themselves and front what they believe in from their heart. The character I felt the most for during this book was, however, Susanna, the wife of Franco’s boss. She is truly the perfect example of how much a negative outlook on life can destroy everything for you. So many times whilst reading this book I was flabbergasted by how Susanna saw things in her life when I viewed it completely different. Most of the time I wondered how she could even live with herself when she made the decisions she did. Maybe I’ll get some more answers in the next book?

Historically this book is rather accurate when it comes to the character gallery of famous people. I know fairly little about Italy and its history in WW1 and in between, but from what I’ve learned reading other novels I believe Physioc is quite on point in his backdrop descriptions and characters. I enjoyed how he took his readers on a chronological journey through the Italian history of this crucial timeperiode. It was very interesting to read about the rises and falls in politics and how this was received and understood by regular people. I very much hope this continue in the next novel, Above the Walls. I also loved Physioc’s lovely descriptions of Tuscany, vineyards and Lucca but I also loved how Physioc described the more horrible scenes in this book. He is very precise and to the point without too many distractions. That makes the reading engaging and page-turning for the reader.

The Walls of Lucca is a great book both for young and old. I’m very excited to see what the next book contains and where this story is going! The characters and the story surrounding the characters is very well portrayed and you feel like you truly get to know the characters on an intimate and personal level which I truly enjoyed! If you are, on top of all this, a fan on Italy then you’ll enjoy this book even more!

About the author

As an Emmy-winning radio and TV broadcaster for football, baseball and basketball, Steve Physioc has been telling stories for 40 years. After a trip to Italy with his wife, Stace, he was inspired to tell a different kind of story — his novels, The Walls of Lucca and Above the Walls. He and Stace live in Kansas City and love to visit and spend time with their children, Ryan and Kevin, and three grandchildren.

Published: 2018

Genre: Historical fiction

Theme: Family, war, history

– The Book Reader

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