The Tears of Monterini by Amanda Weinberg
Release date: 6th August 2020
Publisher: Red Door Press
Genre: Historical romance
Pre-order: Click here for more info and buy links.
Monterini, Italy. 1921. Jacobo Levi, an intellectual dreamer, works in the family bookshop. Angelo Ghione, a contadino, makes good wine by singing to the grapes. Lifetime best friends, their Jewish and Catholic families live side by side amidst a backdrop of village communal life, Etruscan tales and the growth of Benito Mussolini. Born on the same day, their children grow up and fall in love.
When the 1938 racial laws are passed, the love between Bella and Rico thrives amidst and perhaps because of the fear and uncertainty. When Angelo discovers their liaison he suggests they marry but life is complicated and tensions simmer beneath the surface of love and friendship. When war is declared on the day of Bella's wedding to Michele a fellow Jew, the peaceful village they live in is torn apart, and the Levis find themselves displaced and fighting for their lives. Will life ever be the same again?
The Tears of Monterini is a story of love and betrayal, loyalty and friendship. Inspired by true events in Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna, this beautifully written debut will appeal to readers interested in history, Italy, romance, family dynamics and conflict.
Let me tell you the lovely story of how I came to be able to review and shout about this book.
On twitter, I happened to see a promo post that Amanda had added where she announced that she was releasing her debut novel, set in Italy about love and betrayal. I was cheeky and commented to see whether she would be able to send a copy for me to review as the book wasn't yet available for me to buy. Amanda replied and sent me the beautiful spiralbound version that you see above along with a lovely card thanking me for the review.
Now, I don't often read historical fiction, but I adore Italy (and who doesn't want to escape into books set where we're currently unable to go?) and was drawn in to the promise of love and family drama.
As soon as I began reading, the words painted the scenes around me and I felt almost as if I were sitting on the cobbled streets, sharing a bottle of local wine with Angelo and Jacobo. I could almost see the blush on Bella's cheeks when she was with Rico. Best (or worst) of all, I felt the burn of emotions during the fall outs and warring atmosphere.
Amanda writes so exquisitely that I felt like I knew the characters, and she was able to make me feel the heartbreak and the joy at different parts of the story. This was one of those amazing books where you finish the last page and look around to see what you've missed while you've been living between the pages, completely immersed.
As I've said, this isn't a genre that I read a lot of, but I felt like I learnt so much about the time and setting that I was unaware of. As well as that, it was all told with such feeling and honesty through the characters that it made me want to keep reading and learn how their lives would work out.
So, thank you so much to Amanda for sending me such a lovely book package, and to Red Door Press for bringing such a stunning book into the world for us to enjoy. I've already made two other people pre-order this, purely so I can talk to them about it as fellow book lovers and Italy fans. If you would like to imagine yourself in the vineyards and bookshops of Monterini (seriously, who doesn't want that?) then please pre-order this novel (links above) and I hope you adore it as much as I did.
About the Author
The Tears Of Monterini is Amanda’s first novel. She studied Modern Languages at the University of East Anglia, followed by a PGCE at King’s College London. She ran a company in International Advertising Sales and now teaches French and German. She lives in London with her family and spends a lot of time in Pitigliano Italy, the setting for the Monterini of the title. The book is inspired by true events in the Tuscany and Emilia-Romana areas. She has literary representation by Curtis Brown.
Click here for more info on her website.