Francesca’s personal life and career are disasterous so she jumps at the chance to travel to Italy to purchase some rare books. She has a competitor who also wants to secure the deal but they must work togther to find the hidden books.
The Bookseller’s Daughter is a dual timeline novel set in the present day and the 1930s-40s. I have previously reviewed The Lost Village by Daniela Sacerdoti.
Francesca has been dumped by her fiance but is still living with him (mostly sleeping on the couch and hoping for their love to reignite). Her career is in tatters due to unpleasant associations with fraud that she was innocent of. Both situations had me gnashing my teeth in rage at the unfairness! She has a chance to prove herself in Italy but finds herself on a quest rather than a simple transaction.
Helena has written a diary in 1944 to chart her experiences of being orphaned but also joining a convent. She has been through a lot of pain and grief due to the deaths of her family when she was younger before subverting the power of the Nazis.
The strength of women is a recurring theme in this book. There are also ghosts to add an extra dimension to the plot. I enjoyed the historical detail included in the book as well as the emotional and supernatural aspects. The writing style brings both timelines to life and the setting is described vividly to underpin the plot and characters.
The Bookseller’s Daughter is an engaging and often emotional book.
‘As the soldiers arrived on our sandy beaches, a brave young girl hid beautiful leather-bound books. She risked her life to protect the secrets of this island and save the man she loved. I want you to find the books, dear Francesca. Her diary holds the first clue, take it, and uncover her incredible story…’
As golden sunlight shimmers across the crystal-clear water, Francesca arrives on the tranquil Italian island of Santa Caterina in search of precious rare books. She quickly discovers she was invited by the island’s mysterious owner, alongside handsome local book collector Thiago, to unlock a secret spanning generations. Together, they learn the books were hidden during the Second World War by Helèna, the daughter of a bookseller, who sacrificed everything to save the island’s treasures from the Nazis.
With only Helèna’s diary to guide them, Francesca finds herself growing closer to Thiago, with his deep blue eyes and sun-kissed curls. As they curl up under the stars, piecing together clues in the gentle, rose-scented breeze and retracing Helèna’s steps on the quaint cobbled streets, Francesca begins to wonder if she can finally open her heart to a new beginning…
But when an unbelievable act of courage and a heart-breaking secret in the final pages of the diary shatters everything she and Thiago thought they knew about Helèna, Francesca realises the remarkable wartime story of love and sacrifice has the power to change both of their lives forever.
An unforgettable and emotional story of bravery, love and secrets from the author of Amazon No.1 bestseller The Italian Villa and million-copy bestseller, Watch Over Me. Perfect for fans of Fiona Valpy, Victoria Hislop, and The Letter by Kathryn Hughes, readers will be absolutely hooked on The Bookseller’s Daughter.
Daniela Sacerdoti is the author of the bestselling Glen Avich series which has sold over one million copies in ebook to date, Sacerdoti’s debut novel Watch Over Me was named the eighth bestselling Kindle book of all time in 2015, when she was also ranked as the eleventh top-selling Kindle author. She lives in a small village in the middle of nowhere, with her Scottish husband, two children, a Cocker spaniel and a foundling kitten (who was definitely a witch in a past life).