A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Sunday, March 14, 2021

The Star-Struck Sisters of Tuscany by Lori Nelson Spielman- Feature and Review


 A trio of second-born daughters set out to break the family curse that says they’ll never find love on a whirlwind journey through the lush Italian countryside by New York Times bestseller Lori Nelson Spielman, author of The Life List.

Since the day Filomena Fontana cast a curse upon her sister more than two hundred years ago, not one second-born Fontana daughter has found lasting love. Some, like second-born Emilia, the happily-single baker at her grandfather’s Brooklyn deli, claim it’s an odd coincidence. Others, like her sexy, desperate-for-love cousin Lucy, insist it’s a true hex. But both are bewildered when their great-aunt calls with an astounding proposition: If they accompany her to her homeland of Italy, Aunt Poppy vows she’ll meet the love of her life on the steps of the Ravello Cathedral on her eightieth birthday, and break the Fontana Second-Daughter Curse once and for all.

Against the backdrop of wandering Venetian canals, rolling Tuscan fields, and enchanting Amalfi Coast villages, romance blooms, destinies are found, and family secrets are unearthed—secrets that could threaten the family far more than a centuries-old curse.



The Star-Crossed Sisters of TuscanyThe Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany by Lori Nelson Spielman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Star -Crossed Sisters of Tuscany by Lori Nelson Spielman is a 2020 Berkley publication.

Family secrets, curses, lost and found love, romance and good food!!

The second daughters of the Fontana family are believed to be cursed- doomed to live a life without love. Emilia and her cousin Lucy, both second daughters, are invited to visit Italy by their Aunt Poppy, who has been disassociated with family for years.

Going against her grandmother’s wishes, Emilia, a straight-laced girl who lives a quiet, unadventurous life, decides to accept the invitation, hoping her aunt's promise of breaking the family curse will come true.

Once in Italy, the girls discover their aunt’s health is fragile and that she is intent on meeting up with her one true love after decades of separation. As Poppy regales the girls with stories from her past, Emilia and Lucy explore the Italian culture and discover the truth themselves, their own past, and how to live life with gusto!

I found myself caught up in Poppy’s historical story, and less engaged with Emilia’s contemporary one, which is usually the case with me. Lucy’s role was underdeveloped and seemed tacked on as an afterthought. That aside, I really enjoyed this gentle story about breaking away from the limitations and expectations that bog down the full experience of life and love.

The Italian backdrop adds a beautiful air of culture, history and romance that took the story to a higher level. It was almost like taking a virtual trip, whisking me away on a lovely romantic adventure!



Lori Nelson Spielman is a former speech pathologist, guidance counselor, and teacher of homebound students. She enjoys fitness running, traveling, and reading, though writing is her true passion. Her first novel, The Life List, has been published in over thirty countries and optioned by Fox 2000. Her second novel, Sweet Forgiveness, was also an international bestseller. Her third book, The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany, releases November 17, 2020. She lives in Michigan with her husband and their very spoiled puppy.

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