A charming portrait of a child’s life in Italy in the aftermath of WW2: fascinating, heart-breaking and uplifting in equal measure. – Chrissie Manby, bestselling author
“Paradiso is a highly accomplished novel, poignant, moving and heart-warming. This is historical fiction at its best. So evocative you can practically smell the scent of tomatoes from Zia Mina’s garden.” Chez Maximka
“A beautifully written piece of historical fiction that draws you into the lives of the characters from the first page. A truly delightful read!” Pickled Thoughts and Pinot
“Such a lovely story and I recommend to any historical fiction fan” Mrs Book Burney
“A powerfully emotional story that grips the reader from the start” – Quirky Book Reads
“The whole story gripped my attention” Tizi’s Book Review
“Such a charming, lovely read” Mum and Me Reads
“One of those books which was very very hard to put down!” Mama Books
PARADISO (Book 1)
- #2 on Amazon UK in the Hot New Releases category and #1 in Italian Historical Fiction
- #7 Historical Italian Fiction Amazon US
In a country emerging from the turmoil of war, a girl’s story of courage and secret begins …
Italy, 1937. In a tiny village in rural Lombardy, Graziella Ponti is born into a loving family. Though they are not rich and life is full of challenges, they are content and safe, surrounded by the tightly-knit community of Pieve Santa Clara. But when the shadow of World War Two falls across the village with the arrival of Nazi soldiers, nothing in young Graziella’s life will ever be the same again.
Paradiso is Graziella’s story. It charts her loves, losses and triumphs as she grows up in post-war Italy, a country in transformation, freed from the shackles of dictatorship yet still gripped by the restraints of the Catholic Church.
Paradiso is inspired by true stories told to Francesca Scanacapra by her Italian family and set in locations where she spent much of her childhood. It is a deeply affecting novel which sheds light on the complexity and trauma of Italy’s past and weaves it into the epic tale of an ordinary woman compelled to live in extraordinary times.
RETURN TO PARADISO (Book 2)
- #1 Historical Italian Fiction, Amazon UK
Italy, 1950. The hardships of war are being consigned to the past and the dawn of a new decade brings with it the promise of lasting peace and prosperity. In Pieve Santa Clara, a tiny village in rural Lombardy, Graziella Ponti, now a teenager, lives a simple life with her widowed mother and aunt. But Italy is transforming around Graziella at great speed and, as her childhood gives way to the start of her womanhood, she must learn to navigate this ever-changing new world.
Return to Paradiso is a story of love, hope and tragedy set in Italy at a time when the Economic Miracle was in full swing, the grip of the Catholic Church was loosening, and the role of women in society was progressing.
THE DAUGHTER OF PARADISO (BOOK 3)
Italy, 1963. Graziella Bianchi returns to Paradiso, barely able to believe she has been gifted her childhood home by an old friend. The beautiful house has fallen into a state of disrepair, but Graziella is determined to restore it to its former glory. Although one dream has come true, life is far from perfect. She and her daughter, Lucia, are nearly penniless and the pair are on the run from Graziella’s violent husband. With divorce not yet legal and the law still giving husbands ultimate control over their wives, Graziella must fight not only to gain her independence, but also to keep her daughter. The villagers of Pieve Santa Clara, with their long and loyal memories, step in, and gradually a good life becomes a possibility for Graziella and Lucia. But when her estranged husband turns up, drunk and angry, everything Graziella has worked so hard for is under threat.
For readers of Elena Ferrante, Sebastian Faulks, Fiona Valpy, Santa Montefiore, Irene Nemirovsky, Dinah Jeffries, Victoria Hislop, Heather Morris, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.