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Feature book: Three Gold Coins

17 October 2018

Three Gold Coins by Josephine Moon

Subgenre: women’s fiction
Release date: 1 Apr 2018
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Format: paperback / ebook
Length: 388 pages
RRP: A$29.99 / A$24.99

The custom about tossing three gold coins over your shoulder into the Trevi Fountain in Rome was not known to me: the first is to make sure you return to Rome, the second to bring new romance into your life, the third for marriage. What a lovely tradition.

Lara Foxleigh is newly arrived and does exactly that, then gets distracted when an elderly gentleman appears to be abandoned at the fountain by his carer—so big-hearted Lara steps in to look after him.

In a heartbeat she’s driven him home to Tuscany—beautiful, sun-drenched, food-drenched Tuscany—and is learning to milk goats and soak in the peace while she becomes Samuel’s new carer. She meets his nephew Matteo, a very attractive goat farmer and cheese maker: cue cheese-making lessons! Things begin to look up, even as she realises there’s something unhappy lurking behind Samuel’s isolation and loneliness.

Lara’s obviously in Italy to recover from something we don’t know about at the start of the book. Ever so slowly little clues drop in about something dark, something a bit chilling, something dangerous and threatening. Her family in Queensland are lovely, but also realistic and extremely alarmed as things begin a dangerous downwards spiral.

But in the meantime, there’s Tuscany, with the goats, the milking, the cheese-making, the amazing home-made pasta, the herbs and local fresh produce, and in general every dream scenario a foodie has ever had. And wine. And Samuel’s extended Italian family and friends, who become very intriguing as his story is told.

SLIGHT SPOILER COMING … read no further unless you dare …

I was totally hooked by the time it was evident that back in Australia Lara’s family face a huge scenario of domestic violence—on a massive, evilly planned scale.

This is an onion layer reveal book. Slowly, slowly, you learn more about Lara and her situation, and the family and life she becomes part of in Italy. You care for them, and yet … they face impossible odds. You simply have to keep reading to find out what happens.

I loved the acknowledgement at the end to Rosie Batty (previous Australian of the Year) and all the work she’s courageously done to bring domestic violence into public/courtroom consciousness, and to change things. She is a hero.

This is a big-hearted book. It’s impossible not to care about Lara, Samuel, and all the other characters you get to know. It’s impossible not to be wooed by Italy, the sun, the food, the romance, the everything.

Bellissima!

Reviewed by Malvina

A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

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