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Exploring The Sicilian Secret by Angela Petch: A Heartbreaking WWII Historical Novel

Angela Petch's latest novel, The Sicilian Secret, weaves dual timelines, transporting readers between the turbulent years of World War II and the present day. With its evocative settings, from the rugged cliffs and clear blue waters of Sicily to a quaint, crumbling cottage in England, Petch masterfully captures the essence of each era, bringing vividly to life both the beauty and the strife of the times.

At the heart of this enthralling tale is Savio, a young Sicilian caught in the throes of war, whose desperate scribblings hint at the gravity of his secrets and the risks he faces. His narrative is skillfully paralleled by Paige's contemporary journey in England, where she unravels the mysterious past of her late Aunt Florence. The discovery of a cryptic letter written in Roman numerals and snippets of Italian sparks a poignant quest for understanding and closure.

Petch excels in crafting relatable characters. Paige's emotional odyssey through her family's secrets resonates profoundly, as does the story of Lady Joy Harrison, a codebreaker who uses her linguistic skills to aid the Allies. Their stories, though separated by decades, are intertwined with threads of courage, loss, and undying love.

The Sicilian Secret shines not only as a historical novel but also as a narrative that explores the enduring impact of secrets and the human spirit's resilience. Angela Petch has woven a story of intrigue and emotion that captures the heartache and heroism of wartime, as well as the personal battles that continue long after the guns have fallen silent.

This novel is a testament to the power of historical fiction to bridge the past and present, revealing the unbreakable connections that shape our lives. It is a must-read for anyone who cherishes a well-told story that makes history feel immediate and real. This book a captivating read from start to finish.

More About The Sicilian Secret

Italy, 1943. With war raging across the rugged cliffs and turquoise waters of his beloved Sicily, Savio’s pen scrawls desperately across the page. His letter must be sent in secret – or his life will be in terrible danger…

England, present day. Paige is devastated when her reclusive but beloved Aunt Florence dies – the only family she’s ever known. Inheriting her crumbling cottage, Paige finds an unfinished note. ‘I am sorry, Paige. It’s time to tell you everything. It all began in Sicily…’

Beside the note is a faded envelope – addressed to a woman called Joy – with an Italian postage stamp from 1943. The letter inside is made up of Roman numerals and snippets of sentences written in Italian. But who is Joy? Was someone sending a coded message? Paige is desperate to piece together the truth. But she soon discovers it will change everything she’s ever believed about her aunt, and her family history.

1943. Lady Joy Harrison may have grown up in a manor house, but she’s determined to fight for what’s right and use her fluent Italian to help the Allies. Breaking code on a long night shift, Joy reads a secret message that makes her whole body shake. A dark-eyed young man she once loved is in terrible danger on the shores of Sicily. Was the message sent by him? And will she ever see him again – or will the war tear them apart for good?

An absolutely heartbreaking and stunning timesplit historical novel about how wartime secrets can stretch across the generations, and the incredible bravery of ordinary people in the darkest of times. Fans of The Nightingale, Fiona Valpy and Lucinda Riley will be captivated.

More About Angela Petch

From Angela...

Author Angela PetchI’m an award winning writer of fiction – and the occasional poem.

Every summer I move to Tuscany for six months where my husband and I own a renovated watermill which we let out. When not exploring our unspoilt corner of the Apennines, I disappear to my writing desk at the top of our converted stable.

In my Italian handbag or hiking rucksack I always make sure to store notebook and pen to jot down ideas.

The winter months are spent in Sussex where most of our family live. When I’m not helping out with grandchildren, I catch up with writer friends.


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