In her latest work of fiction, The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany (Berkley), Lori Nelson Spielman takes us on an inspiring journey of self-discovery, in a setting rich with beauty and history.

Emilia is happy with her life. So, what if her relationship with her sister is not what it used to be, and she can never seem to please her strong-willed and stubborn Nonna Rosa? She has her family’s bakery, her best friend, and a quiet life in a cozy apartment in Bensonhurst. As the second-born daughter in a family cursed for generations, what more could she ask for?

Love, that’s what.

Except Emilia doesn’t want or need romantic love. Not like her cousin Lucy, whose goal in life is to find the man of her dreams. When Nonna Rosa’s sister and longtime nemesis writes to Emilia with an offer to accompany her on an all-expenses-paid trip to Italy, the girls find it hard to refuse. Especially when Poppy shares her plans to meet the love of her life on her 80th birthday on the steps of the church where they were married years ago, successfully breaking the curse that has plagued the family for decades.

As Poppy leads them from Venice, to Florence to the Amalfi Coast, Emilia and Lucy embark on a journey that promises to test their limits and forever change their lives. However, the more they learn about the eccentric aunt they were never allowed to know, the less convinced they become that she’ll actually be able to achieve what she came to do. Will Poppy get her happily ever after, or will history be doomed to repeat itself?

If you’ve never been to Italy before, Spielman’s novel will make you want to pack your bags and book the next flight. Her descriptions of the landscape, the people and food will draw you in and invite you to stay a while.

The true gem of this novel though, is the way Spielman weaves Poppy’s love story into the main action. Wanting to skip ahead to excerpts from the past versus staying in the present-day is a delicious tug-of-war that will keep you turning pages long into the night. Poppy’s wisdom is heartfelt, profound and timeless. More than once I stopped mid-paragraph to fully appreciate the advice she gives to Emilia and Lucy, the way she guides the girls to become the women they were meant to be. Emilia is immediately likable and relateable. You’ll cheer her on as she learns how to navigate her new world, one Italian city at a time.

Spielman’s story will ring true for anyone who has ever wanted to shatter others’ expectations of who they are and hear their own voice. This novel is about the healing of old wounds and learning to forgive. It’s about finding the kind of love that stands the test of time, fighting to keep it, and seizing opportunities when they come knocking at your door. There’s so much to love about this novel, but the best thing about it is the feeling it leaves you with, a reminder that with a little courage, anything’s possible.

The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany is now available for pre-order.

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 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 April 21, 2020. She lives in Michigan with her husband and their very spoiled puppy.