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Return to Paradiso: Absolutely gripping and emotional historical fiction (The Paradiso Novels Book 2)

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Italy, 1950. The dawn of a new decade brings with it the promise of lasting peace and prosperity as the hardships of war are consigned to the past. 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 Italy, 1950. The dawn of a new decade brings with it the promise of lasting peace and prosperity as the hardships of war are consigned to the past. 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 is in full swing, the grip of the Catholic Church is loosening, and the role of women in society is making significant progress. The second of the Paradiso Novels, this is a compelling and emotionally-charged historical novel perfect for fans of Dinah Jeffries, Lucinda Riley, Angela Petch and Victoria Hislop.


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Italy, 1950. The dawn of a new decade brings with it the promise of lasting peace and prosperity as the hardships of war are consigned to the past. 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 Italy, 1950. The dawn of a new decade brings with it the promise of lasting peace and prosperity as the hardships of war are consigned to the past. 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 is in full swing, the grip of the Catholic Church is loosening, and the role of women in society is making significant progress. The second of the Paradiso Novels, this is a compelling and emotionally-charged historical novel perfect for fans of Dinah Jeffries, Lucinda Riley, Angela Petch and Victoria Hislop.

30 review for Return to Paradiso: Absolutely gripping and emotional historical fiction (The Paradiso Novels Book 2)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Eileen Vernor

    A fabulous story and gifted writer! Francesca Scanacapra is an amazing writer! I read both “Paradiso” and “Return to Paradiso” and could not put either book down. She is a very gifted storyteller, weaving tragic with fortunate life experiences. The first story is set during WWII occupied Italy. The second book continues the story into the 1960’s with the next generation. Throughout both the author depicts strong resilient women surviving in a macho culture where women had few rights. I plan to re A fabulous story and gifted writer! Francesca Scanacapra is an amazing writer! I read both “Paradiso” and “Return to Paradiso” and could not put either book down. She is a very gifted storyteller, weaving tragic with fortunate life experiences. The first story is set during WWII occupied Italy. The second book continues the story into the 1960’s with the next generation. Throughout both the author depicts strong resilient women surviving in a macho culture where women had few rights. I plan to read more by this author.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jacquie Jerrard

    Suitable Ending. This book marking four generations of the same family, was a joy to read. The love affair started in early teens was stronger than they knew. The ending was gorgeous and well worth reading.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Vicky Guise

    After reading 'Paradiso', the first book in this series, I couldn't wait to read this sequel. It was absolutely everything I was hoping for and more! This book has such a beautiful Italian setting and the book starts with such a feeling of optimism as Italy recovers from the Second World War. It feels that anything is possible in this new world. I loved returning to the characters that I had grown to know so well in the first book and see how their lives have changed. Francesca has such a talent After reading 'Paradiso', the first book in this series, I couldn't wait to read this sequel. It was absolutely everything I was hoping for and more! This book has such a beautiful Italian setting and the book starts with such a feeling of optimism as Italy recovers from the Second World War. It feels that anything is possible in this new world. I loved returning to the characters that I had grown to know so well in the first book and see how their lives have changed. Francesca has such a talent for creating characters that you fully invest in as a reader which makes the emotional journey the central character, Graziella, so much more impactful. The writing is beautiful and this series has completely stolen my heart. I now can't wait to continue on the journey in book 3. If you love historical fiction, I can't recommend this series enough.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Monique

    Reading the sequel satisfied my need to know how Graziella's story ended. Although, this series is fiction, it provide great insight of life during WWII and post war life in Italy; life in small villages, the discrepancies between the rich and the poor and the over all plight of women in that era. Reading the sequel satisfied my need to know how Graziella's story ended. Although, this series is fiction, it provide great insight of life during WWII and post war life in Italy; life in small villages, the discrepancies between the rich and the poor and the over all plight of women in that era.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn

    📚🇮🇹 BOOK REVIEW 🇮🇹📚 Return to Paradiso by Francesca Scanacapra @francescascana2 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️\5 Well…what can I say…the wonderful Francesca has done it again - stolen my heart, broken it into a million pieces and fixed it all back together again - in this beautiful sequel to one of my favourite books of the year. My thoughts…. Ever since I read the last page of Paradiso, I’ve been desperate for the sequel. To be transported back to Paradiso into the world of Graziella Ponti. I was right to anticipate 📚🇮🇹 BOOK REVIEW 🇮🇹📚 Return to Paradiso by Francesca Scanacapra @francescascana2 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️\5 Well…what can I say…the wonderful Francesca has done it again - stolen my heart, broken it into a million pieces and fixed it all back together again - in this beautiful sequel to one of my favourite books of the year. My thoughts…. Ever since I read the last page of Paradiso, I’ve been desperate for the sequel. To be transported back to Paradiso into the world of Graziella Ponti. I was right to anticipate this book so highly….I adored it. There’s a real sense of change in this beautiful book, which gives a sense of optimism and good things coming. I enjoyed reading about the changes to gender equality, choices were now being given to woman. Not many, but not every woman was destined to be tied to the kitchen. It’s not perfect, but I felt that the post war world, was Graziella’s oyster. One of my very favourite things about both books, are the back stories of the characters woven within the story. As a reader, these little snippets of characterisation really help to create an experience of almost living within the story. I adored discovering more about the characters I had fallen in love with in the first book. It felt like a privilege being let deeper into their worlds and lives. Now…although life was good (or better at least) after the war ended..it was by no means perfect. And just as things started to look brighter for Graziella and her family, things took a heartbreaking turn. In fact, several heart breaking turns. I was not prepared for any of that… A truly beautiful book and one I’d highly recommend. The detail written into this book is what makes it so special and draws you into the characters and storyline. A piece of my heart remains in Paradiso forever… The most exciting thing about this book…is that’s there’s another one coming! With a new character…who I cannot wait to meet! #returntoparadiso

  6. 5 out of 5

    margery doublett

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jean Watkins

  8. 5 out of 5

    sarah shah

  9. 4 out of 5

    jacinta sullivan

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sandi Favre

  11. 4 out of 5

    agatha grottano

  12. 5 out of 5

    Philip Cox

  13. 4 out of 5

    Joanne

  14. 4 out of 5

    Shirley Bradshaw

  15. 5 out of 5

    Silvia Litvin

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ines L Scotland

  17. 5 out of 5

    Dennis Palys

  18. 5 out of 5

    Andy Canning

  19. 4 out of 5

    Christine Woods

  20. 4 out of 5

    Susan Playdon

  21. 5 out of 5

    H.J.Pomeroy

  22. 4 out of 5

    Liz Watson

  23. 5 out of 5

    N Benns

  24. 5 out of 5

    mrs r a southon

  25. 5 out of 5

    Hilary Dale

  26. 5 out of 5

    Marjorie Murphy

  27. 5 out of 5

    Joseph and Sheila Clarke

  28. 4 out of 5

    MRS HELEN ROBERTS

  29. 4 out of 5

    MRS JANIS L KEY

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mrs Deborah Dews

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