Monday, May 15, 2023



Mia’s heart is broken when she loses her precious grandmother, Annalisa.  Mia is a thirty-two year old researcher that lives on Long Island, New York.  Mia is sorting through her late grandmother’s belongings when she finds an old letter.  Annalisa had never mentioned anything about the Italian castle to Mia.  Mia travels to Italy in search of answers to so many questions.  Mia is amazed at the beauty of the Italian coast.  She takes a short boat ride from Parissi to the island and is sad to discover the island is closed to visitors.  She doesn’t want to just give up as she desperately needs to find out what her grandmother was hiding all these years.  She meets Leo, a local and promises to get her into the castle even though it’s closed.  As Mia and Leo begin searching the old, dilapidated castle, they find more handwritten notes in the walls of the castle.  As Mia and Leo read through the letters, many answers to their questions are answered, but many more questions come up.  The more time Leo and Mia spend together they begin to fall in love.  Mia has so many decisions to make, does she return to New York with more questions than answers or does she stay in Italy with her new found love?

Secrets of the Italian Island, by author Barabara Josselsohn, was a heart-warming and amazing story of family, new beginnings and uncovering family truths.  This amazing story was full of mystery, intrigue and grabbed my attention from beginning to end.  This unputdownable book was absolutely phenomenal, unpredictable and hit all the emotions.  I loved this book and am so glad that it is the first book in a new series.  Barbara Josselsohn is a wonderful author that knows how to draw the reader into the story and won’t let them go until the last page is turned.  Her detailed descriptions of Italy make you feel like you are actually there.  Everything about this story is amazing, don’t pass this one up. This time slip, historical fiction is indescribable.  I highly recommend this book, it was absolutely fabulous!


Rating: 5 out of 5.
Author:  Barbara Josselsohn
Publisher: Bookouture 
Publication Date: May 11, 2023
Pages: 363 
Buy on Amazon 

Italy, 1943. A castle once full of love and laughter is left in ruins by the Nazis, as three sisters are torn apart by one terrible mistake…

New York, present day. Broken by the loss of her beloved grandmother Annalisa, who raised her all alone, Mia is shocked when she finds an old letter sent from Italy in her belongings. Annalisa never told Mia about the magnificent, vine-covered castle on Isola di Parissi where she spent one long summer under the Italian stars. Or that she was accused of something terrible in the darkest days of World War Two…

Arriving on the stunning Italian coast just a boat ride away from Parissi, Mia is devastated to find the island closed to visitors. Desperate to find out what her grandmother was hiding, she finds dark and brooding local guide 
Leo, who promises to help her sneak in.

As they explore the crumbling castle surrounded by lush olive groves, Mia begins to fall in love with passionate Leo and the beautiful country he calls home. And soon they find handwritten notes hidden in the walls, which confirm her grandmother’s heartbreaking story. Annalisa arrived on the island with her two sisters but was forced to abandon them when the Nazis invaded.

Mia soon realizes that the accusation against Annalisa might be true, and that Leo has his own reasons for wanting to dig up her family’s past. 
The terrible mistake Annalisa made tore apart the island community. Will it force Mia to leave Leo, and Italy, forever?


Barbara Josselsohn is an award-winning writer who loves crafting stories about strong protagonists facing a fork in the road. Her novels include The Bluebell Girls, The Lilac House, The Last Dreamer, and her newest release, The Lily Garden. She has published hundreds of articles about family, home and relationships in national and regional publications, and also teaches novel writing at the Writing Institute at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York. She lives just north of New York City and enjoys escaping to the beach or the mountains whenever she can. Other than writing, her biggest passion is her family: her husband, her three kids, and her indefatigable shih-poo! 

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