Sam Campbell sits by her husband’s hospital bed. Far from home and her children, she must care for Michael who is recovering from a stroke. A man she loves deeply. A man who has been unfaithful to her.
Alone and in need of distraction, Sam decides to pick up Michael’s research into the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Immersing herself in the ancient city, she begins to piece together the mystery behind the creation of the tower, and discovers the woman that history forgot…
Berta di Bernardo, the wife of a rich merchant, sits in her chamber, dressing for a dinner party. A gathering that will change the course of her life and that of a young master mason, Gerardo, forever.
A strong, intelligent woman, Berta’s passion for architecture draws her to Gerardo. As she embarks on a love affair, her maid Aurelia also becomes spellbound by the same man. Yet for Berta, her heart’s desire is to see the Tower built, and her determination knows no bounds… "
In all honesty, I wasn't sure if this was going to be my thing, but I am SO GLAD I picked it up. A gorgeous story of the building of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, love affairs, resentment, jealousy, Secrets of the Tower had the whole package for me. The tale hooked me in within a few pages, and Debbie Rix writes her characters so well you can't help but get attached to them. I loved the women in this novel - all of them were strong, feisty characters that despite being treated like crap by their menfolk were determined not to lose out at any cost. The menfolk in question however, I didn't love so much. I thought Michael was a total shit, and completely undeserving of Sam, whereas it took me a long while to warm to Gerardo as I wasn't completely sure of his motives.
Having visited, and fallen in love with Pisa a few years ago, it was easy for me to understand how Sam could become so involved with the story behind the Tower, and it was fascinating to read Debbie's descriptions of Pisa long ago, she manages to evoke the sights, sounds and smells as though you are standing right there. A truly lovely novel, if you have ever visited the Tower, or if even a teensy part of you thinks you might like to, then I highly recommend you read Secrets of The Tower.
Secrets of the Tower is out now and you can get it here:
*I was kindly sent a copy by the lovely Kim Nash at Bookouture*