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Tuscan Rose  By  cover art

Tuscan Rose

By: Belinda Alexandra
Narrated by: Caroline Lee
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Publisher's Summary

A mysterious stranger known as 'The Wolf' leaves an infant with the sisters of Santo Spirito. A tiny silver key hidden in her wrappings is the only clue to the child's identity and so begins a story as intriguing and beautiful as the city of Florence itself. Belinda Alexandra's new novel, Tuscan Rose, is set in Italy during the time of Mussolini. This richly woven tale of passion, love, longing, witchcraft and magic promises to be everything her readers love and more.

©2010 Belinda Alexandra (P)2010 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

What listeners say about Tuscan Rose

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Richly written, at times disturbing

Where does Tuscan Rose rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I really liked the length of the book -- it's good for long commutes. The story itself is in 3 distinct parts, related only by the fact that it contains Rosa, the main character is in all three. Loved the historical detail!

Who was your favorite character and why?

My favorite character was Rosa's husband Antonio, because he was solid and sensible and offered stability to the story.

Which character – as performed by Caroline Lee – was your favorite?

I love anything Caroline Lee performs!

Any additional comments?

This is not a book for anyone with a weak constitution. Alexandra's intense descriptions of Fascist and Nazi atrocities had me nauseous and gave anxiety the entire time I listened to this book. The book needs a graphic disclaimer for the violence.

27 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Such a beautiful listen....

What made the experience of listening to Tuscan Rose the most enjoyable?

This is a duel effort between the author and the narrator. I mean the story was beautifully written and the way Caroline Lee narrated it really brought it to life.

What other book might you compare Tuscan Rose to and why?

Unfortunately I am unable to think of one at this moment but think of a historical romance centered around a war. That is the premise for this story.

Which character – as performed by Caroline Lee – was your favorite?

I honestly do not have a favorite. I had my favorite characters in general but this has nothing to do with the narration.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

In the beginning this book was a bit slow. I had a hard time following during my initial sitting. I even got frustrated for even buying the book but once it picked up around the second chapter I did not want to put it down. However, I will say this was a really long book and I think there could have been some things left out of the book. Even still, this did not effect how I feel about the work that went into it.

Any additional comments?

This was a beautiful story and one that I thoroughly enjoyed. I would recommend this to anyone who doesn't mind being on the edge of their seats. Those who don't mind crying. Basically anyone who understands what it feels like to be emotionally invested in a book. This book was well worth the credit or cash.

17 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Very depressing story and too drawn out

I do not like writing a bad review about a narrator as they work very hard and whilst I normally love Caroline Lee's narration, I found the forced Italian pronunciation very annoying. I think it was overdone and very distracting.

16 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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LOVED it!

What made the experience of listening to Tuscan Rose the most enjoyable?

Ms. Alexandra's attention to detail is impeccable. She drew me into the story within the first few paragraphs.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I was so sad when I finished the book because Rosa had almost become a friend. I believe there were probably many "Rosas" that lived through the horrible tragedies of World War II and whose stories will never be told. The book pays tribute to those women.

If you could rename Tuscan Rose, what would you call it?

In the Company of Wolves.

Any additional comments?

If you enjoy historical novels then don't miss this one. I'm looking forward to reading more of Ms. Alexandra's novels.

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

TMI - Too Much Information

What started out immediately as an interesting premise with enormous possibilities all too soon devolved into a minute description of how a woman feels about everything, from seeing herself in a mirror the first time to becoming thirsty after breast-feeding. The plot dragged and any theme was soon lost. It became a chore to listen, and finally was laid to rest unfinished. An abridged version might work with significant editing.

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • DJ
  • 04-22-11

Boring

Somehow I was led to this book after reading and thoroughly enjoying Kate Morton's book The House at Riverton. But there is no comparison. The beginning is intriguing. An infant girl, Rosa, is left at a nunnery. She is raised by the sisters and fifteen years later she leaves to become governess for the daughter of a wealthy Italian family at the time when Mussolini is coming into power. That she has some connection to this family is immediately obvious. From there on it is amazingly contradictory. While she displays seemingly great knowledge of child rearing, Pythagoras, music, language and philosophy, she is apparently ignorant of how babies are conceived and born. This becomes obvious after Rosa is wrongly jailed because of an accusation that Rosa aided another servant in aborting her child, by the evil step mother (an Italian noble woman by marriage) of her charge . Rosa is in jailed for ,over a year and is raped by one of her jailers. She doesn't realize she is pregnant until another inmate clues her in. This is 3 hours into the story. I kept trying but was so bored an irritated by both the writing and the plot I had to stop. For me a wasted credit. I prefer more subtlety and realism..

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Beautiful war-time story.

Any additional comments?

This was a good listen.
The story gave me insight into Italy's part in the 2nd World War, Mussolini and the hardships that the Italian people faced around his reign.
The story has an interesting plot with a bizarre but surprising twist at the end. Perhaps I would have written the end of the heroin's family history a bit different myself, but it did not make the book a bad listen.
I'll recommend this one.

8 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A Lovely Read/Listen

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. I'm not a big fan of historical fiction, but this was a book where the characters made such an indelible impression that I was enchanted. It was beautifully written, impeccably narrated and, despite its length, didn't last long enough.

What did you like best about this story?

The character development and the personal view of history in Italy before and during World War II.

Which character – as performed by Caroline Lee – was your favorite?

Rosa, of course, but most of the recurring characters are well-drawn.

If you could take any character from Tuscan Rose out to dinner, who would it be and why?

Luciano. Just to have a look.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliantly written & narrated

This was my first Belinda Alexandra book & I am so very impressed I have gotten into her other titles. For me this book gives me strength, no matter what life throws at you, it is nothing the strong girl in this book & her friends are dealt don't take within their stride. A gripping tale of a young Ophan living through the horrors of being wrongly accused in the age of fascism and surviving the war through the eyes of the Florentine Italians. Your credit will not be wasted with this great story.

8 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Emotional slice of history

Would you listen to Tuscan Rose again? Why?

Yes, it read me to sleep a couple of times. I might have missed some details.

What other book might you compare Tuscan Rose to and why?

I read a piece awhile back called the Zookeepers Wife...a long winding beautiful tale that captured my attention and left me in a happy place.

Which character – as performed by Caroline Lee – was your favorite?

Antonio and the heroic Falcon

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

It's a love story during the Italian struggle with facism and the resistance to the Nazi.

Any additional comments?

This is tale that puts you in Italy during the Facist regime of Mussolini and the struggle against the Nazi, Rose is a character driven by the historical events to expose the reader to the devastation these years wrought in Italy. It is an emotional listen, you will need a tissue.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-03-20

Good story poor narration.

The story and message are excellent. It makes real the suffering of the italian people both under Mussolini and the occupation. the characters are believable and you grow to love them as the book continues. The only negative is the narrator who has a pronounced Australian accent throughout the reading. Switching occasionally to a very poor Italian accent, then an over pronounced accent when using the names of the characters. I found it very irritating. The narrator should have been an English speaking Italian.

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  • Hilary blackshaw
  • 02-01-19

great book but

loved it but why have I been charged for it twice it's put me off

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  • Miss M
  • 05-16-18

Brilliant

Absorbing, moving and historically fascinating. A book with real heart, that doesn’t shy away from the despicable horrors of war without descending into relentless grimness. Highly recommended.

Thank you Belinda Alexandra for the evocative creation of so many characters of light and shade and a courageous and loving protagonist living in an unimaginably tough time in Italian history both pre and during the Second World War.

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  • Margaret
  • 06-21-16

Enjoyable but...

The historical setting and events around which the story evolves are interesting and well described. Overall, I enjoyed the book and especially the reading of Caroline Lee. What I did not enjoy was the highly improbable plot twist towards the end. There's only so far disbelief can be suspended.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mary
  • 10-12-15

Excellent read

Where does Tuscan Rose rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Near the best

What did you like best about this story?

It was realistic and remained enthralling from page one.

Which character – as performed by Caroline Lee – was your favourite?

Rosa

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Too many to pick one.

Any additional comments?

Good historical fiction.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Eugene Smalberger
  • 06-01-22

Another Stunning book by Belinda

This book is gripping from start to end and absolutely anyone can enjiy it, whetger your a romantic, adventure is history buff.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sandie E
  • 02-22-22

Loved it

I didn’t want this story to end, I struggled to put it down, just loved it. Brilliant narration.

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  • Tania B.
  • 10-02-21

Enertaining

thoroughly enjoyed Tuscan Rose, decided to read it White Gardenia. a definite read of you love WW2 stories.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • A. J. Tutty
  • 06-22-21

A beautiful story

Such a powerful narrative, that gives the Italian perspective of love and courage. I would highly recommend!

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  • Tiffany Falzon
  • 05-24-21

WOW! What a journey!

It felt like one of her longest books I'd listened to, but there were no boring bits, and it was an amazing journey! There were definitely some sad moments, but a heart warming story of how she survived her continuous struggles, including a horrendous war. I highly recommend reading it.

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  • Sabra
  • 03-19-21

Just Brilliant

What a work,I couldn't put it down.So much to take in all the twists and turns.
This would make a great movie.
The narration excellent.I am now looking for Belinda Alexandra's next novel to read.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-15-19

Excellent

Really enjoyed this, even though the content was at times harrowing, it was read so beautifully it never felt like you were listening to something horrific.
I listen for pleasure so I don't enjoy feeling awful when listening but the reading of this was so lovely that didn't happen.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 05-01-19

a must read

I could not put this book away, every minute of the day I was taken to a enduring journey of such power I almost felt I was there.