Rosanna Chiofalo returns with another evocative, beautifully written novel set against the stunning vistas of Tuscany …
In the fields around Tuscany in summertime, sunflowers grow in profusion—wave upon wave of gold and green standing tall against the Italian sky. But for Signora Maria Ferraro, the bright yellow blooms carry only bitter memories. Though she loved them as a child, sunflowers have come to represent the most painful episode of her life. Not even her cherished daughter, Anabella, knows what happened to her during World War II, when the Germans overran her hometown of Florence and Signora Ferraro fell in love with a Resistance fighter. In the aftermath of loss and grief she found salvation through an unlikely source—cultivating roses on her farm in the Tuscan countryside. Now the blossoms symbolize everything that is both good and safe, and she nurtures them with as much care as she guards her past.
Yet to Anabella, the rose farm that once delighted her has become little more than a pretty prison. Despite her beautiful surroundings, Anabella longs for more. During one of her regular visits to Siena to sell their flowers, Anabella encounters a handsome young artist named Dante Galletti. His canvases are filled with images of a girl who looks just like Anabella—and Dante claims to have seen her in his dreams, running through a sunflower field. Through Dante, Anabella begins to see sunflowers, her cloistered existence, and the world itself through new eyes. As their relationship deepens, Anabella knows she will soon have to choose between loyalty to her mother, and the risks and rewards of living on her own terms.
Alternating between the viewpoints of both mother and daughter, and between Italy during World War II and a quarter-century later, The Sunflower Girl is a poignant and moving story of the choices we make in the name of love, and the secrets that echo through generations.
Praise For The Novels Of Rosanna Chiofalo
Rosalia’s Bittersweet Pastry Shop
“Will take you into the wonderful world of Italian desserts. Flashbacks set in the 1950s will acquaint you with Italy’s old customs, particularly highlighting gender differences that existed and how marriage was approached. The novel’s sentimental writing helps coat the harsh realities of the world that Rosalia faces.”
--Italian America Magazine
“The mountains and islands of Sicily, the fabulous clothes of the late sixties, and the emotional power Sarina feels when singing stand out.”
"What a glorious novel this is. It's a celebration of life, love and unlikely friendship through the eyes of two very different women. Yet their similarities bind them together and will endear them to readers long after the last page is turned. Bravissima for Carissima!"
—Susan Wiggs, # 1 New York Times bestselling author
“Chiofalo brings the Italian immigrant community and neighborhoods richly to life.”
“Well-drawn characters . . . A charmer.”
“Sometimes tough, sometimes tender, always heartfelt and honest, Bella Fortuna is a lively, finely-stitched tale of life and love, family and friendship, and a zest for <>I>cose Italiane!”
—Peter Pezzelli, author of Home to Italy