2015. Following the death of her husband, Tess has come to be a companion to Beatrice Crane, an elderly friend of her grandmother’s. With its hilltop position surrounded by stunning gardens, she’s found the perfect place to immerse herself in her passion for photography.
Beatrice is excited at the impending arrival of the villa’s rightful owner, who has been tracked down after decades of searching, and tells Tess it’s one of the children who was sheltered there in the war. Beatrice asks Tess to help her write down what happened during the war years, when Italy was torn apart by warring factions both from outside the country and within.
The courage of Francesca Robbia, the villa’s owner, who resisted clandestinely against the Fascists and the German occupiers and took in children from the cities in the north that were being devastated by bombing, helps Tess to process her grief and conflicting emotions at being the one left behind, giving Tess a new purpose and a new beginning.
Press and Reviews
“Fiona Valpy’s writing is great; well-paced, detailed, and captivating, and I definitely look forward to reading more of her work in the future.”
“Fiona Valpy has an exquisite talent for creating characters so rounded and delightful that they almost feel like family, and this makes what happens to them…”
“A novel that will whisk you to another time and place, The Storyteller of Casablanca is a tender tale of hope, resilience, and new beginnings.”
“A moreish story of love, war, loss, and finding love again, set against an atmospheric Highlands backdrop.”
“Brilliant story, I was completely immersed in it.”
“A wonderfully immersive novel about mothers and daughters, lovers and friends, set against a vivid and beautifully described Scottish setting. I loved it!”
“Equal parts heartbreaking and life-affirming, The Dressmaker’s Gift is sure to be welcomed by fans of historical fiction.”
“You’ll be immersed in this twisting, colourful tale.”
“The historical detail and distinctive characters will draw you in.”
“An intriguing and nostalgic read.”