Angela Petch’s regular readers will probably be surprised how long it ‘takes’ to get to Italy in this Second World War dual timeline, but there’s no need to worry, The Sicilian Secret is a better novel for the investment in building Savio’s story in particular. There is a real need to understand this fascinating character in order to comprehend his actions, and his whole narrative was beautifully researched and enthralled me.

It also made me angry that British citizens, who happened to have been born of Italian parents, were treated so shoddily during World War II. I knew about it before I read the book, but Angela Petch brought it to life in a way which left me feeling quite furious.

The story’s second timeline is in 1973, when after the death the aunt who raised her, Paige Caister finds evidence which makes her question everything she knew about her upbringing. It begins in Suffolk and ends in Sicily. With Angela Petch’s sumptuous descriptions of the landscape, people and food, it was certainly worth the wait to get there. I visited Syracuse last October and I want to go back!