Thursday, March 2, 2023

Book Review: Stars in an Italian Sky by Jill Santopolo

Page: 336
Genre: Adult Historical Fiction
Pub. Date: February 28, 2023
Publisher: G.P. Putnam
Source: Publisher for review
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says "From the New York Times bestselling author of The Light We Lost comes a sweeping story of two star-crossed lovers in post-World War II Italy, and a blossoming relationship generations later that will reveal a long-buried family secret. Genoa, Italy, 1946. Vincenzo and Giovanna fall in love at twenty-one the moment they set eyes on each other. The son of a count and the daughter of a tailor, they belong to opposing worlds. Despite this, the undeniable spark between them quickly burns into a deep and passionate relationship spent exploring each other's minds, bodies and their city, as well as Vincenzo's family's sprawling vineyard, Villa Della Rosa--until shifts in political power force them each to choose a side and commit what the other believes is a betrayal, shattering the bright future they dreamed of together. New York, 2017. Cassandra and Luca are in love. Although neither quite fits with the other's family, Cass and Luca have always felt like a perfect match for each other. But when Luca, an artist, convinces his grandfather and Cass's grandmother to pose for a painting, past and present collide and reveal a secret that changes everything."


Cassandra and Luca are on their way to getting married, but their worlds couldn't be more different. Cassandra comes from a working class Italian American family whereas Luca, while he is also an Italian American, his family is wealthy and owns a vineyard. Despite their differences in background, they love each other and Luca proposes. While getting their families together after their engagement and a possible portrait as Luca is an artist, Cass realizes that her grandmother, Giovanna, knows Luca's grandfather. And it isn't a casual acquaintance; they know each other from way back in Genoa, Italy in 1946.  Slowly, Santopolo gives us the backstory on Vincenzo, Luca's grandfather, and Giovanna's love story and all the turmoil they faced in 1946 Italy. To top it off, Vincenzo and Giovanna's families didn't approve of this possible match. Years later they reunite and the secret sends the family for a whirlwind of a ride.  Jill Santopolo's Stars in an Italian Sky is a good book for fans of sweeping multi-generational family sagas as well as fans of Adriana Trigiani.

Stars in an Italian Sky is a dual timeline novel focusing on Cass and her grandmother. Even though many years are between the two, their stories worked for me and kept me engaged. Cass's story is present day, but to fully appreciate her story, you have to understand what happened in Italy in 1946 to her grandmother and Luca's grandfather. I love historical fiction, so I especially appreciated the flashbacks to post WWII Italy, the details surrounding the political climate, Giovanna's family's tailor shop, and of course the food. In comparison, Cass's current worries in modern day seem a bit frivolous, but I still wanted her to not only figure out her grandmother's secret, but also not let that stop her wedding to Luca.

Stars in an Italian Sky is perfect for fans of historical fiction as well as Adriana Trigiani. It definitely reminded me of one of her novels and if you know me, you know that is a compliment. I thought Santopolo brought Italy to life very well, especially during a tumultuous time in history. She juxtaposed the two families well - one that has ties to nobility versus a working class family who owns a tailor shop. 

Stars in an Italian Sky tugged on my heartstrings and was a beautiful story about second chances, family, and of course, romance. I enjoyed it and I look forward to reading more of Santopolo's novels in the future. So, in the comments let me know if you are a fan of Santopolo. Do you plan on reading this novel?  




  1. I haven't had the best of luck with this author, but this sounds quite different!

    1. This was my first book by Santopolo--I've had one of her other books on my shelf for quite awhile. As far as historical fiction goes, this was good, especially if you like family stories and post WWII time period. Thanks for visiting!


I really appreciate your comments. Thank you!

Design by: Designer Blogs