The Walls of Lucca

The Walls of Lucca

by Steven Howard Physioc


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The Walls of Lucca 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
amybooksy 6 months ago
The Walls of Lucca begins the Martellino series by Steve Physioc. Mr Physioc’s talent shines through in this book and I thought it was pretty good. I loved getting to know Isabella. I admired her strength, bravery and determination. I found it interesting to learn a little bit what it would have been like to live in Italy post World War I. The Walls of Lucca was getting four and a half stars from me. I look forward to the sequel to the Martellino series, Above the Walls, to see what happens next. I received this book from the publisher. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.
Reader_Views More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Megan Weiss for Reader Views (2/19) Steve Physioc’s “The Walls of Lucca” is a beautifully written tale that takes place in in the years following the end of World War I, when Mussolini’s rhetoric is gaining vast support and fascism is spreading like wildfire. The novel’s protagonist is Isabella Roselli, a young woman raised in a convent who uses her skills as a cook and gardener to sow seeds of love in the lives she touches. “The Walls of Lucca” is a compelling novel not only because of the detail and writing talent of the author, but because of the connections it has to present situations in the world today. The book falls well within the genre of historical fiction, but has mirrors to contemporary life, as well. The years between World War 1 and World War II saw a rise in those who wished to create a better world for the masses. Which masses, however, was dependent upon political belief. In post-war Italy, the lines were drawn between the fascists and socialists – those who wanted to safeguard the liberties and well-being of the landowners and more wealthy citizens and those who wanted to safeguard the liberties and well-being of all, especially the lower classes who had been so often ignored. We see a lot of this same thing today in our debates over immigration, conservative vs. liberal politics, the economy and how we tax our citizens, and more. We have extremists akin to Mussolini who are gaining momentum and followers at the expense of others. There are protests and marches. As a historian-in-training I try not to think of history as “repeating itself,” but in a lot of ways we are seeing very similar scenes in our modern day lives as we did one hundred years ago during the years when “The Walls of Lucca” takes place. Physioc has written a novel that not only captures readers with its content, but which contributes to the current social and political debates in the world today. Not everyone who picks up the book will necessarily be able to relate personally to the things that happen to the characters, but they will be able to equate the scenes and events in the books to things currently taking place which are now being written into our history. I encourage any reader, whether they are in high school or approaching their 100th birthday, to give this book a try if they are interested in world history, hoping to gain a little insight into how our history has shaped our present situations, or who may just be looking for their next great read. “The Walls of Lucca” by Steve Physioc definitely took me by surprise, and once picked up, became increasingly harder to put down.
ReadersFavorite2 More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Kathryn Bennett for Readers' Favorite The Walls of Lucca by Steven Physioc takes us back in time to Italy during the First World War. A love story set in tense times while the fascist government of Mussolini is on the rise. Isabella Roselli, a young woman who has spirit and is also spiritual, works to bring down barriers that separate families. Isabella was orphaned and was raised by convent sisters who help her grow into the wonderful young woman she is. Her gifts include an ability to grow things and cook, all coupled with a kind heart. Many in Lucca are also inspired by Isabella’s kind heart for anyone who is hurting. Some of the lives she touches include Franco, a soldier who can't escape the horrors of war, and Angelina, a mother of four who has been widowed by the war. I love a good historical romance and when you dive into one that is set during one of the worst times in history, you know you will get something that is full of a variety of emotions. Whether the backdrop is right in the war or right after, there are so many feelings and emotions, horror, and the strength it takes to get through and everything else. This book ticks all of those boxes for me. Author Steven Physioc has really managed to find the perfect balance of romance and real life. On a personal level, when I am reading a story I need it to feel as if it could be real in order to really enjoy it. Isabella is the type of character I immediately understand and feel a connection with. She has had a tough start in life, but rather than allowing it to control her and turn her into a person soured by it, she thrives and turns into someone who spreads love and kindness. I don't want to spoil the story, but I can say if you love a good romance and a good solid story, you will enjoy this one for sure. Isabella has such a fantastic spirit, the kind of girl I could see myself being. Again, to me that makes the best type of book when you feel like you are walking with the characters. I can't wait to read the next book.
ReadersFavorite1 More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Maria Beltran for Readers' Favorite The Walls of Lucca by Steven Physioc is a historical fiction novel set in scenic Italy, specifically in the historic walled city of Lucca, during the turbulent years of the First World War. Isabella Roselli, a spirited orphan girl, is raised by the sisters of the Blessings Convent in Lucca, while in Puglia, Franco and Benny Carollo face the reality of being drafted into the Italian army to fight in the looming war. As fate would have it, Isabella and Franco meet each other in the centuries-old Martellino vineyard after the war, where their love for the soil brings them together. Times are difficult, however, with Italy torn between the socialists and the fascists led by the charismatic Benito Mussolini. Steven Physioc's The Walls of Lucca is a historic trip back to the time when Italy was gripped by the pain of the aftermath of the horrific First World War and the upheavals of Mussolini's rise to power. It is the story of Isabella, a gifted orphan girl, who can seemingly grow anything under the sun and turn the most humble of vegetables into a delicious meal. It is also a glimpse into the psyche of Franco, a farm boy who has experienced first hand the horrors and the futility of war. Author Steven Physioc's writing style is vividly descriptive, so much so that one is transported to scenic Tuscany and, at the same time, it is also historically accurate. The Walls of Lucca is a tale of violence, jealousy, ambition, frustration and fear which makes Steven Physioc's readers learn the real meaning of love, faith, forgiveness, hope and loyalty. This book is certainly a very inspiring read!
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite The Walls of Lucca is a work of historical fiction by author Steven Physioc. Set during the period between the start of the First World War and the rise to power of Mussolini, the plot follows an Italian family in the town of Lucca through their daily lives, romances, trials and tribulations. The central character is Isabella Roselli, who draws others to her with her bright spirit and talent for transforming the plants she grows into fabulous cuisine. Isabella seeks to help those who are hurting in her home town, but in doing do she evokes heartaches and triumphs and discovers the true meaning of family. Steven Physioc writes with a strong emotional intelligence, especially with regard to the bonds of family love. Whilst the romantic elements of the tale were sweet, I’d say the book is far more effective as a dramatic saga and fans of that genre will not be disappointed. The description of the town of Lucca, its culture, food and people, is lush and engrossing, despite the frightening backdrop of war and Fascism that lurks at every turn. Human nature is explored in a compassionate and understanding manner, and though the novel’s conclusion is satisfying in itself, it also leaves plenty of room for more story in the future. Overall, The Walls of Lucca is a highly recommended read for fans of historical fiction, realistic war dramas and family sagas, encompassing a hopeful message about love and family in spite of the trials which can and do affect us all.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I recently finished reading The Walls of Lucca a second time. It was such a good read that I was eager to enjoy it again. The plot absolutely captured me, and the pages of the book flew by. The story’s historical references indicated ardent and intense research by the author and gave the story an authentic feel. There was just the right amount of history blended into the book. The author’s description of the setting indicated his personal connection with and fondness of Lucca and Italy. I found the characters to be real people who displayed truthful personalities, emotions and reactions. The ones I liked came to life for me as I pictured their faces with “good” people who are part of my life. The others who are not-so-nice became faces either invented by my imagination or transferred from images of notorious historical people. Family dynamics, personal and interpersonal relationships and life’s issues were developed in full and with genuineness. There are many heartfelt and touching moments where, I must admit, I reached for a tissue. I became part of the story and took the journey through the book alongside the central characters. My senses of smell and taste were tickled throughout the pages where pasta dinners were being created and paired with wines from the story’s Martellino vineyard. It is no wonder that I found pure joy reading the book while sipping a glass of red wine. Looking forward to the second installment of the book this fall. Saluti!