Title: Three Gold Coins
Author: Josephine Moon
Published: March 21st 2018
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Genres: Fiction, Contemporary
Rating: 5 stars
One coin for love, one for marriage, one to return to Rome.
Two days ago, Lara Foxleigh tossed three gold euros into the Trevi Fountain. Now, she is caring for a cranky old man and living in a picturesque villa, …half a world away from her home and the concerns of her loving family.
Soon, it seems as if those wishes she made in Rome just might be coming true, and she may even be able to help heal a fifteen-year-old tragedy.
Until Lara’s past threatens to destroy everything she loves…
Three Gold Coins is a masterfully written celebration of food, family, triumph over adversity, and love – a deliciously imperfect life.
Josephine Moon, the queen of Australian foodie fiction, is back with a glorious and completely indulgent new release. First Josephine Moon explored tea, then chocolate, next came honey and now comes one of my own favourite guilty treats… cheese! Not only does Three Gold Coins provide the reader with a gastronomic adventure, it also offers so much in terms of lessons in love, life, family, friendship, personal strength and travel.
Everyone knows when you travel to Rome, one of the icons you must visit is the Trevi Fountain. And a trip to the Trevi Fountain would not be complete without indulging in one of the known traditions attached to the fountain, tossing in three coins. One is for love, the other for marriage and the final coin represents a return visit to Rome. Lara Foxleigh is a young Australian woman on her first trip to Rome, when befriends a cranky old man, who has been abandoned at the Trevi Fountain. What ensues is a jaunt at a stunning villa, nestled in the picturesque countryside of Italy, as Lara becomes the man’s instant carer. Although it is so very different to life in Australia, Lara takes it in her stride and embraces the opportunity. Lara even throws herself into reconciling a broken family. As quickly as Lara settles into her new life in Italy, it has the potential to come crashing down in a spectacular fashion. Lara’s terrifying past in Australia, one she has tried so hard to put behind her, may threaten to ruin all that is good in her life in Italy.
I probably sound like a broken record when I say that Three Gold Coins falls into the category of one of my most anticipated reads for 2018 and yes, I have many! Anyhow, I feel blessed to be one of the first readers to introduce this gratifying read to you. To say I am fond of this book is quite the understatement, I absolutely adored Three Gold Coins! Josephine Moon has certainly excelled in impressing this reader.
There is a rich and tender heart to Three Gold Coins, which comes across very early in the piece. The main characters are genuine and just so giving. Although Samuel initially seemed quite gruff in personality, I soon saw past this facade. It wasn’t long until Samuel occupied a big place in my heart. I salute Josephine Moon for creating such a vivid character. No discussion of characterisation is complete without acknowledging the strong presence of Lara. Lara is an exceptional character and one brave young woman. I got so caught up in her journey as a character, it was sad to say goodbye to her at the end of the book. With Lara comes her equally admirable sister Sunny. Wow, just wow on Sunny as a person! I loved how Moon represented Sunny, we got to see her in full superhero mode and at her lowest, where her vulnerability was obvious. Along with Sunny, Lara’s mother, niece and nephew are all very well drawn secondary characters. The gang in Italy are simply fantastic and so well rendered too.
It’s been awhile since my trip to Italy (2009) but thankfully Three Gold Coins has filled that void and my longing to return to this slice of heaven. The atmosphere and setting depicted in Three Cold Coins is overwhelmingly authentic, realistic and culturally well placed. It is very clear that Moon has dedicated much of her energies into getting the nitty gritty details of her novel in all areas just right. I could envision the rolling hills of the Italian countryside and feel myself relaxing in the comfort of Samuel’s villa. As well as a richly textured setting, all my senses were ignited as I consumed all of Moon’s descriptions of the food featured in this novel. Food really does as act as a centrepiece for this novel, driving the main events forward and propelling many of the characters together. The wonderful romance featured in Three Gold Coins revolves around food and draws lead Lara to her love interest. I liked the approach Moon took with this aspect of her novel.
I was so impressed by the serious undertones of contained in Three Gold Coins and the way in which Moon presented a number of hard hitting themes. I do hope there is a message on domestic and emotional abuse, as well as mental illness to be taken away from reading this affective novel. My hope and I’m sure Josephine Moon is with me on this, is that her novel will perhaps give others a sense of connection who are going through similar situations or give them the courage to stand up for their rights. Three Gold Coins is hopeful and inspiring, but in the same instance, there are heartbreaking moments that I will not forget.
Josephine Moon, hats off to you for creating a book that completely monopolized my life for the time I spent with Three Gold Coins. With a robust narrative, an intriguing line of suspense, amiable characters and a scenic stage, Three Gold Coins is a winner on all fronts. It gently reminds us through the arresting narrative, just how important love, loyalty, family, friendship and food is to our way of life.
Three Gold Coins by Josephine Moon was published on March 21st 2018 by Allen & Unwin. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.
To learn more about the author of Three Gold Coins, Josephine Moon, visit here.
*I wish to thank Allen & Unwin for providing me with a free copy of this book for review purposes.
Three Gold Coins is book #25 of the Australian Women Writers Challenge