The Cypress Maze

Today is publication day and I’m so happy to be able to share with you some of the early reviews for my latest novel…

“Fiona Valpy always writes with great heart and soul and this latest book I think is one of her best so far. As always, it’s a story of strong women in hard times. This time in Italy during WW2, much of the story is based on fact and beautifully researched and told, leaving you with a true sense of time, locations and emotions. It’s a book that stays with you for a long time after you’ve finished reading it.”

“A totally mesmerising read … has you turning the pages to find out what happens. Can highly recommend.”

“A beautiful, gripping story, historically well researched and a thoroughly enjoyable read.”


I hope you’ll love the book as much as these early reviewers have done. Here’s some more information:

In this haunting tale from the bestselling author of The Storyteller of Casablanca, Beatrice kept a wartime secret to protect the innocent. Now, could telling it set her free?

Tuscany, 1943. Stranded in war-ravaged Italy, Beatrice’s dream of an escapist year teaching English is shattered. Granted shelter at the Villa delle Colombe, she seeks refuge in Francesca and Edoardo’s beautiful walled garden, hidden from the outside world, with an elaborate cypress maze at its heart.

But Beatrice is not the only one seeking an escape here. Francesca has brought children to the safety of the house, as well as other adults, all of them seeking sanctuary on the estate with its mysterious maze. As the war closes in, the residents are forced to witness—and do—unthinkable things…

2015. Tess arrives at the villa raw from the agonising loss of her husband. Beatrice, now custodian, guides her to the solace of its gardens, where Tess begins to heal. But all hope of peace is shattered by the arrival of Marco, the estate’s absent owner, who wants nothing more than to hand it over to developers.

Distraught, Beatrice realises she must finally reveal the villa’s painful past if she wants to save it. As the extraordinary story unfolds, Tess realises that Villa delle Colombe is not just a refuge, but a beacon of hope in the darkest of times. Can she convince Marco to give it a new lease of life—and find a way back to happiness herself?

The Cypress Maze on
The Cypress Maze on



1 Comment

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Katie Bolandreply
July 18, 2023 at 9:17 am

Hi Fiona
I am really looking forward to reading your new book. I pre-ordered it as I have loved all your books. It is a special treat to myself. I think your books draw me in because of the courage and inner strength of your characters and the sensitivity and wisdom of your writing. I also love the sense of history and the colourful background and characters.

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