Review - The Secret Language of Women by Nina Romano

My Copy of the Book

Year Published: 2015
Genre: Historical Fiction; Romance

Set in China in the late 1800’s, The Secret Language of Women tells the story of star-crossed lovers, Zhou Bin Lian, a Eurasian healer, and Giacomo Scimenti, an Italian sailor, driven apart by the Boxer Rebellion.
When Lian is seventeen years old, she accompanies her Swiss father, Dr. Gianluca Brasolin, fluent in Italian, to tend the Italian ambassador, at the Summer Palace of Empress Dowager, where she meets and falls in love with Giacomo.
Through voyage and adventure, their love intensifies, but soon is severed by Lian’s dutiful promise as the wife to another. Forbidden from pursuing her chosen profession as a healer, and despised because she does not have bound feet, she is forced to work in a cloisonné factory while her in-laws raise her daughter, Ya Chen. It is in Nushu, the women’s secret writing, that she chronicles her life and her hopes for the future.
Rebelling against the life forced upon her, she empowers herself to act out against the injustice and becomes the master of her own destiny. But her quest for freedom comes at a costly price: The life of someone close to her, lost in a raging typhoon, a grueling journey to the Yun-kang Caves, and a desperate search for beauty and love in the midst of brutality.

About the Author: 
Nina Romano earned a BS from Ithaca College, an MA from Adelphi University and an BA and an MFA in Creative Writing from Florida International University. She lived in Rome, Italy, for twenty years where many of her poems and stories are set. Romano is fluent in Italian and Spanish. She has taught English and Literature as an adjunct professor at St. Thomas University. She is a lover of history and a world traveler, and has visited these countries in the last two years: China, Cuba, Brazil and the Amazon River, Poland, Japan, Argentina, the Falklands, Antarctica, Chile and Peru. 
Romano has been twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize in Poetry. She has co-authored Writing in a Changing World. 
Nina Romano has published three novels in the Wayfarer Trilogy with Turner Publishing. The novels of the series are: The Secret Language of Women, set in china during the Boxer Rebellion, is a finalist in Foreword Reviews and winner of Independent Publisher's 2016 Ippy Gold Medal Award; Lemon Blossoms, set in Sicily is a finalist in Foreward Reviews; and In America, set in Depression Era NY and recently presented at the 2016 Miami Book Fair International, is a finalist in the 2016 Chanticleer Review's Chatelaine Book Awards in the Romance category. 
Romano has presented several times at the Miami Book Fair International with her poetry collections which include: Cooking Lessons from Rock Press, submitted for a Pulitzer Prize, Coffeehouse Meditations from Kitsune Books, She Wouldn't Sing at My Wedding from Bridle Path Press, Faraway Confections, from Aldrich Press, and Westward: Guided by Starfalls and Moonbows. She has also published two poetry chapbooks: Prayer in a Summer of Grace and Time's Mirrored Illusion, both from Flutter Press, and a debut short story collection, The Other Side of the Gates, from Bridle Path Press.
Nina Romano's latest novel, a Western Historical Romance will be released in 2019

Connect with the Author:
Author Website: Nina Romano Author Website

Buy the Book:

My Take on the Book:
This novel almost borders on literary, and there's a lot of reflecting going on in the book. I enjoyed reading about the romance between two particular characters, and really liked reading about Lian's part in the missionary and how she receives a lot of wisdom while she's there. I ended up giving this book a four star rating and got a copy in exchange for an honest review. 

Last Word:
The novel flowed quite well for me, and I most certainly will be reading the next book in the series in the future.