New Release Book Review: Three Gold Coins by Josephine Moon

Three Gold Coins…

About the Book:

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.




My Thoughts:

I am filled to the brim with so much love for this beautiful novel that I hardly know where to begin. I’ve been a fan of Josephine Moon since the release of her first novel, The Tea Chest, not only for her storytelling, but also because she’s a really lovely person. Follow her blog and social media and subscribe to her newsletter and you’ll see exactly what I mean. Her stories all connect with food: tea (The Tea Chest), chocolate (The Chocolate Promise), honey products (The Beekeeper’s Secret), and now cheese (along with other Italian mainstays) in Three Gold Coins. What I love most about Josephine’s stories is how she learns everything about her chosen food, down to the most incredible detail, and then she weaves it seamlessly into her narrative with such precision that you end up learning so much alongside reading an incredible story.


Three Gold Coins is her best so far (and believe me, the bar was set pretty high), not only because it’s predominately about cheese and all good things Italian, but it’s absolutely soaked in atmosphere. I truly felt as though I was there, with Lara, in Tuscany and in the North Italian Alps; the setting was very special indeed and was brought to life vividly. And the food! I almost want to lobby Allen and Unwin to publish an illustrated edition, complete with recipes and cheese making processes.


Lara’s story is an extremely important one, on multiple levels. I’m not going to go into too much detail here because this novel is best approached without spoiling of any sort. Josephine has paced the story well, divulging in a timely manner and switching perspectives at the exact right time to keep the story moving rapidly. I enjoyed spending time with each of the characters equally, and while this is touted as Lara’s story, essentially, it also belongs to many other characters, not least of all Sunny, Lara’s sister, who in my opinion is a superhero like no other.


The relationships are rich within Three Gold Coins and they are built upon the structures of loyalty, love, and unwavering devotion. It’s not always easy to stand by your loved ones at the lowest of points, but Josephine highlights just how many ways it’s worth it when you do. Lara was a brave heroine, a woman to admire greatly, and I loved her personal story, even if some of it broke my heart along the way. I admire Josephine for not shying away from the dark and ugly side of Lara’s story. It’s not something everyone might like to read, but it’s something everyone should read. There are some serious problems within our society that we are just beginning to realise, much less tackle, but without awareness, all will remain broken. The sacrifice made towards the end of this novel is not one that should ever have had to occur, and yet it does, all too often, and I appreciated Josephine taking a stand and holding fast. Bravo!



‘not real brie’

Food, family, friendship, and love: this is the heart of Three Gold Coins. Before I leave you with an excerpt of one of my favourite scenes, I have one piece of advice: buy some good cheese to eat while you read. Don’t get stuck like I did with a budget slab of ‘not real brie’. And clear your schedule. Because this is one novel you won’t want to put down. I loved it, and I’ll be completely honest, I would have kept on reading for another couple of hundred pages, that’s how absorbed I became in the atmosphere and lives of the characters. Thank you Josephine, thank you so much for persevering with this novel. I know it wasn’t easy but by goodness it was worth it.


“Why don’t you blow on your coffee to cool it down?” she asked.
Matteo’s shoulders rose, startled. “Perdono?”
“Your coffee.” She could hear her voice shaking. “You hold it to your face to check the temperature.”
“Si.” A corner of his mouth drew upwards and he shook his head, ever so slightly, confused.
“Why don’t you just blow on it?”
He studied her a minute, thrown by her questions. “The coffee is sensitive, yes?”
“Um, I don’t know—I guess so, sort of.”
“Most people blow…fff ffff,” he mimicked, “…to force it to cool down, but I respect the coffee. It will be ready when it’s ready.” He shrugged. “I am happy to wait; it will be all the sweeter.”
Lara stared at him, blinking fast against a wave of delicious tears. (Pg.240—241)


Thanks is extended to Allen and Unwin for providing me with a copy of Three Gold Coins for review.

About the Author:

7445021Josephine Moon’s first novel, The Tea Chest (2014), delighted readers with its strong heroine and enchanting story and was a bestseller both in Australia and overseas. Her second novel, The Chocolate Promise (2015), was a love-story with a difference set in luscious Provence and rural Tasmania and was also a bestseller. The Beekeeper’s Secret (2016), a story of family and the happiness, guilt and grief that can lie within them, was her third novel.

Three Gold Coins, a captivating novel of families, food, adversity, hope and love, is her fourth novel.

Josephine lives with her husband, son and her horses, dogs, chickens, goats and cats on acreage in Queensland.


3 thoughts on “New Release Book Review: Three Gold Coins by Josephine Moon

  1. You had me at “cheese”!! My favourite food, far too underrepresented in contemporary literature 😀 I loved that extract too, sounds intriguing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know, we need more novels about cheese! It’s a beautiful read, I’m not sure as yet if this is only available in Australia or not, it’s certainly a story with wide appeal. Once I read that section, I just had to include it!


  2. Pingback: My Reading Life: #aww2018 Challenge Checkpoint 2 | Theresa Smith Writes

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