I read Three Gold Coins over the Easter break this year and adored it so I’m thrilled to feature it as the book of the month! I have a special place in my heart for the Trevi Fountain in beautiful Rome, I love Italian food and culture and the absolutely gorgeous main character shares my daughter’s name – so much to love!
I hope you enjoy this feature on Three Gold Coins and the lovely Jo.
For readers of Monica McInerney, Jojo Moyes, Fiona McIntosh and Rachael Johns, comes a deliciously complex novel of families, food, adversity, hope and love.
'What a gloriously wonderful read, I loved it.' Cathy Kelly (on The Tea Chest)
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.
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.
An interview with Jo Moon:
Can you tell us briefly about your book?
Three Gold Coins follows the story of Lara Foxleigh, a woman who has fled her family home in Brisbane to escape a dark and difficult past, and who has now found herself in Rome. On her first day, she spies and elderly man in the street who seems to need help, and indeed he does need her help. She offers to drive him home to his seventeenth century villa in Tuscany, where she quickly becomes his carer, looking after him and his two gorgeous milking goats. But back home in Brisbane, that past that she left behind is now frightening her family. While she does get to experience the joys and delights of the Tuscan hills, the food and the lifestyle, with the promise of a new relationship blossoming, she will have to face her greatest fears to find true happiness.
What do you love most about the main character in your book?
Lara is so brave and so resilient. She's been through so much but she's still got an open heart and she's still putting herself out there in the world.
Is there anything in your book based on real life experiences?
I discovered this story while I was on writing retreat in Tuscany with Vanessa Carnevale, so I had a great opportunity to take hundreds of photos and write pages and pages of notes while I was there. On my first day in Rome, I saw an elderly man struggling through the cobblestone streets near the Trevi Fountain and he really got under my skin. I was so worried for him. I pulled out my phone and took a couple of photos and these turned out to be a wonderful leaping off point to begin Lara's story. While we were on retreat, Vanessa organised for us to go and visit a local organic goat dairy and cheese factory, which proved to be treasure trove of sensory material from which I could build the character of Matteo, Lara's love interest.
Do you write with a plan or see where the story takes you?
I wish I was a plotter! I'm sure it would save me a lot of time and a lot of re-writes!
I do have a 'mud map' of where I'm going, and I generally like to know my three key turning points in the book, but inevitably the story takes me in very different directions than where I thought it would go. It's not unusual for me to slash 30-50% of the first draft in order to rewrite it in subsequent drafts.
How do you make the time to write?
Writing is my job so I have to 'go to work' like anyone else with a job. Having said that, I got my agent six weeks after my son was born and my first book, The Tea Chest, was sold pretty quickly, so for years I was juggling a baby/toddler/small child alongside terrible fatigue and a constant battleground of 'moving parts' in my life/week's timetable. My son started Prep this year, so I'm hoping my available writing times will start to settle into something more predictable than it has been in the past six years.
Tell us one thing on your bucket list?
I'd really like to visit Uluru.
And also, despite having had horses for more than twenty-five years, I've still never ridden on the beach! I should start with this one as it should be a bit easier than flying to Uluru.
What did you want to be when you were a kid?
I wanted to be a vet until I got to Year 11 Physics and quickly realised that Physics and I were NEVER going to get along. I withdrew from that subject and was totally crushed. But, I now know that it was a blessing in disguise. I don't think I would have made it through the course. I think so many children (including me) want to be vets because we love animals and want to help them, but we don't realise that it entails dealing with death on a daily basis, surgeries, painful procedures and a whole lot of dissections in anatomy classes. I'm needle phobic! I would never have lasted. Far better to be able to write about them 😊
Chocolate or cheese?
Cheese!! Read Three Gold Coins... you'll see why! 😊
What are you reading at the moment?
The Woman Who Stole My Life, by Marian Keyes.
What is the most gratifying thing you feel or get as a writer?
Those days when everything is going right and you're totally immersed in the story and the characters are just talking and you're just trying to keep up with everything as it appears in your mind... That's the "Writer's High". Man, I LOVE those days!! I'm never happier than when I'm totally immersed in my book. Pure bliss.