…Are that this is not a book I would have normally picked up to read, but it was recommended me by my kindle, yes, my kindle, and at the time I was in the mood to read something different and thought WHY NOT!
From New York Times bestselling author Rhys Bowen comes a haunting novel about a woman who braves her father’s hidden past to discover his secrets…
In 1944, British bomber pilot Hugo Langley parachuted from his stricken plane into the verdant fields of German-occupied Tuscany. Badly wounded, he found refuge in a ruined monastery and in the arms of Sofia Bartoli. But the love that kindled between them was shaken by an irreversible betrayal.
Nearly thirty years later, Hugo’s estranged daughter, Joanna, has returned home to the English countryside to arrange her father’s funeral. Among his personal effects is an unopened letter addressed to Sofia. In it is a startling revelation.
Still dealing with the emotional wounds of her own personal trauma, Joanna embarks on a healing journey to Tuscany to understand her father’s history—and maybe come to understand herself as well. Joanna soon discovers that some would prefer the past be left undisturbed, but she has come too far to let go of her father’s secrets now…
This book is a mixture of romance, mystery and general fiction, and this is a perfect mix for me.
Sir Hugo Langely of Langley Hall, passes away thrusting his daughter into arranging his funeral and sorting his possessions. Things had not gone well for the Langely estate over the years, having to sell it to a Boarding School to rid themselves of overwhelming death duties.
Sir Hugo lives out the rest of his days in the coach house, connected to the estate working at the school, he passes away and it is up to this daughter Joanna to arrange a funeral and his possessions, in this possessions she finds a letter to a Sophia, an italian woman whom, at this point Joanna know nothing about.
Amongst other things that are laced into this plot, Joanna decides to travel to Italy and find out more about her father, whom she was not close to.
We, the reader, knows that her father, was shot down over enemy territory during WW2 and hid himself in an abandoned monastery and with the help of a local Italian woman, who snuck out at night and risked her own safety to care for him, who went by the name of Sophia.
The book is split into different chapters for both Hugo and Joanna and I enjoyed them both equally.
I liked the way Bowan unwinds her plotlines like a ball of string, letting the reader grasp the end and wind themselves up into the story.
There are many facets to this and characters to follow but I really liked it, it was a pleasant enjoyable read, I liked that fact that we also had a bit of a mystery going on and not the one that immediately comes to mind.
The characters are enjoyable, the story is capturing and it made me want to visit this part of Italy, the food references are mouth-watering and the scenery descriptions of the Italian countryside, had me smelling lavender and sage, hearing bees buzz and felt the warm Tuscan sun on my face.
5/5 totally recommend this to anyone who enjoys stories like this, well let’s just say I recommend it to EVERYONE!
As always, thank you for dropping by and have a booktastic day!