Sunday, February 18, 2018

Review: The Tuscan Child by Rhys Bowen

 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…

 Kindle Edition, 329 pages 
Expected publication: February 20th 2018 
by Lake Union Publishing

I am late to the party when I comes to Rhys Bowen. My second reading even though I have seen her books around and heard good things about them. It wasn’t until I had the opportunity to meet the author last October at the Surrey International Writers Conference (where she was a presenter) that really put her books higher up on my TBR pile. It was during a mystery lunch where I had the honour of sitting beside her and the more we talked about writing, books and history the more I wanted to read her books. As soon as I came home I read the first book in Her Royal Spyness Series  (review coming soon), but it was The Tuscan Child that really caught my eye.

I love dual time period books, especially those revolving around World War 2, those that take place outside of England and France.  Plus given the fact that I LOVE Italy I was extra giddy.  The synopsis above does a great job of telling what the story is about without giving too much information away. As Hugo is first introduced and then his daughter Joanna I was struck by how different his character was (at the end of his life) and intrigued as to what took place to invoke such a dramatic change.  The visuals that I experienced really gave me a wonderful feel of the landscape of Italy and a sense of the danger that this small village endured at the hands of the Germans (and current day as well). I loved the author’s writing style as well as the mystery taking place. While there were some parts I found predictable I really enjoyed reading The Tuscan Child and look forward to reading more by this author.

 I received an ARC from the publisher (via Netgalley) in exchange for an honest review. Also in no way did my meeting Rhys Bowen influence my opinions.

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