Customer Reviews


1,113 Reviews
5 star:
 (599)
4 star:
 (336)
3 star:
 (118)
2 star:
 (34)
1 star:
 (26)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Read!
I picked up this book at the airport and couldn't put it down! One of those books that captures you in from the start. Would highly recommend - I am now longing to visit Sicily :)
Published on 20 Jun 2012 by brighton1

versus
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A yawn.......
Not sure why I persevered with this now! A predictable, pedantic, repetitive yawn is how I would assess this novel. The setting of Sicily is interesting but the Sicilian characters seemed more like caricatures than real people. I also question whether the author actually knows any 18 year olds because I have yet to meet one that repeats trite phrases like 'meandering...
Published 1 month ago by ceecee


‹ Previous | 1 2112 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Read!, 20 Jun 2012
This review is from: The Villa (Paperback)
I picked up this book at the airport and couldn't put it down! One of those books that captures you in from the start. Would highly recommend - I am now longing to visit Sicily :)
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


94 of 100 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gloriously delicious read, to be devoured in one, preferably on a beach, with a cocktail!, 21 Jun 2012
This review is from: The Villa (Paperback)
Tess has always known that asking questions about her mother Flavia's early life in Sicily is forbidden; but when she mysteriously inherits a villa in her mothers hometown her curiosity forces her to seek out answers. The Villa weaves together the lives and loves of three generation of women, Flavia, Tess and Tess's daughter Ginny. Exploring relationships across these intertwined lives creates a story accessible for readers of any age.

Tess realises her life has hit a rut, a dead end job and relationship with a married man are taking her nowhere fast. She decides she must go against her mother's wishes and visit Ceteria, Sicily and visit the villa she now owns. As she begins to explore the sun-bleached village and crystal blue sea, Tess quickly realises Sicily is as complex as it is beautiful. Every person she meets has a story and grudge to keep from her. Tess struggles to sift through all the complications and find out exactly why the mysterious Edward Westerman left her his villa.

The narrative jumps between Ginny in England, Tess in Sicily and Flavia reliving her escape from Sicily as a young woman, and all the secrets of her past. I found myself drawn to Flavia, her character felt very real and passionate, and whilst frustrating little detail is given away right up to the end, you just can't help appreciate her strength. In contrast I found Ginny's voice a little more jarring at the start. I wasn't sure if it was just an annoying teenage thing, but for the first section of the book she doesn't come across particularly likable. Although after a few crisis moments her character does appear to grow up and the narrative gets into its stride a little easier.

The book is very much a human story, brimming with emotion, and full of heart. It is about wanting to protect those you love, to the point where you could be doing more hurt than good. But I think mostly it is about family and all the drama that follows. It is a fantastic holiday read, this book is like a dream you want to fall into, or a fantasy to run away with. By the end it will quench a desire for adventure you didn't know you had. I will be reading it again and again this summer and probably for many to come.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent., 7 Aug 2012
By 
Jackie. (Yorkshire. England) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Villa (Paperback)
It is a while since I have bought a book that kept me reading until the early hours. But this one was it! I admit to having chosen it for it's title and the cover, ( I wanted something 'Sunny' to take me away from our drab weather, and a story about Sicily seemed just the thing.)
I can almost always finish a book and find some little thing that niggled me, but not this time. it was pure escapism without too much sex, too much overworked description and free recipies thrown in. It was just lovely. Well done Rosanna, I shall look forward to your next.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A yawn......., 7 Aug 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Villa (Kindle Edition)
Not sure why I persevered with this now! A predictable, pedantic, repetitive yawn is how I would assess this novel. The setting of Sicily is interesting but the Sicilian characters seemed more like caricatures than real people. I also question whether the author actually knows any 18 year olds because I have yet to meet one that repeats trite phrases like 'meandering meerkats' or 'lolloping lemurs'. That totally got on my nerves. The story was drawn out in an irritating fashion and the author felt the need to constantly state the blooming obvious. Descriptions were quite often totally unnecessary and did not add to the story. The fact that Tessa was left the house in the first place was never really satisfactorily explained but by then I had ceased to care.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Villa, 31 July 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Villa (Paperback)
I loved this book; it's both delicate and substantial. The three main leads are vividly drawn and likeable and I felt I knew them well and understood the dynamics of their relationships with one another by the end of the book. I particularly liked the vividness of the setting; both the Sicily of Flavia's youth and that of Tess's now. I also liked how the male characters are drawn; they are physical and their stories matter very much too. Colour and flavour dominate and, after each of Flavia's chapters, I would find myself rootling in the cupboards for something tasty to eat! A really enjoyable read!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


45 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommend!, 20 Jun 2012
This review is from: The Villa (Paperback)
I have just finished reading The Villa, an extremely engaging, wonderful read! I would recommend it to those longing for a bit of escapism and mystery, I couldnt put it down...
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Read, 10 July 2012
This review is from: The Villa (Paperback)
I had this book given as a present and I can't think of a better way to spend 2 days with the rain pouring down outside! Some of the descriptions were lovely and the story was interesting. I wanted to know how the story would develop and end and what would happen to the characters.
If only someone would leave me a villa in Sicily, in the meantime I'll try some of the recipes!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely escapist summer reading, 3 Aug 2012
By 
Nicola F (Nic) (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Villa (Paperback)
Sigh. Why is it that characters in books so often inherit gorgeous old houses abroad from complete strangers? That just never happens in real life, does it? Needless to say, though the plot of this book is admittedly a bit cliché in places, pick it up and you're guaranteed a great summer read. I mean, the gorgeous cover just screams `sunshine' and a girly romance, and happily, that's just what I got when I gave this a try.

In the novel we meet Tess, a single mum to 18-year-old Ginny, who unexpectedly inherits a Sicilian villa from a complete stranger, though a stranger apparently well-known to her mother Flavia. As the novel unfolds we learn about Flavia's past in Sicily during WWII, a forbidden romance, feuding Sicilian families and the secrets of a hidden treasure...

I found myself absorbed in this novel pretty quickly- the writing is very evocative with its great details of food, the Sicilian coastline and also the rugged Dorset coastline where we initially meet Tess. Character development for Tess and Flavia in particular, is well-done. As the book progresses, it lapses into a two story approach, with flashbacks to Flavia's past as we get to learn more about her life growing up in Sicily. I think that this was carried out successfully and it was well-balanced, with not too much given to either Tess or Flavia's story- equal attention was paid to both. I also found myself interested in the possible romance aspect for Tess in particular- with the apparent choice of two hunky men (one a bit of a pantomime villain!), I was intrigued to see who she would choose.

So, what didn't I like so much about this novel? Without giving away any spoilers, some characters did feel a bit `dropped in' at the last minute and weren't greatly developed. Some characters I liked more than others, which is to be expected but I do have to say that one other thing that really, REALLY irritated me about this novel was Ginny's `voice' and the stupid phrases she used when she was deriding herself for any reason. `Jumping jellyfish' and `lolloping lemurs' (I kid you not) are really not part of any teenagers' vocabulary of curse words. I found these turns of phrase to be so incredibly jarring and a bit off-putting, particularly when the author had no issue with her other older characters swearing elsewhere in the text. A teenager would probably far rather use bad language than embarrass themselves by thinking such ridiculous phrases. Also, given that a lot of attention is paid to the food of Siciliy, it would have perhaps been a lovely idea to include a proper breakdown of the recipes at the end of the book.

Issues with teenager's aside, I did find this novel to be a lovely summer read- I think if you are a fan of Erica James or Santa Montefiore's then you would enjoy this book a lot. This would make an excellent book for the beach or by the pool- it's great to dip in and out of and the lush descriptions of Sicily and Villa Sirena make me want to head somewhere hot and sunny in a really big way!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, 21 Jun 2012
This review is from: The Villa (Paperback)
Great story, with some good characters and just the right amount of descriptive detail with a story that hooks you in from the first chapter.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars overated, 14 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Villa (Kindle Edition)
badly written, characters don't come alive, usual drivel that neither grips nor inspires. Forced myself to read first 50 pages, had to give up
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2112 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Villa
The Villa by Rosanna Ley
0.56
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews