- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 630 KB
- Print Length: 264 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Crooked Cat Publishing (25 July 2014)
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00M5A0U6C
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 55 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #109,931 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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The House at Zaronza Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
I was fascinated by the skilful way the author evokes the patriarchal Corsican society and creates a main character who quietly challenges it. The place is vividly brought to life and Maria, the main character is believable – she could be a flesh and blood person. It was very easy to lose myself in this novel. The story moved me and it really was a step back into a world that’s now gone. I felt privileged to have a glimpse into it and I wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good, gripping story.
The story begins in the present when a young woman arrives in Corsica trying to piece together her past, but with almost all links extinguished can she shed any light on what happened? All Rachel has to go on is that her grandmother lived in Zaronza and her name was Maria, and she hopes that by staying there it will help solve the mystery. What she finds on arrival at the guesthouse is another mystery involving the love letters between a schoolmaster and his secret lover. Rachel is certain that by trying to unravel this story she will find answers to her own past.
Rachel uncovers a memoir and we find ourselves in the remarkable life of an extraordinary woman, who defied what was considered the norms for a lady of her position. She wasn’t afraid to stand alone and act to make a difference. She suffered, both at the hands of those she loved and from the circumstances she found herself in, but she was always caring and determined. The story was powerfully written and gripping. The characters were strong and believable. It covered a fascinating period of history from an unusual angle, highlighting the role of a woman from Corsica during the First World War. This book was like unwrapping a parcel, as every layer unfolded it added a little more, but always leaving so much more to discover.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction and I’m looking forward to reading more from Vanessa.
"Small clouds sat as if anchored above the mountains of the cape, and the landscape in the distance shimmered in the haze."
And there is the ever-present scent of the aromatic 'maquis'.
There are moving, vivid scenes of what it was like as a nurse behind the front lines in France during the First World War, when the doctors insist on seeing a wound after the nurse has just painstakingly bandaged it up, told through the eyes of Maria, a Corsican woman who merely desired to do her bit - and also to find a long lost lover.
"Black, bare trees raised skeletal branches, and the landscape was drained of colour. Even the grass looked grey."
But even Maria grows to understand the raison d'etre of pillaging a bombed-out shop. "We don't want to leave it for the Boche, do we?"
A moving love story and an unsung heroine; It all comes nicely full circle as a 21st century woman unravels tenuous links to an ancestor. I have so enjoyed reading this story, especially poignant in a year when past catastrophes are commemorated.
The author's love and knowledge of Corisca shine from this book as the reader is swept up in Maria's struggle to break free of the chains that bind her to the island culture.
I look forward to reading more from this author.
I felt strongly for the main character of Maria, who went through so much in her life against the backdrop of a Corsica and a world that were changing. I couldn’t put the novel down.
The landscape becomes a deeply portrayed character itself, full of wonderful descriptions of sight like the mountain views, the sounds of the people and churches, the tastes like the Eau de Vie made of myrtle berries, and the smell of maquis. As the tale unfolds, the words are full of personal poetry, tragedy and misunderstandings.
A highly recommended, whether you want historical or romance. I look forward to Vanessa’s next visit to Corsica.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book has everything, love and romance, mystery, war, history and a feel for the Corsica of the early 20th century.Published 3 months ago by sue1
Well written, well researched and absorbing. What at first appeared to be a straightforward love story developed into an absorbing account of Corsican life and wartime experiences. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Penn
Loved reading about Corsica, where my dad was in the ww2! The characters were great and I could not decide heather to like Raphael or not for a while! Read morePublished 9 months ago by Katie W.
This story moved along nicely, some of the peripheral characters were a little shallow but I did warm to the main protagonists of this story. Read morePublished 9 months ago by CH new kindle owner
This is a great book, lovely story and especially about Corsica.Published 9 months ago by Sybel Porter
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