The Villa in Italy Hardcover – 4 Sep 2006
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Praise for Voyage of Innocence:
‘I loved it’ Woman
‘A very interesting book, not only because it gives a flavour of life in the thirties…it’s a way of imbibing history’ Oxford Times
‘Well written and superbly researched…a thoroughly enjoyable read. A must.’ Yours
Praise for The Frozen Lake:
‘Dark family secrets, long buried,if not forgotten, bubble to the surface. A novel that is vivid and engrossing.’ Choice
‘An intriguing read’ Woman
About the Author
Elizabeth Edmondson was born in Chile and educated in Calcutta and London before going to Oxford University. Her novels include The Villa in Italy, The Villa on the Riviera, Voyage of Innocence and The Frozen Lake, which have been translated into several languages.
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Top Customer Reviews
The four main characters are drawn to the Villa Dante by being named in the will of the deceased owner, a lady who is a complete stranger to them all. Beatrice Malaspina soon becomes a richly engrossing enigma and her cleverly laid plan creates an atmosphere where they begin to interact with each other at a deeper level, and to shine a torch into all the dusty corners of their lives. Gradually, as the mystery starts to unravel amid the magnificent yet tranquil magic of the Italian coastal landscape, the characters learn the truth about the whens, whys and wherefores of their visit. Then the healing can begin and the myriad gifts contained in the will can be discovered and accepted.
This author writes with a gently flowing style which is totally absorbing and the story is populated with well drawn characters who are easy to become attached to and interested in. What isn't easy is the predictability of any of the outcomes. Ms Edmondson never telegraphs much about the details of her plot before they are revealed, providing the reader with a constant flow of surprises to keep the pages turning.
This is the second of Elizabeth Edmondson's books I have read, and I relish her style and great ability to weave a clever mystery.
If I have one complaint it would be that I find it hard to believe that these characters could suddenly take so much time off from their daily lives at such short notice to spend a month or so in Italy. There again I think that could be just plain old jealousy!!
Whilst I first read `The Enchanted April' many years ago and have since re-read it, I would not bother to re-read `The Villa in Italy'. Even so, it is not without merit. It is an intriguing puzzle that revolves around the will of the late Beatrice Malaspina who, strong-minded while living, dominates the story even from the grave. The legatees hail from disparate backgrounds. They had never met their benefactress and had no idea why they were named in her will. Apart from loose hints and a tenuous link with George, an atomic physicist who knew Beatrice Malaspina's daughter, there are few clues as to why they have been selected or how the old lady knew so much about them. Then all is revealed in a rush in the final pages.
At times the story felt far-fetched and unreal, but what spoilt it for me was the style. Much of the dialogue seemed unnatural (it would sound worse, no doubt, if read aloud), and elsewhere the text was awkward and stilted. The language needed tightening to remove superfluous words and unnecessary adjectives. For all that, it's a pleasant enough read if you fancy something light and unchallenging, but you're not missing much if you give it a miss.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Another great novel by Elizabeth Edmondson. You really get the feel of Italy in it. Keeps you guessing to the end.Published 25 days ago by G M Booth
This is a gem of a book which will take the reader on a fantastic journey. Lives, loves, losses, ups and downs, intrigues... I can't say too much as the surprise would be spoilt! Read morePublished 1 month ago by Mrs. Kathryn Green
Loved it but I've enjoyed all the books I've read so far by Elizabeth Edmondson. She's a great author.Published 1 month ago by Katie
A comfortable read and good storyline. And set in beautiful Italy. Suited me. I shall look out for more of this author's books.Published 2 months ago by Sandie
A real page turner. A well written book that I could picture myself inside the story. There was good developments in the characters and unexpected twists in the story 10/10Published 2 months ago by Miss Sara E Heptonstall
I really enjoy Elizabeth Edmondson's books - I read them when I should be doing something else!Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer