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The Villa Paperback – 31 May 2012

4.3 out of 5 stars 1,687 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Quercus (31 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1780875045
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780875040
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 3 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,687 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 19,979 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

The Villa will stay with you long after you've devoured this tale of family feuds, secrets and passion, Sicilian-style... Romantic, escapist and mouthwatering, it has everything you could wish for in a summer read. Delicious (Veronica Henry, author of High Tide)

Vividly written with a compelling storyline, this is top escapism (Closer)

Beautifully written, warm and romantic...The perfect holiday read (Rachel Hore)

A gorgeous, mouth-watering dream of a holiday read (Red magazine)

This summer read will keep you enthralled (Bella)

A warm and passionate story that is as beguiling as the aromatic tastes and scents of Sicily itself...Richly written, always engrossing. The perfect summer read (Kate Furnivall)

This story about three women of different ages makes a great summer holiday read! (Star magazine)

Rosanna Ley is a wonderfully talented writer who will appeal to fans of Cathy Kelly, Rachel Hore and Rosamunde Pilcher. I can't wait to read more from this author (Lisa Books)

It is rare to find a book that offers mystery, adventure, romance and self-help, but somehow Ley has managed it perfectly (Chick Lit Club)

Book Description

THE #1 KINDLE BESTSELLER. An unforgettable story set off the sun-soaked coast of Sicily for fans of Dinah Jefferies, Veronica Henry and Santa Montefiore.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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!
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Format: 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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a hard to book to rate and to review. There were factors that made me love it and factors that made me want to give up! The story itself was interesting and exciting enough to keep me hooked. That is despite the fact the story is pretty far-fetched. There was lots going on, and flipped from one timeline to another, and from one person's life story to another. A style that irks some, but I rather like. A couple of the storylines were particularly absorbing, and had me gripped.
Unfortunately, I struggled with the writing style. The repetitive use of '...' drove me crazy! I closed the book and went off to do something else at times, because of this. It ended sentences, began them, and randomly appeared in the middle of some! The author is also fond of using brackets in the middle of a sentence and then going into so much detail within them, that by the time you get to the closed bracket and read the second half of the sentence you have forgotten the first half. Half-finished sentences ending in ..., brackets with too much lengthy detail within, and incorrect comma usage, and lack thereof, makes this a very clumsily flowing book to read. I also hate the fact the teenage girl in it uses exclamations such as "Jumping jellyfish!", "Perishing pelicans!" and "Galloping guinea pigs!" Throughout the book this verges on becoming insufferable! Who says those sorts of things? Certainly not teenagers!
The book also contains a lot of descriptive detail about food, including full recipes with lovingly described methods. I'm not a foodie so this was annoying and boring, and meant having to skip large chunks of text. I wanted to read a novel, not a cook book!
In summary, it's an enjoyable and, at times, exciting story with several tales interwoven. However, it's far-fetched, unbelievable, full of unnecessary cooking recipes and confusingly bad punctuation.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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.
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Format: 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 :)
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Format: 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...
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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.
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