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The Villa Paperback – 31 May 2012
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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)
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.See all Product description
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However, I enjoyed the book enough to finish it and would recommend it for those times when an undemanding book is just the ticket - on a beach, or a long winter's evening when there is nothing inviting on the TV - and the author paints Sicily in such a way as to tempt one to go there.
If you're looking for a light summer read then this is a reasonable choice, it's not addictive but it's ok, however for me the ending was a disappointment.
Having said that, sometimes something predictable can be relaxing, and if the writing is OK it's not a problem. This book is fairly easy to read, but unmemorable. I would read others from the author.
My one genuine gripe is Ginny's ridiculous language (rioting rats etc). My first thought was that the author had never listened to any teenagers, but then I decided this is just so damn weird she must have heard someone doing it. I can only imagine someone would talk like that because they don't want to swear. I don't recall Ginny swearing normally at all. If she doesn't we should know why (Mother doesn't like it, religious etc) If the author has heard anyone talking like this they must be a one-off, and I am surprised the editors allowed it to stay as it is extremely irritating.
The upsides of the book - simply lovely and beautifully sculptured descriptions of Sicily, which transported the reader to warmer climes and the earthy conflation of the escapism of cooking and harshness of every day life and the bitter drudgery of life for women and their subjugation to men which transports the reader over several decades and encompasses a secret about which her mother has been unable to communicate to her daughter (relatively inexplicably).
The downsides are that there are holes in the story. Tess could not have chucked in her job and dashed off to Sicily. How would she have paid her mortgage and that is just one ...Would her mother really not have told her daughter ....? Would Ginny really be quite such a naivety??
Taking it as a whole. I was on holiday. I enjoyed the book - because I enjoyed the descriptive passages. There was a lot of interesting history which I found fascinating. I think it could have been tightened up - and some elements could have been more plausible but there was a lot to like and the good outweighed the less so. Would I read this author again - definitely.
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