Friday, February 16, 2018

Review: The Tuscan Child by Rhys Bowen

Title: The Tuscan Child
Author: Rhys Bowen
Published: February 2018, Lake Union Publishing
Format: ARC Paperback, 352 pages
Source: Publisher via Little Bird Publicity

From New York Times bestselling author Rhys Bowen comes a haunting novel about a woman who braves her father’s hidden past to discover his secrets…
In 1944, British bomber pilot Hugo Langley parachuted from his stricken plane into the verdant fields of German-occupied Tuscany. Badly wounded, he found refuge in a ruined monastery and in the arms of Sofia Bartoli. But the love that kindled between them was shaken by an irreversible betrayal.

Nearly thirty years later, Hugo’s estranged daughter, Joanna, has returned home to the English countryside to arrange her father’s funeral. Among his personal effects is an unopened letter addressed to Sofia. In it is a startling revelation.

Still dealing with the emotional wounds of her own personal trauma, Joanna embarks on a healing journey to Tuscany to understand her father’s history—and maybe come to understand herself as well. Joanna soon discovers that some would prefer the past be left undisturbed, but she has come too far to let go of her father’s secrets now…

My thoughts: This is the second book I've read by Rhys Bowen and once again I found myself completely captivated and totally immersed in her writing. Last year, I read and absolutely loved, In Farleigh Field, so when I was given the opportunity to read and review Rhys's latest stand-alone book, I jumped at the opportunity.

This story is set in both WWII Italy and the 1970s, and I was equally drawn to both story-lines. There are times when you read a dual-narrative that one story-line is stronger or more appealing than the other, but I did not find that to be the case here. This historical fiction tale has a bit of a mystery to both timelines and the characters and story just come alive on the pages. 

I never once felt that any part of this book fact, I devoured this book in two days. I just couldn't get enough of these characters. There was a complexity to them that made them intriguing without being overly done. And the setting - oh my! I've never been to Italy, but I felt like I could see it through the writing. And while I may not be the best cook around, it is something I am certainly taking a more active interest in, so all the descriptions of the Italian food and how they were preparing them was just music to my ears. I fully admit I was drooling at some parts and had developed quite an appetite! 

This book has a little bit of everything - it's got richly developed, complex characters, long-buried secrets, a bit of romance, and includes a murder mystery, with some twists and turns that are sure to shock you. It certainly didn't end up going where I thought it would and I appreciate that. It's a beautifully written story that will engage you and captivate you. This is just good reading and at the end of the day, isn't that what we look forward to?



  1. I'm almost done with it and have really been loving it. Her standalones are so different from her lighter cozy mysteries.

  2. She's nominated for some awards for the previous book, In Farleigh Field. Bet this one will be a favorite as well.


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