Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Book Read: Rosanna Ley - The Villa

When Tess Angel receives a solicitor's letter inviting her to claim her inheritance - the Villa Sirena, perched on a clifftop in Sicily - she is stunned. Her only link to the island is through her mother, Flavia, who left Sicily during World War II and cut all contact with her family. 

Initially resistant to Tess going back to her roots, Flavia realises the secrets from her past are about to be revealed and decides to try to explain her actions. Meanwhile, Tess' teenage daughter Ginny is stressed by college, by her blooming sexuality and filled with questions that she longs to ask her father, if only she knew where he was.
I actually received a proof copy of The Villa last year but due to the number of books I received at that time I was unable to fit it in.  But I've decided to squeeze it in this month before Ceri reviews Rosanna Ley's next book Bay of Secrets later this month.

Single mother Tess Angel is stunned when out of the blue she receives a letter telling her that she has inherited a villa in her mother's hometown in Sicily especially when her mother never speaks of her life there.  Who is this mysterious stranger who has left this house to her, and why has she inherited it and not her mother Flavia?

Flavia tries to convince her daughter Tess to just sell the villa but Tess is determined to go to Sicily and take a look at it for herself.  Initially she plans to go with her married boyfriend but when he stands her up she decides to go alone.  Meanwhile Tess' teenage daughter Ginny is looking forward to the freedom of being at home on her own whilst her mother is away.

What follows is a story full of secrets as we learn from Flavia about events from her past including a forbidden romance and the reason why she left Sicily and has never returned, we see Tess caught in the middle of a feud between two brooding Sicilian men whose families have been at each others throats for years, and we see Ginny dealing with her feelings about her first serious relationship, doubts over what she wants to do with her life, as well as having to cope with the re-appearance of her father.

For me what spoilt the book was the Ginny element of the story which completely bored me and I found myself skimming past these bits to get back to the mystery of Flavia's past and the intrigue of the Sicilian feud which Tess finds herself caught in the midst of...

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