The Tuscan Child

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 06 Mar 2018

Member Reviews

This book pulls you into its tale of mystery, romance, and historical fiction.  I found the WWII story wonderfully written and look forward to more from this author.
Was this review helpful?
I am reviewing this book for Rhys Bowen, Lake Union Publishing, and NetGalley who gave me a copy of their book for an honest review.
I really enjoyed how the story is told in the past and present. An easy read which tells the love story of a woman’s father – on his death she finds a love letter and begins to investigate. Perfect
Was this review helpful?

*3.5 stars rounded up.

In December, 1944, Hugo Langley is a young British pilot who is forced to parachute from his burning plane over Italy. Hugo has received a leg wound and is sure he will soon die until a young Tuscan woman comes to his aid.

Nearly thirty years later, his daughter Joanna is sorting through his papers after his death when she discovers an old sealed letter addressed to an Italian woman named Sofia. A letter that is marked "Not known at this address. Return to Sender." It is a love letter in which Hugo says "I want you to know that our beautiful boy is safe. He is hidden where only you can find him." Joanna is stunned--did her father have a child...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?
I really loved this novel. It takes place during World War ll in Italy.. 
I enjoyed how each chapter told a part of the story from that past and then the present, making it an easy read to follow, and kept my interest and heart jumping.
I was quickly absorbed by the beautiful findings within the monastery, the wonderful recipes shared, and the scenery of Tuscany both in the past and in the present times.
This was truly a love story and will be long remembered by all!
Was this review helpful?
A pleasant, cozy book, despite the war-time setting and the hint of a murder mystery.
Was this review helpful?
Thanks Lake Union Publishing and netgalley for this ARC.

This past/present novel balances the story perfectly. Loved seeing Tuscany thru Rhys Bowen's lenses in this story. Learning about her distant father, taking control of her chaotic life, and learning to keep a open mind makes this a quick goodie.
Was this review helpful?
In search of the truth of her father's experiences in WWII Italy, his daughter returns to the Tuscan countryside to try to find out what happened during those tumultuous times. Attempting to understand her own emotions and those of her father will stretch her acceptance of what life dishes out to us all.
Was this review helpful?

Rhys Bowen's mystery series are a second tier favorite of mine. I do always read them, but I don't always hop right on them the day they are released, sometimes it takes me a week or more to get around to them. And I do usually enjoy them, but usually not to the point where I'm really transported by them. This standalone book was fairly true to my usual feelings upon reading one of Bowen's series books. I really did enjoy it as I read it; the food passages and the descriptions of Tuscany were especially evocative, and I found I really liked Hugh - a complicated fellow with lots of dark and light. But I doubt I'll lie awake tonight thinking about it the way I do...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?

I really, really wanted to love this book. It has all of the elements that I love: split contemporary/historical story, WWII romance, a mystery to unravel, a fantastic author and Tuscany. What is there not to love?? I should've known this one wasn't going to knock my socks off when I found myself more interested in the contemporary story and characters...normally, it's the opposite. I really enjoyed Joanna and wanted to know more about her. Plus, her visit to the small village in Tuscany, the woman who takes her in and treats her like one of her own...the descriptions of the village; I felt like I was there. I wanted to be in the garden inspecting the tomatoes, selecting the...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?
I enjoyed reading this historical mystery novel about people in a small Italian village who survived the German occupation during the war.  It gave insight into some of the tragedies during the war endured by villagers who opposed the Nazis and those who were betrayed by some of their own people.  The plot line is excellent, about a downed British pilot nursed back to health by a young Italian woman; the pilot hid in the ruins of a monastery outside her village.  There is romance, history, and intrigue.
Was this review helpful?
I received this from netgalley.com in exchange for a review. 

In 1944, pilot Hugo Langley parachuted from his plane into the fields of German-occupied Tuscany. Badly wounded, he found refuge in a ruined monastery and in the arms of Sofia Bartoli. 1973, Hugo’s estranged daughter, Joanna, has returned home to the English countryside to arrange her father’s funeral and travels to Italy to discover his past.

For me, books written in duo timelines can be a hit or miss. This time, neither timeline was better - or worse - than the other. The story read in ebbs and flows. Highs and lows.

3☆
Was this review helpful?
About an English girl who's father dies and while cleaning out his house, she finds a returned letter to an Italian woman in a small town in Tuscany he fell in love with during the war while hiding out after his plane had crashed and he was wounded. She goes there to find out any information she can about that time and maybe just heal at the same time. Very well written and handles switching between 1973 and 1944 very well. Loved the culture and the description of the scenery and the food...the food had me drooling! Loved all the characters. especially the Italian lady who rents the room to the main character..she was my favorite!
Was this review helpful?

In 1973 Joanna returns home to clear out her father's house after his death, she was estranged from him and feels that she didn't really know him so she is surprised when she finds a letter that has been returned to him unopened from a Sofia Bertoli in Italy soon after the war. Having read the letter she decides to go to Italy and see if she can uncover the secrets from the past.

In 1944 Hugo a young pilot is hidden in a monastery and helped by local woman who's husband is away fighting in the war, constantly in fear for his life if discovered by the Germans his life is saved by the bravery of this woman

I really enjoyed this story the two timelines worked really well...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?

This book is a hard one to review. As for the story, the description of the book summarizes it up very eloquently so I won’t repeat it here. The main character in the book is Joanna, she has been dealt a terrible loss due to an accident and then the loss of her father. I really wanted to sit back and have the story take me away to the hills of Tuscany, but it didn’t get that done. So I then tried to figure out what the story was lacking and the best I could come with was “heart”, somewhere the characters just seemed so stiff or shallow and the way the story was told, the writing was immature.
I found the flow between the chapters from Hugo in 1944 and Joanna in the 1970’s to be very well...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?

This was a really charming dual-timeline historical fiction that takes place partly in late 1944 WW2 Italy, and part in the early 1970's. The author did a masterful job at delivering the tension that we would expect with the pilot being shot down, injured in the crash, and the constant fear of being discovered by Germans (both when he had just crashed, and then later the heightened fear when a local woman risked her life to bring him food and care for him). This tension was presented in a realistic manner without being heavy-handed. I also very much appreciated that the author allowed a romance to blossom between Hugo and Sofia without feeling the necessity to make it all about sex.
...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?

This is a standalone book written by Rhys Bowen who has several successful book series to her credit including, ‘Her Royal Spyness’.

This book switches back and forth in timeframes between 1944 and 1973. In 1973 Joanna returns to her childhood home to close up the house after her father, Hugh’s, death. Joanna had become estranged from her cold, seemingly unfeeling father and was surprised when she came across an unopened letter written by her father amongst his things. The letter was addressed Sofia Bartoli in Italy and it was written shortly after the conclusion of WWII. In it, Joanna finds what appears to be clues to an intriguing part of her father’s life that she never knew...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?

This is my first book by this author and most definitely not my last. This book is the story of Joanna who is recovering from a broken heart and an accident. She is called to her father's home to bury her dad. While there she finds a love letter from her dad's time during the war. Her dad and her had never been real close, but she discovers she may have a brother in Italy !
This book weaves seamlessly between 1944 and 1973 and both stories are tied together. The writer had me believing I was in Tuscany, the descriptive foods and landscapes and people only added to the readers experience ,beautifully written with characters and a story that will stay with you long after...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?

The Tuscan Child is set in WWII Italy and the 1970’s. While the story goes back and forth between the two eras’ there is no confusion as to what is happening.

WWII is told from a pilot, Hugo, whose plane has been shot down and he has landed in enemy territory where he is hidden in a monastery that had been destroyed by bombs and taken care of by a local woman whose husband is off fighting in the war. The 1970’s centers around the pilot’s daughter, Joanna, who is searching for the beautiful boy who is mentioned in a letter she finds after her father’s death. The beautiful boy is assumed to be the pilot and the woman’s son so she is looking for her brother.

Rhys Bowen is a...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?

I am convinced that Rhys Bowen is a queen of historical fiction! I first read her work with In Farleigh Field and gladly jumped at the chance to read The Tuscan Child. I was easily transported to a small village in Tuscany where an English World War II pilot crashed, and years later the mystery of his experience is explored by his grieving daughter.

Admittedly, quite a few chapters pass before the story gets really interesting but once it does it's captivating! Joanna Langley returns to her childhood home after her father's death. While preparing to clean out his home she finds a letter written to Sofia Bartoli returned unopened. The contents of the letter make Joanna believe...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?
The Tuscan Child is a wonderful blend of mystery, long buried secrets and romance set toward the end of WWII. The story is told in the dual view points of Hugo in the 1940's and his daughter, Joanna, in the 1970's. I was quickly pulled into the story and had a hard time putting it down. This is the first book by this author that I have read and I will be checking out her other works.
Was this review helpful?