The Tuscan Child

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 06 Mar 2018

Member Reviews

The book has some interesting parts and some parts where story or dialogue doesn’t move the story forward. It’s stagnant and not interesting. I had to start skipping the stagnant parts in order to continue with the story. But after a few chapters of such reading, I didn’t see a point of continuing to read it.
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If you want to spend some time in a quaint Italian village this is a read for you. The book transforms you to two time periods 1944 and 1973. In 1944 , Joanna’s father crashed his plane outside a tiny village in Italy .The village had been besieged by Germans so Joanna’s father who was rescued by Sofia took refuge in an old monastery. A love story develops . With the death of her father Joanna travels to this village to learn what happened. What unfolds is a death , tales of deceit and corruption, love, a mystery surrounding a beautiful baby and descriptions of beautiful scenery and the preparations of some delicious meals. A predictable but enjoyable read. Thanks netgalley.
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I’ve read all books written by Rhys Bowen, but this one was difficult for me to finish.  The story moved slowly, and the premise was more of a romance than a mystery.  It’s clear that the author spent significant time researching the book to ensure historical facts were accurate.  I hope the next stand alone book is as interesting as her other novels.
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Having been a long time Rhys Bowen's fan, I actually expected more before reading "The Tuscan Child." Not too much a crime mystery, but about the quest of uncovering the past romantic secret of the protagonist's deceased parent, an English, during WWII in a Tuscan village where German soldiers looted and threatened the lives of the Italian towards the end of the war.

A pleasant read overall but I enjoy Ms. Bowen's other novels better. "The Tuscan Child" is nothing spectacular in terms of the plot development. Very predictable. I guess the only surprise I have is the identity of the protagonist's mom. The characters are very likable, by the way.
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Without a doubt I enjoyed this story, the setting and period the story is written in. There were several parts to the story I liked and what I thought could have been fleshed out a bit more. Though I could easily see a sequel to this book. Hugo and Joanna are the two main characters in the story. Hugo is Joanna’s father and was a RAF pilot in World War II whose plane crashed in Italy near a small town where the majority of the story takes place. He meets an Italian woman name Sofia who helps him hide and brings him food. As they form a bond, events happen and both of their lives would never be the same and secrets would be long hidden. Hugo is also the Heir to an estate in England and when...

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The Tucsan Child is beautifully written historical fiction at its best, with both mystery and romance thrown in. The characters are well developed and so very likeable.  I especially loved the way two intertwined stories were told; one taking place in the mid 1940s and one in 1973. I was sad when the story ended. I want to know how the story of Joanna and Renzo plays out.
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Thanks to both NetGalley and Lake Union publishing for this ARC, which I award 4.5 stars and thoroughly enjoyed. A different genre than I usually choose, from mystery author Rhys Bowen, but delightful to read.

It was a very fine stand-alone read about WWII, told with two time lines. In 1944 a British warplane was shot down over Tuscany and Hugo Langley ( Sir Hugo actually), the pilot, although wounded parachutes to safety. The story is told alternately between winter 1944 and Hugo's tale a and Joanna his daughter in the 1970s ( born in 1945). In Italy, in the same time shifts are Sofia a lovely Italian young woman with a young son.

Joanna in 1973 goes to San Salvatore to try to put...

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"Sometimes you make choices in life and sometimes choices make you." (Gayle Forman)

Hugo Langley, an RAF pilot, finds himself behind the controls on a bombing mission near the northern hills above Lucca, Italy. December of 1944 brings no choices, only commands from the powers that be. The Germans have taken over the area and Langley and his crew are in a destiny to stop them.

Once airborne, Hugo and his co-pilot have been hit by enemy fire. Too late for the co-pilot, but Langley parachutes and miraculously hits the ground still alive. Desperately, he wraps up the parachute even though he is in extreme agony from a bullet wound to his leg. He crawls behind a tree and passes out.
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It's 1944, and a British fighter plane has just been shot down over Italy, forcing the pilot to parachute to safety. His leg is severely damaged, and he looks for somewhere to hide. A local woman, out gathering mushrooms, comes to his aid and he is able to survive. The Germans are everywhere, and life is incredibly perilous.

In June, 1973, his daughter Joanna travels to Italy to search for "the beautiful boy, hidden where only Sofia and Hugo could find him" mentioned in an old AirMail letter. Presumably a brother? But when she arrives, the village closes ranks and, to a person, they deny that a British airman was shot down in their area. Really? Seriously? Yes...

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Mysteries abound, some to be untangled and solved, some to remain unresolved. A young woman grieving for a home and father she never really knew, a British aristocrat turned fighter pilot, an Italian woman living in a small Tuscan village, World War II. If any of these elements spark your interest you are sure to enjoy this story told in point and counterpoint. Love, deception, corruption and intrigue run through the pages and urge you on even though there is a predictability to this story that is reminiscent of many other war stories. It was a solid narrative of a very possible and believable set of events. 

Many thanks to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for the Early Review copy.
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This is a good book.  I enjoyed the story of it.  Joanna is the heroine of the story. The book goes back and forth between Joanna and her father. Hugo, the father, was an English fighter pilot whose plane was shot down over Tuscany, Italy.   A woman from the small village of San Salvatore finds him and helps nurse him back to health.  The story is well written but I found it at different times to be just a little disconnected/predictable. I will recommend this book to family and friends. Thank you to NetGalley and Lake Union for allowing me to read an advance copy for my honest review.
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While I like Bowen’s series, I’m not what I would call a fan. However, she really shines in this well written standalone novel.   Although the reader knows pretty early in the book about how it will end, Bowen does a good job of revealing the mystery thin layer by thin layer, exposing details that hold the book’s suspense until nearly the end. Her writing really shines both in describing the setting and in building characters that seem real and with whom many readers will identify. I’ll eagerly read Bowen’s next novel.
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Recently I have developed a penchant for books based in the World War settings.There are so many emotions to illustrate, hardships define the characters. It determines in no uncertain terms where their conscience draws the lines for them in life. 

This book is no exception.The story is told in two parts, parallelly progressing ( this seems to be a recurring but successful mode of narration in the books I've read of late) . The first part is in 1944 and the other in 1973. Both time periods that are effectively ancient history to someone born in the last two or three decades.

In 1944 we have Hugo Langley struggling to stay alive, having crashed in a remote village in Tuscany.In 1973...

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This is an amazing book and I loved it. Rhys Bowen writes the Royal Spyness mysteries, which are cozy mysteries set just prior to WWII. She has one other standalone book, In Farleigh Feild, set in WWII era, and this is another excellent standalone entry. Her writing is fantastic, and her plots draw you in and keep you there for the duration of the book.

During WWII in the mountains over Italy, Hugo Langley, a British bomber pilot, is shot down and crashes. He's injured but alive and needs to recover. A local woman named Sofia Bartoli finds him and leads him to a ruined monastery, where he recovers and they grow very close.

Upon his death in England, his daughter Joanna finds a...

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Bowen is a remarkably reliable writer, and this standalone excels in setting an interesting story both during WWII Italy and during the 1970s. In one story, we follow a downed British pilot as he hids in a hilltop ruined chapel and is befriended by a young Italian wife. The second story line is about that pilot's estranged daughter who has to deal with the aftermath of her father's death years later (in the early 1970s), which eventually leads her back to the same Italian village. Anything to do with WWII can make an intriguing story, and Bowen amps up the suspense with many threads of the first story left hanging for the young daughter to pick up and solve. This is a story...

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The story carried me through and kept me from watching TV  for a few nights. I enjoyed the narrative going  between the father, a downed British pilot in the mountains of Italy to his daughter, visiting the location he stayed, looking for clues, thirty years later after he had died. One of   those cases where one regrets the distance between relatives who don't talk before it's too late. It was a good story.
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