Midnight at the Tuscany Hotel

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 28 May 2019

Member Reviews

Lovely feel good summer read. What’s not to love sun sea and sadly ur reading about it instead of living it. Easy to read and flowed well. Perfect summer book
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I thought this book was interesting just not really my cup of tea. I think that it will be very interesting to someone that prefers this genre.
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Enjoyed this book. Kept me interested all the way through. Would recommend to a fellow reader.  Love the cover.
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I went into this expecting something along the lines of Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
One thing I instantly noticed was that the formatting was horrible on kindle, so it took me a good few tries before I could actually get myself into reading this book. That kind of thing always puts me off, as its an unpleasant reading experience. 

I liked the plot and the idea of the eccentric guests, but found the language of the book a little excessively florid. 
I think because of that, I found it hard to connect with any of the characters and was jus glad to finish this book. It's not a poor story, but it's definitely an acquired taste.
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I really liked this book.  The characters and situations, mostly, felt timely and dealt with struggles many can relate to.  The story with  impacts of war, dementia/alzheimers, faded dreams, dreams unfulfilled and making a new life in pleasant, unexpected ways made for afternoons of enjoyable reading.
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I was very intrigued by the premise of MIDNIGHT AT THE TUSCANY HOTEL and I thought the author, James Markert's characterisation was quality. The book was extremely well written, however, I couldn't get away with all of the Greek mythology and it wasn't really what I had been expecting. I could see that this book would have great appeal for many people, but, sadly, it wasn't for me.

I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel, at my own request, from Thomas Nelson Fiction via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.
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This gorgeous book joins my Best of 2019 list, pretty darn close to the top. This is storytelling at its best, with characters who twine themselves around your heart and pull tight until you think you’ll explode. The blend of Greek myth with a wholly original story about muses, memory, art, and love creates a narrative that leaves you emotionally spent. 

Markert explores relationships here - between fathers and sons, mothers and sons, husbands and wives, and between friends - with special emphasis on aging and memory. There are beautiful love stories here - Magdalena and Robert, and Vitto and Valerie - that explore trust, passion, friendship, and deep love that transcends the ordinary world. 

This would make a fabulous selection for a book club, and is one I’ll be recommending for a long time.
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Vittorio Gandy has a father who helped create the most beautiful hotel in California, a nod to the Renaissance, a place where artists and writers and diplomats and all could come and be inspired in the twenties. Now it is the forties and Vitto has returned from war to find a son who doesn’t know him, and his wife who used to play violin beautifully now consumed with caring for her father-in-law, the hotel’s creator, suffering from Alzheimer’s. One night, after Vitto has checked himself into a hospital to help cope with his shell shock, his father runs off to the hotel, convinced that its water can restore memory, and help him return to the sculpting and creating that he loved. It seems an impossible miracle, and yet it’s working. But Vitto still struggles with burying his own memories, of the war, of his childhood and aloof father, and even of his mother who also struggled to remember.
"A return to the classical vision of the Greeks and Romans. Of beauty and light and reason and hope." This book is perfect for fans of Greek and Roman mythology, encouraging stories of those battling memory issues or struggling with PTSD, or who would like to escape for a bit to an Italian hotel in California where anything can happen, even a rebirth of the muses.
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MIDNIGHT AT THE TUSCANY HOTEL   by James Markert

Can you imagine what it would be like to have a place to take either yourself or your loved one to be cured ? One that had a magical potion that could reverse the ravages of time ? Can you allow yourself to believe for just a little while ? Well when you go to stay at the Tuscany Hotel that is exactly what what you will find, a magical place. Mr. Market has created a hotel in California where that is exactly what will happen. Let me tell you about it.

The story opens in California at the end of World War 2. Vito returns to his family a broken, damaged man. He returns to a son who doesn’t know him and a father deep in dementia. His wife has been holding it all together and is ready for some help. That unfortunately will have to wait. Vito does seek medical help but it is cut short because his father has left his home to return to the hotel. Here is where the magic happens. Robert, his father, has decided to reopen the hotel and the fountain that goes with it. You learn how Vito’s parents meet in the 19th century and along the way you get to revisit the Ancient Greek  gods. 

The story is multi layered and is very well told. The story of the fountain is the heart of the book. It is the water from the fountain which is able to reverse the ravages of time. Dementia patients return to the way they used to be. Vito doesn’t really believe it, but he goes along with it. The writing tight and the story moves along in a way that made a believer out of me ! I think that this book goes a long way to making the reader believe that some things are possible that have no rational basis and there is nothing wrong with that. Many of the discoveries that have made life wonderful came about because someone believed in a little magic!

The story ends in the present day. In the story, no one believes  that there was any magic ever at the hotel. The fountain is long gone as are all of those who could attest to the magic ! The  book lends itself to book clubs there is so much to discuss ! I hope that everyone who reads this book will enjoy it as much as a I did.
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"I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own."

Thank you to the publisher for the opportunity to read this book and I apologize that I am now going to say that I did not finish it. I did enjoy the mythology and the idea that there is a place where people with brain disorders could go to have their memories restored. Imagine the joy if modern medicine could find a way to make that happen! But the main character suffers from PTSD brought on by his war experiences, and although I know this is very real, and I sympathize with people who are dealing with this in their lives, I do not want to spend my time reading about it. I was not sufficiently engaged in the the rest of the story to want to continue to see how things work out. However, I am sure that there are people who will enjoy this book.
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I have read all James Markert's stories and I love some and not so much others. But he is always interesting. Quirky and sometimes odd story telling, he does, even a bit strange at times, but he is always entertaining. I think his first is still my favorite.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers through Net Galley. Opinions expressed here are entirely my own.
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If you like Greek Mythology then this book is definitely for you.  I throughly enjoyed!! Well written and the characters were awesome. 
Actually makes you want to visit the Tuscany Hotel.  Great read!!! Thank you Netgalley for this wonderful arc.
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It took me a bit to get into the story,to feel connected to the characters. I am glad I stuck with it as the second half was enjoyable. A unique story about memories and remembering as well  I enjoyed the mythology as well as the two timelines.
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I was extremely entertained by Midnight At The Tuscany Hotel.  It combines, historical fiction, Greek mythology, and fantasy in a beautiful character driven novel.  I was captured early by the complex characters. I must admit to enjoying  the snippets of Greek mythology, but at first not realizing their place in the overall story.  I really appreciated the way James Market pulled everything together.  It definitely kept the promise of the premise.  There are some pacing issues, it seems a little uneven at times, but that didnt break the story down.  I can see this novel as a book discussion selection, as there is lots to discuss and debate. 
I received my copy through NetGalley under no obligation.
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This book is about memory, art, mythology, loss, beauty, and grief.  

Vitto returns from the Second World War haunted by his memories.  His father Robert, meanwhile, has developed Alzheimer's and can't remember much of anything.  

The Tuscany Hotel was the place to be before the war.  It is also where Vitto grew up and the place Robert built for his wife and muse.  

The story meanders between the present, and the past and is told from multiple points of view.  It is in many ways a re-telling of greek mythology.  

I liked it very much.
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This was a book that I wasn't really thinking about, until the time for me to start reading it was upon me.

For me, there was nothing that really stood out about it---not the cover, or the title, or even the description. I was beginning to wonder why I agreed to review it, but with a sigh, I had committed to reading it and thus I did.

As soon as I started reading it, I began to let me misconceptions and preconceived notions fall away, as this book indeed had a lot to recommend itself and I think that there will be a number of people that will love this book! 

Summary

For years, guests of the Tuscany Hotel could leave their pasts behind and live among fellow artists. Now guests of a different sort fill the rooms, searching for their memories—no matter the cost.

Run by renowned sculptor Robert Gandy and his wife and muse, Magdalena, the Tuscany Hotel hosted guests of a certain kind—artists, actors, scientists, and engineers who left their worries behind so that they could create their latest masterpieces. Surrounded by lore, the hotel was rumored to free the mind and inspire artists’ gifts. But tragic circumstances force Robert and his family to move.

After thirteen months at war, Vittorio Gandy is haunted by memories, and his former life is unrecognizable. Once a gifted painter, now he can’t bear the vivid, bleeding colors on a canvas. His young son doesn’t remember him, and his wife, Valerie, is scared of him. But the most disconcerting change is in Vitto’s father, Robert Gandy, who has fallen from being a larger-than-life sculptor to a man whose mind has been taken by Alzheimer’s.

When Robert steals away in the night, Valerie, Vitto, and his new acquaintance and fellow veteran John go to the only place Robert might remember—the now-abandoned Tuscany Hotel. When they find him there, Robert’s mind is sound and his memories are intact.

Before long, word gets out that drinking from the fountain at the hotel can restore the memories of those suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia. The rooms once again fill up with guests—not artists this time, but people seeking control over their memories and lives. Vitto desperately wants to clear his own mind, but as he learns more about his mother’s life and her tragic death, he begins to wonder whether drinking the water comes at a price.

A story of father and son, memories lost and found, artists and their muses, Midnight at the Tuscany Hotel explores the mysteries of the mind, the truth behind lore, and the miracle of inspiration (summary from Goodreads).

Review

One of the things that I liked most about this book was the material. I think the premise and subject matter of the story is something most readers can easily relate to and that is the idea of the past. Is it something we should just leave well enough alone?

Right away I felt connected to the plot and the general idea for the book. I think that most readers will find that this notion of the past and reconciling with it, is something we all struggle with so readers will feel an instant connection I think.

The story is well written, it has a very lyrical quality to it which sets it aside and leave readers feeling like they read something elegant and relatable. For me though, I don't know that I could fully appreciate this book. I personally am just not a huge fan of mythology. I mean, I want to be into it, but it's just not my thing. In this book there was a lot go Greek mythology and for me, I just couldn't appreciate it in the way that I think other readers could.

I know that a lot of people really loved this book, and I think there are certainly a lot of positives and things to enjoy, but for me I started to lose interest toward the end. I don't know if it was the mythology references or not, but for me personally this one just landed as ok. I ended it with a 3 star review which for me falls into the ok category. I think that others might love this one, as it received a ton of high marks on Goodreads, but for me it as just ok.
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Favorite Quotes:

He’d been staring at her in awe but was afraid to say it—in awe because of her pretty face he wanted to touch but somehow couldn’t or shouldn’t, in awe because of those blue eyes that still looked as bright as liquid paint, in awe because of who she still was, that comforting soul, even as a child, who had always seemed to be a bandage for things in need of bandaging.

Time can be a tenuous dancing partner, Mr. Gandy. And memory the devil. Sometimes the wounds we can’t see leave the worst scars, unless they’re tended to.

Her demeanor immediately relaxed them, her smile a deep breath, her gait showing a grace no Tinseltown set could ever muster.

Juba was a vault stuck inside of a vault and he’d swallowed the key long ago.


My Review:

This was only my second time reading James Markert’s masterful storytelling and I was once again wonderstruck by his intricate texturing and craftsmanship.  This man can deftly weave a captivating and sophisticated yet circuitous tale that is not fully comprehended until reaching that last thoughtfully written page.  The story was slowly and stealthily crafted with threads of Greek mythology, history, and creative magic while deploying a narrative densely populated with elusive and eccentric characters who navigate interesting twists and turns that appeared ancillary until it was apparent they weren’t.  Didn’t I mention he was clever and sneaky?
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4..5/5

This is the second book I read by this author, and again what thrilled me the most was the ability to transport the reader almost physically into the story, the situation, the characters and the emotions flowing around. It's one of these "fine books" we readers wait and wait for, and you need some time for it because the trick sits in the details, the descriptions, and without really going into it you'll miss what is the gem of the book: the atmosphere. 
We know beforehand that one of the topics is the Alzheimer's disease. It's handled full of empathy.
I've read an endless number of books in my life and realized a book, no matter how good in the middle, sticks only with me for good, stays in my heart, when the ending is great, and this ending here is perfect. 

Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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My Review:

Genre: Historical, fantasy, post-WWII.

My Rating and recommendation: Since I did not finish this book I will not give a rating or recommendation as that would be unfair to the publisher, author, and even possible readers that may want to check this book out but a poor rating turned them away.

My Thoughts: I enjoyed this book and read until late 80-ish, I stopped reading because of personal views but before that I had enjoyed the book, and I liked the characters and wanted to know more. Chapter 1 opened with an extremely gripping scene of a man returning from war, which I loved! Even though I didn’t finish the book I can say that I enjoyed the beginning. Plus, I fell in love with the cover but read my warnings to see if you want to read it for yourself, there are spoilers so read on with caution.

Warnings: Where to start? I was all right with the mentions of Greek gods since they’re just myths . . . but when a character had memories of people from hundreds if not a thousand years before, I was disturbed. There was also the fact that the same character remembered when they were a baby, not even a few months old. I couldn’t finish it after that and am sad about it as I had enjoyed the book so far otherwise. There are mentions of nude statues.
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I was initially intrigued by the unique cover on this book. It's written by a new-to-me author, but the story line also grabbed my attention.

It is the story of Vitto. He returns home from WWII and discovers that he cannot go back to life as it was. His memories are everywhere, haunting him.

While he was away, his father, Robert developed Alzheimers.

Vitto's poor wife, Valerie, now has to care for Vitto, along with Robert and their young son.

When Vitto wakes up in the middle of a nightmare one night and finds himself attempting to strangle his wife, he knows something has to change.

So many hard things in this story. PTSD. Trauma. Alzheimers. And more.

This book is very different from most of the books I read. It is published by a Christian publisher, but there is very little about Christianity within its pages. Much of the story reminds me of an allegory, and there are many references to myths and gods.

I was very intrigued by the story, and found much food for thought, but I didn't necessarily agree with everything as it was presented. It left me with more questions than answers. And I think that may very well have been the author's intent all along.

Disclaimer: I receive complimentary books from various sources, including, publishers, publicists, authors, and/or NetGalley. I am not required to write a positive review, and have not received any compensation. The opinions shared here are my own entirely.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255
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