Midnight at the Tuscany Hotel

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 28 May 2019

Member Reviews

I received this from Netgalley.com in exchange for a review.

The Tuscany Hotel, where the water is said to have healing properties, is owned and operated by Robert and Magdalena Gandy and they host guests of a certain kind—artists, actors, scientists, and engineers who leave their worries behind so that they can create their latest masterpieces. Their son, Vittorio Gandy comes home from war and is haunted by memories, and his former life is unrecognizable.

There is alot of Greek mythology in this one which I admit I skimmed. The overall story/writing was okay but it did drag on the last quarter of the book.

3☆
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I think this book is the testament to the fact that James Markert is my new favorite author, I read another book of his titled What Blooms From Dust but this story just steals the goddamn show. And now I wish to devour everything written by him. Devour and savour. 

What I can say about the incredible story and the talent with which it has been told?  His books are one of the most atmospheric and transformative books I have the pleasure of reading. It spoke of hope, redemption, self discovery and do much more. It's packaged goodness which we hope to find within a story. 

The story is told by two people, Magdalena and her son But to yet the story is more than just about them. The characters are imperfect, stumbling yet learning, discovering and so very human. 
The way Renaissance, Greek mythology and Tuscany setting are added is beautiful.
I am trying hard to not say that I absolutely loved it and end it there but I did. 

My only complaint is that it's slow in the beginning, it frustrates you cause you want to know so much but the story is taking it's sweet time but once you reach at 30% - you just can't stop reading. It's that brilliant and there's no other way to put it. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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**Disclaimer: I was given a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair review. All ratings and opinions are my own. **

This was a surprising read that took me places I very much didn't expect. It explores a historical and generational story with mythological references and magical realism. There is a lot rolled up into this one. It has a solid plot and good characters...I fell in love with Magdalena very early on. This book was well done, but simply left me wanting more. I could well do with a sequel.
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This was a fresh read that harkens to magic realism classics with modern twists. I loved how it changes the typical World War Two genre into something more hopeful.
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This week I took the opportunity to crack open my copy of Midnight at the Tuscany Hotel by James Markert. It’s published by Thomas Nelson and sounded fascinating when I requested it from NetGalley. However, I only gave it a 3-star rating on Goodreads. I waffled back and forth between 3 and 4 stars, but something about the book just didn’t synch with me.

Loaded with mythology, art, beauty, damaged souls, and so many memories, it was an incredibly descriptive work. Colourful, lyrical prose flowed beautifully – Markert has an aesthetic way with words. Differences in theology aside – there were a lot of reliance and parallels to ancient mythology which worked with the artistic references and theme of the novel – the pictures painted in my mind were vivid and from that aspect, I was more than satisfied.

The storyline, however, while magical left me feeling a little lost at the end. (and in the beginning, and in the middle….) Part of me wonders if this was intentional considering the subject of memory (and/or subsequently, memory loss) and the effect on the human soul. At times, it was a little dry and I wasn’t completely satisfied with the ending. Emotions were invoked, but as I set my tablet down when I finished the book I was figuratively scratching my head with a “huh.” It was a good book… but a strange book. It just didn’t hook me as an absolute favourite. One thing I loved, however, was the question of whether we should live our numbered days with fullness, or extend our days and live with less wholeness – is the return of memories lost worth it? My creative disposition appreciated the beauty of the arts so deeply woven throughout. The novel as a whole… enjoyed it? Yes; Liked it? Yes; Really liked it? Just not quite. 3.5 stars from me.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Publisher: Thomas Nelson; Publication Date: April 9, 2019
Review originally published on my blog: https://lifelovelaughterlinds.home.blog/2019/02/08/book-review-midnight-at-the-tuscany-hotel-by-james-markert/
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This was an enjoyable read. Definitely magical realism, heavily influenced by Greek mythology.
If you like a heart-warming story with life-lessons sprinkled in between the lines, you'll enjoy Midnight at the Tuscany Hotel.
It wasn't entirely down my alley, as magical realism is hit or miss for me so I gave it 3 stars.

Thank you Netgalley for providing me with an eARC.
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This a very engaging and interesting read.
I loved the well written characters and the plot kept me hooked till the end.
Highly recommended!
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC
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A lovely, magical novel that is well conceived.  There are some flaws here and there:  to prepare us for a transformation, the main character seems needlessly awful at the beginning and then transition way too quickly.  It's a little syrupy sweet in places and the mythology is over-explained.  But I love to sit back and enjoy a sweet novel of magical transformations and meditations on our memories and how uncooperative they are.  There's discussion of destiny and art and love.  The ensemble of characters is intriguing, and, while some of the action is predictable, there's a good enough plot to hold together.  It's just one of those book that left a warm, sweet, thoughtful and magical taste in my mouth.

I got a copy to review from Net Galley.
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Great read. Kept me interested and gripped from the very first page. I enjoyed the storyline and the characters and felt drawn into the story itself. Great
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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.

This book is filled with Greek mythology and life lessons and how a son pieces together the life of his mother and father.  Lives inspired by the Gods themselves.

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.

I don't normally read mythology but found this book interesting and wanted to read it cover to cover.  Some surprises in the book so I hate to mention in this review.
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I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  

From the publisher, as I do not regurgitate the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it.


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 rumoured 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 colours 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.


What a lovely book - just gorgeously written and memory-making. (That is not a joke about Alzheimer's, but would it not be awesome if there was a place we could take our loved ones to even temporarily get their memories back???) Memory making as it will make you remember it for months on end as it is one of those books that sinks into you.  

This would be a great book for a book club to discuss as family and love and memory are things we all hold dear and are afraid of losing. Alzheimer's is one of those diseases that people dread: cancer can often be cured, per se, but Alzheimer's makes one lost their loved ones before they are gone..it's "living death". (pardon me while I cry a little as that is my life right now).  I am in eight book clubs and I get to pick the books, so this is a definite #2019read

As always, I try to find a reason to not rate with stars as I love emojis: let's give it (in honour of the artists)

🎨🎨🎨🎨🎨
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Midnight at the Tuscany hotel is the first book I've read by this author. I received the book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I didn't know this author or what to expect but it turned out to be a very pleasant and interesting surprise.

Midnight at the Tuscany Hotel is about the Gandi Family that in the past ran the "Tuscany Hotel", a haven for artists, authors, scientists etc who came there to be creative and forget about the rest of the world for a time. 

After the second World War the hotel stands abandoned when Vittorio (Vitto) Gandy returns highly traumatized from his war experiences in Europa. He finds his wife and son fearing his erratic and sometimes violent behaviour and his father afflicted by Alzheimer. After he goes in therapy his father has some lucid moments and he reopens the Tuscany Hotel, where the water in the fountain on the Piazza brings temporary relief to those inflicted with memory loss.

Midnight at the Tuscany hotel is a beautifully written book that deals with difficult questions like quantity versus quality of life, would you be willing to shorten the life of your dear ones if that means that they will have a happy and meaningful life in the shorter period, is it better to repress traumatizing experiences or to relive them, etc.

I found the book an interesting mix of the Renaissance, Greek Mythology and life questions.

I don't usually give extremely high scores but full marks for this one. Even if  you only read one book in the new year, make sure that it is this one!
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Beautiful cover, strange book.

description: 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.

A lot of Greek mythology in this one, something I usually love.  However, although crucial to the story, I found the mythology a bit over the top.  The book fits the magical realism genre, mixing miracles and muses and myth.  Some books are really hard to review, I'm going for Lark's haiku review style:

Lost your memory?
Visit the Tuscany
Remember the past.

Didn't love it, but...

Read in December; blog post scheduled for March 22, 2019.

NetGalley/Thomas Nelson
Fantasy/Magical Realism.  April 9, 2019.  Print length:  352 pages.
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The Tuscany Hotel: home of wandering souls, seeking refuge from the cruel hands of time; home of art reborn in its richest forms; home of folklore and memory, of living life at its purest. Vitto returns from war a changed man to a home where he is no longer recognized: his son thinks him a stranger, his wife is distanced, and his father no longer recognizes him. His journey, however, does not end here. One night, circumstances bring him back to the Tuscany Hotel, where he was raised in flourishes of art and music and color among artists and musicians and actors seeking inspiration--and what he comes to discover unravels secrets of his family he never knew existed.

The perfect premise. This is exactly the kind of novel I enjoy: books about a refuge, be it a town or house or hotel, for people of all walks of life and all stories, fantastical or not. Midnight at the Tuscany Hotel, from its appraisal of the fine arts and its intricate weaving of elements of Greek myth into the hotel and its residents' backgrounds, was an incredibly colorful read. Everything worked, at least for me. Markert's writing is evocative and stirring, poetic, and is overflowing with gorgeous imagery and lyrical writing. In a word, this book is rich. Even the characters themselves--like the fiery-haired Magdalena and the hammer-wielding Robert--all seemed to have stepped straight out of a Renaissance painting.

Needless to say, this would make for a stunning film. Midnight at the Tuscany Hotel was exceptionally visual, a celebration of the senses--and I enjoyed every moment of it.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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A beautifully written book that incorporated Ancient Greek myths and Alzheimers, Magical characters and a magic fountain. I was so much in the moment that, when the end came, I was not prepared to come out of the environs of the Tuscany Hotel and into the real world. Thank you for creating this magical novel, James Markert. I also enjoyed one of Markert's previous book The Angels' Share. Will have to look for others, especially A White Wind Blew (the title itself sounds promising, no?).
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This book is about a hotel in California that has a fountain at its center, the water from which restores the memories of those who drink from it.  The water has some deleterious side effects however, so the restoration of clarity for those with dementia comes with a cost.  Robert Gandy built the hotel for his wife Magdalena, who was born in Tuscany in 1866 but had to escape when she was seventeen.  Along with Juba, another friend from Tuscany, the three took a boat to America and used Robert’s family’s money to build the hotel, which opened in 1887.

The Tuscany Hotel was abandoned for many years after the death of Magdalena six years earlier, but now, in 1946, Robert, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s, goes back to the hotel to finish what he considers his life’s work before he dies.  Robert and Magdalena’s son Vitto, just home from the war and suffering from acute PTSD, goes after him, joined by Vitto’s wife Valerie, their five-year-old son William, and by Juba, who mysteriously knows they are back at the hotel.

The hotel grounds are like a museum, filled with statues of Greek gods and goddesses carved by Robert when he was younger.  The walls of the rooms are all painted with pictures from the Renaissance done by Vitto when he was younger.  Now they all work together to restore the hotel, and Robert puts an ad in the paper declaring that the hotel is reopening, and specifically inviting those inflicted with memory loss to drink from its magic waters. 

The elderly begin flocking to the hotel.  They all find their own kind of renewal at the hotel, along with some answers to the secrets that Robert, Magdalena and Juba had been hiding all those years.

Discussion:  The surprising answers to the secrets of the hotel did not impress me as well developed and moreover I found them to be absurd.  Also, Vitto’s war memories struck me as over the top and not at all convincing - it seemed as if the author crammed every bad thing that could have happened into this one soldier’s thirteen months at war.  The subplot with the newspaper reporter also seemed ridiculous.

None of the characters were that well developed; it felt as if the protagonists' lives took a back place to relating stories about the Greek gods.  This overriding theme, which took up most of the narrative space of the book, was not disclosed by the publisher summary.

There was also absolutely nothing in the publisher description indicating this was “Christian Fiction.”  Perhaps I should have been aware that Thomas Nelson is a publisher for Christian content, but I also think it should have been made clear in both the categorization of the book and in the description.  I pretty much never read anything designated as such, not because I am opposed to spiritual questions in literature, but because I find that label is unfortunately rarely associated with quality literature.  Indeed, I found that to be the case with this book.
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