Title: The House of the Wind
Author: Titania Hardie
Review: I had great hopes for this book and I have to say that I did enjoy the story once I found it. The story is beautifully written with flowery imaginative language with lovely literary illustrations. But along the way, the story the author was telling got misplaced and it took a bit to find it again. Luckily the chapters tell you what century you are in or I would have been completely lost at times.
It starts with a heartbreaking tragedy, working its way through the stages of grief and then on to a new life where the characters are better for having gone through the horrible experience. Classic story line that the author added realism to with the addition of places you and I can visit and true tales told for generations. The tale is multifaceted and long….very long….here I think the editor could have used a stronger hand. Telling two stories takes room, but not 480 pages worth. Cutting down at least 60-100 pages wouldn’t have been difficult.
If you enjoy sweeping tales of mystery/romance, days gone by, loss, love found and tons of other things thrown in not to forget lots of words… you may find this book something you would enjoy.
Publisher: Expected publication: March 6th 2012 by Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group
Quick Review: 3 stars (out of 5) Good tale…just too long.
Why I Read It: Sent by the publisher for review.
Synopsis: The internationally bestselling author of The Rose Labyrinth returns with a love story of magic and healing that takes readers from the heartache of a young human rights lawyer in present-day San Francisco to the lives of a courageous trio of women in medieval Tuscany.A legendary ruin. An ancient mystery. Will unveiling the past transform the future?
San Francisco, 2007. Madeline Moretti is grieving after her fiancÉ's death. Nothing brings her joy any more, and Maddie’s grandmother, a fiery Italian, sends her to Tuscany to heal. Here, Maddie is immersed in the mystery of a ruined villa. Destroyed centuries ago in a legendary storm on the Eve of St. Agnes, it has been known ever since as the Casa al Vento—the House of the Wind.
Tuscany, 1347. Mia hasn’t spoken since her mother’s death and lives in silence with her beloved aunt. One dark night, a couple seeks refuge in their villa. Accustomed to welcoming passing pilgrims, Mia is entranced by the young bride’s radiance and compassion but mystified by her reluctance to reveal even her name. Where has she come from, and why must her presence be a secret?
Centuries apart, each searching for a way to step into her future, both Mia and Maddie will be haunted by the myth of the young woman who walked unscathed from the ruins of the House of the Wind.
Author Biography: Born and educated in Sydney, Australia, Titania Hardie is the highly successful author of a range of distinctive books published in the UK on folklore, magic, and divination, and recently a new series of children's books, The Frangipani Fairies. She has first-class honors degrees in psychology and English and was awarded the prestigious Chatterton scholarship for post-graduate study at Bristol University, where she is currently completing her M.A. on the Romantic poets. The Rose Labyrinth is her first novel. Titania lives in Somerset with her husband and two daughters.
FYI:Also to note about this novel: It is based on an actual Tuscan villa called the Borgo Santo Pietro, a beautifully renovated inn that dates back to the thirteenth century that is the inspiration for the novel and features it’s real-life restorers as characters. Built as a refuge for traveling pilgrims, the Borgo Santo Pietro eventually fell into disrepair but got a second life in 2001 when it was purchased by a couple who saw its potential and vowed to restore it to its original glory. It now possesses its original grandeur with 8 individual rooms, 3 garden cottages, 13 acres of ornamental gardens, an infinity swimming pool, and an 800 year old bake house that has been converted into a spa. You can see more of this beautiful and historic inn here.