From New York Times best-selling author Rhys Bowen comes a haunting novel about a woman who braves her father's hidden past to discover his secrets....
In 1944, British bomber pilot Hugo Langley parachuted from his stricken plane into the verdant fields of German-occupied Tuscany. Badly wounded, he found refuge in a ruined monastery and in the arms of Sofia Bartoli. But the love that kindled between them was shaken by an irreversible betrayal.
Nearly 30 years later, Hugo's estranged daughter, Joanna, has returned home to the English countryside to arrange her father's funeral. Among his personal effects is an unopened letter addressed to Sofia. In it is a startling revelation.
Still dealing with the emotional wounds of her own personal trauma, Joanna embarks on a healing journey to Tuscany to understand her father's history - and maybe come to understand herself as well. Joanna soon discovers that some would prefer the past be left undisturbed, but she has come too far to let go of her father's secrets now....
Cover design by Shasti O'Leary Soudant
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I enjoyed the story (on a long car drive as an audio book), as the plot was enticing, love the WWII era, and the characters were well drawn enough. I wouldn't say that the writing, especially the dialogue, is at the top of the talent pile, but believable. A couple of things near the end: an event that didn't jibe with the plot (access to a key piece of the puzzle, previously "locked"), and a convenient siesmic event, but I find myself still thinking about the story days later. Loved the narrators and their accents as Englishmen/women and Italian counterparts.
Joannes father dies, and she finds herself back home. While packing away his things she finds remnants of a past that she knows nothing about. His life in the war is a great mystery to her. She knows he was a pilot that got shot down, but the rest of his story is a mystery. She finds herself in Tuscany looking for the truth of her father's past, and while there she faces many of her challenges.
This was an excellent book filled with mystery, suspense, and a hint of romance. I loved Joanna. She was so full of life and was willing to put herself out there to find out the truth about her father. Despite all the issues, she seemed to find exactly what she was looking for and what she needed. Overall this story was very well written. It was filled with history and kept me reading.