The House of the Wind
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.
In her second novel (after The Rose Labyrinth) Hardie, who's written extensively on magic and folklore, pulls together Etruscan legend, corporate lawsuits, and medieval daily life into a cohesive and addicting story. Maddie is a bright young lawyer in San Francisco, whose energy and special zest for her clients the employees of Stormtree Components Inc., who allege they were sickened by workplace toxins is suddenly drained by the untimely death of her fianc . Lost in grief, Maddie travels, at her grandmother's suggestion, to the family's native Italy and there, in a villa in Tuscany, she finds a group of people whose willingness to help her out of her despair seems almost otherworldly. Meanwhile, Hardie offers glimpses of the same villa in the 14th-century, when it was a stopover for pilgrims and run by a sharp unmarried woman, Jacquetta, and her adopted child, Mia. When a particularly exceptional pair of pilgrims, Angesca and Porphyrius, arrive, Mia is introduced to a mystical way of life. Agnesca's powers as a healer are of great significance as Italy is ravaged by the plague, but her ultimate tool is hope. Back in the present day, Maddie is summoned away from her idyllic vacation by her law firm and the ongoing trial. Hardie has merged Under the Tuscan Sun with Erin Brockovich into a story both heavily atmospheric and thematically hypnotic.