Thursday, February 22, 2018

The Queen of Historical Fiction Returns with The Tuscan Child (Review)

From New York Times bestselling 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 thirty 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…
The Tuscan Child
Rhys Bowen
Pub Date: 2/20/18
Lake Union Publishing
Genre: Historical Fiction
Rating: 4/5
Amazon | B&N

I am convinced that Rhys Bowen is a queen of historical fiction! I first read her work with In Farleigh Field and gladly jumped at the chance to read The Tuscan Child. I was easily transported to a small village in Tuscany where an English World War II pilot crashed, and years later the mystery of his experience is explored by his grieving daughter.

Admittedly, quite a few chapters pass before the story gets really interesting but once it does it's captivating! Joanna Langley returns to her childhood home after her father's death. While preparing to clean out his home she finds a letter written to Sofia Bartoli returned unopened. The contents of the letter make Joanna believe that her father might have had a child with Sofia and she must go to Italy to find out what happened to Hugo while he was stranded there.

The Tuscan Child unfolded with an air of mystery and intrigue. The trip to Italy awakens Joanna in a way that she had not known she needed. Even though digging into the past holds hidden dangers, the truth will help set more than one person free. She makes lasting friendships that help her through a time of turmoil. The Italian characters were so lively and seeing them interact with the reserved English woman adds a comedic effect that takes your mind off of the possible tragedy that might await Joanna.

Once The Tuscan Child takes off, it moves fast right up until the end! There are so many layers revealed as Joanna opens herself to the past and takes readers on a journey that heals. I felt that I got to really know the characters in this story, even more so than in In Farleigh Field. Rhys Bowen really outdid herself on this story!
*ARC provided in consideration for review*
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