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The Villa in Italy by Elizabeth Edmondson

The Villa in Italy (2006)

by Elizabeth Edmondson

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In the tradition of English manor house mysteries, this light and pleasant mystery involves no murder, rather a Burning Question. Four strangers summoned to a lovely but somewhat decayed villa in northern Italy gather in hopes of discovering who the woman is behind the last will and testament that compelled them to this romantic destination. In slow-paced and unalarming narrative, we learn more about the deceased and their relationship to her -- and each other.

Circumstances are rather too coincidental and overly contrived to approach the seamless artistry of The Enchanted April, on which this book is riffed. The strangers' various personal histories are remindful of von Arnim's beautiful between-the-wars novel but are not as compelling, nor is the villa as seductive, or the story as authentic.

In short, spare the spin-off and indulge in the earlier, far superior work. The Villa in Italy would be vastly improved if read at bedtime while spending a week's vacation in one's own villa! ( )
  Limelite | Apr 2, 2017 |
In a post WWII world, four people - each damaged in their own way - are called the Italian home of a woman they've never met at the behest of her will. They are each tasked with finding the codicil to the will that tells them exactly what has been bequeathed them, all whilst staying in the Villa during the spring.

Despite being a little run down (the war having removed all the active and fit men from the area), the nature and the view start working their magic on people, so that even when confronted with their issues, they can find a way through.

Some things were a little too "meh" for my liking - the sudden finding of the typewriter for the authour with writer's block, and the library (including religious discourses) for the man taught by Jesuits who needed to find his faith again - which *could* have been better placed in a book with more supernatural undertones, but when placed in this story was a little too twee.

However, the book was a sunny book to read in the run up to winter.
  nordie | Sep 25, 2011 |
A gentle read - another holiday book. ( )
  cfbookgroup | Jul 10, 2009 |
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Four different people are named in a will - Delia, an opera singer robbed of her voice by illness; George, an idealistic scientist; Marjorie, desperately poor & unable to dislodge her writer's block; & Lucius, whose personal life is in chaos. This is a tale of four strangers summoned to a grand but neglected villa on the Italian coast.… (more)

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