Sorted By Most Useful
By LisaG on 19-08-16
A gentle mystery.
I was having a bad week. I listened to this book and, as corny as it sounds, it lifted my spirits. This book is not what I'd consider 'high art' or a classic but it's wonderfully evocative and a good escape. If I had to pick one word it would be 'soothing' and I'll be listening to it again.
This is a slow building story with the first 2/3 of the book fleshing out the characters, their backstories and the villa itself. The main characters are very likable, even the often irritating Marjorie, and you really get a sense of their burdens and how the villa and its inhabitants help them 'come alive' again. The visitors are mostly unlikable and come off as shallow and selfish, which is a nice contrast to the main players. However, on getting to know them a little better as the story unfolds they're actually OK (Theo & Felicity)... except Richie; he's a jerk. The last 1/3 has the reveals coming thick and fast (but it's not hard to guess them). Relationships are revealed, mended, ended and cemented and everything is wrapped up nicely. I came away from this book feeling a lighter and happier.
Excellent narration. With so many characters, it would be easy for the listener to become confused but Nicolette McKenzie has given them each a unique voice. I think I'll try one of the other Elizabeth Edmondson books she's narrated, maybe Villa on the Riviera.
18 of 18 people found this review helpful
By A. Williams on 11-12-15
Everything I look for in a book
I loved everything about this book: plot, characters, setting, time period, and references. It was completely engrossing and a wonderful mystery that kept me guessing through most of the book. I listened to half of it in the car and then my trip was over, so I bought the Kindle version and read the rest of it because I couldn't "put it down."
12 of 12 people found this review helpful
By C. Brown on 29-03-17
A rewarding confection
What did you love best about Villa in Italy?
It was a very sweet, positive story that felt like a relaxing escape. Be warned, it doesn't introduce the reader to many Italian characters or settings-most of the story take place at the titular Italian Villa with a cast of English characters, so don't expect a trot through Italian culture. But the characters were engaging (at first I found them generic, but a few chapters in they begin to deepen until, by the end, I hated to leave them) and the premise of spending unhampered days at a villa exploring its secret spaces and getting to know the interesting strangers unfolds very pleasantly. A the center is a light mystery that drives the characters together and toward some important realizations. There are definitely some unrealistic plot contrivances in here, but they helped keep the story moving and uplifting (no bogging down in real life obstacles). A nice, classier-than normal beach read!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
By Barbara C. Strout on 07-02-17
Loved this book!
Great suspenseful story! I loved all the references to Dante, mythology, operas and quotes from literature and the descriptions of the art.
I could imagine being there!
My only complaint was that most of the characters were young and the narrator had an "old" voice.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
By M. M. T. on 27-07-16
What disappointed you about Villa in Italy?
The mystery was unique and intriguing but, I didn't appreciate the over-emphasis on sex and sexual relations with in the story.
What about Nicolette McKenzie’s performance did you like?
Nicolette did a fantastic job reading this story.
16 of 19 people found this review helpful
By Kiki Gee on 30-01-17
Ditched it three hours in
I will stubbornly hang onto the worst audio books but I just could not finish this one. Beyond boring and the narration is awful. It took me a bit to understand that Jessica and Delia were actually women in their 20's as the narrator reads them like old women. Would have been hard to distinguish which character was speaking had it not been followed by phrases such "Delia said" or "Marjorie exclaimed" as they all sounded alike. While I love a languid, slow story that gently unfolds this is just unbearably tedious beyond words. At least I wasted only a half credit (one of those buy two for one credit sales)
7 of 8 people found this review helpful