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By Antonia on 02-05-17
Beautiful; a love song to life.
Would you listen to Villa in Italy again? Why?
This is a book that will stay with me whether or not I listen again. What makes this story beautiful to me is a deep sense of connection to people and place as it explores who (and what) may touch and shape a life. Set after WW11, the book feels like a love song to living, to friendship, healing and what is beautiful in the world. It is expertly narrated, with every character given their own distinct voice.
A group of very different people gather, beneficiaries to a woman they know nothing about who appears to know everything about them. This mysterious woman has left a request that they live for 33 days in her remote Italian Villa before they find out what they are each to be left. Each of them needs space and time to heal after personal loss or heartache and the discoveries they make about their invisible hostess, each other and themselves redirects each of their lives. They begin to realise that the time given to them may be more precious than the outcome and I think this reflects the nature of the book itself; the journey being just as important as the mysteries at the heart of it.
The characters are well drawn and the sensory delights of the villa and the landscape is well captured. Though the story explores some dark places and difficult emotions it does so with grace and a lightness of touch that left me feeling uplifted and hopeful. This is probably not a book for people who want quick resolutions. The reader, like the characters, must spend time at the villa as the intricate plot unfolds and friendship and romance takes root. I think many will find this a great book to get lost in while on holiday or taking needed time for yourself.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
By ddodson on 24-02-16
I thoroughly enjoyed this book from start to finish. I thought it was going to be a 'chick-lit' for want of a better phrase to be honest.
It was a very interesting story with lots of unexpected twists and turns.
The narrator was absolutely fantastic, in fact probably one of the best I have listened to on Audible, and I have listened now to probably close to 60 books.
I have no hesitation in recommending this book.
19 of 21 people found this review helpful
By Jan on 03-04-16
Pleasant easy listening but not lightweight
I was intrigued by the description of the story and decided to try it as I know that if I hated it Audible would let me return it. I am glad that I did. I read a variety of genres some heavy, a lot not and this book fitted right in. It is well-researched and you can learn things without thinking the author wants to educate you or show off her own knowledge. There are several strange twists but none that I didn't find plausible and I never guessed the ending. There are several characters but the narrator was so good I always knew who was speaking. Excellent and enjoyable.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful
By Seafr on 13-10-16
What made the experience of listening to Villa in Italy the most enjoyable?
You could imagine yourself there and the characters were very rounded.
Have you listened to any of Nicolette McKenzie’s other performances? How does this one compare?
Yes and she is a very good narrator
3 of 3 people found this review helpful