The Italian Wife

  • by Kate Furnivall
  • Narrated by Jane McDowell
  • 12 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Italy, 1932 - Mussolini's Italy is growing from strength to strength, but at what cost?
One bright autumn morning, architect Isabella Berotti sits at a café in the vibrant centre of Bellina when a woman she's never met asks her to watch her 10-year-old daughter, just for a moment. Reluctantly Isabella agrees - and then watches in horror as the woman climbs to the top of the town's clock tower and steps over the edge.
This tragic encounter draws vivid memories to the surface, forcing Isabella to probe deeper into the secrets of her own past as she tries to protect the young girl from the authorities. Together with charismatic photographer Roberto Falco, Isabella is about to discover that secrets run deeper and are more dangerous than either of them could have possibly imagined....
From the glittering marble piazzas to the picturesque hillside villages and winding streets of Rome, Kate Furnivall's epic new novel will take you on an breathtaking journey of intrigue, romance, and betrayal.

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What the Critics Say

"Breathtaking historical fiction." (The Times)
"Furnivall's descriptions are powerful...the plotting and pace are breathless." (Historical Novels Review)
"The setting is sweeping, the story big and the description vivid." (Courier Mail)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Pretty but dull

What would have made The Italian Wife better?

A stronger "mystery". The through line for the lead character seemed to be "who would shoot my unpleasant murderer husband" and the answer seemed to be "anybody, he was an unpleasant murderer". Then she was baffled as to why, again, see "unpleasant murderer".I really failed to understand how that element was in any way supposed to grip a listener.


What could Kate Furnivall have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

A less easily wrapped up plot, a better hook with the husband and fewer magical escapes just before it looks like it's all over.


Which character – as performed by Jane McDowell – was your favourite?

Jane McDowell read beautifully. Wonderful lilts of accents without making it hard to a non Italian speaker.


You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

It flowed and I finished listening to it. It's a fascinating setting and concept with some lovely description.


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- Laura "Comedian and happy person."

Brilliant.

Gripping. The twists and turns of the story kept me hooked right to the end.
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- Dawn

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-05-2015
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio UK