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The House of the Wind

The House of the Wind

3.2 14
by Titania Hardie

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The internationally bestselling author of The Rose Labyrinth returns with a love story of magic and healing that takes readers from the heartache of a young human rights lawyer in present-day San Francisco to the lives of a courageous trio of women in medieval Tuscany.

A legendary ruin. An ancient mystery. Will unveiling the past transform


The internationally bestselling author of The Rose Labyrinth returns with a love story of magic and healing that takes readers from the heartache of a young human rights lawyer in present-day San Francisco to the lives of a courageous trio of women in medieval Tuscany.

A legendary ruin. An ancient mystery. Will unveiling the past transform the future?

San Francisco, 2007. Madeline Moretti is grieving after her fiancé's death. Nothing brings her joy any more, and Maddie’s grandmother, a fiery Italian, sends her to Tuscany to heal. Here, Maddie is immersed in the mystery of a ruined villa. Destroyed centuries ago in a legendary storm on the Eve of St. Agnes, it has been known ever since as the Casa al Vento—the House of the Wind.

Tuscany, 1347. Mia hasn’t spoken since her mother’s death and lives in silence with her beloved aunt. One dark night, a couple seeks refuge in their villa. Accustomed to welcoming passing pilgrims, Mia is entranced by the young bride’s radiance and compassion but mystified by her reluctance to reveal even her name. Where has she come from, and why must her presence be a secret?

Centuries apart, each searching for a way to step into her future, both Mia and Maddie will be haunted by the myth of the young woman who walked unscathed from the ruins of the House of the Wind.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In her second novel (after The Rose Labyrinth) Hardie, who’s written extensively on magic and folklore, pulls together Etruscan legend, corporate lawsuits, and medieval daily life into a cohesive and addicting story. Maddie is a bright young lawyer in San Francisco, whose energy and special zest for her clients—the employees of Stormtree Components Inc., who allege they were sickened by workplace toxins—is suddenly drained by the untimely death of her fiancé. Lost in grief, Maddie travels, at her grandmother’s suggestion, to the family’s native Italy and there, in a villa in Tuscany, she finds a group of people whose willingness to help her out of her despair seems almost otherworldly. Meanwhile, Hardie offers glimpses of the same villa in the 14th-century, when it was a stopover for pilgrims and run by a sharp unmarried woman, Jacquetta, and her adopted child, Mia. When a particularly exceptional pair of pilgrims, Angesca and Porphyrius, arrive, Mia is introduced to a mystical way of life. Agnesca’s powers as a healer are of great significance as Italy is ravaged by the plague, but her ultimate tool is hope. Back in the present day, Maddie is summoned away from her idyllic vacation by her law firm and the ongoing trial. Hardie has merged Under the Tuscan Sun with Erin Brockovich into a story both heavily atmospheric and thematically hypnotic. Agent: Andrew Nurnberg and Sarah Nundy, Andrew Nurnberg Associates. (Mar.)
From the Publisher
“Utterly fascinating. Totally absorbing. A magical blend of historical fiction and modern day suspense, The House of The Wind is a marvel of the esoteric. An entrancing and enchanting novel that combines myth and folklore, past and the present, mystery and romance, and clearly cements Hardie’s burgeoning reputation as a literary conjurer.” —M.J. Rose, internationally bestselling author of The Book of Lost Fragrances

“Addicting.... Hardie has merged Under the Tuscan Sun with Erin Brockovich into a story both heavily atmospheric and thematically hypnotic.” —Publishers Weekly (starred)

“At times lyrical, the tale of Maddie’s journey will charm those who are enraptured by the Tuscan mystique.” —Booklist

Kirkus Reviews
In a substantial, poignant, sometimes ponderous parallel-themed romance, a young lawyer in San Francisco emerges from tragedy to discover connections across time and geography. There are no shortcuts and little frivolity in this solid, female-centered epic, the second novel from Australian-born, U.K.-based Hardie (The Rose Labyrinth, 2008). Signs and portents, relics, histories, religious debates, lawsuits and voyages of personal discovery cram the convoluted, overextended pair of narrations linked by 21st-century American Madeline Moretti, whose life suddenly shifts tracks and sends her on a journey to an Italian inn, the site where, six centuries earlier, a traumatized, mute teenager is restored to voice by a fugitive who has endured terrors and is the subject of myth. In the present, Madeline is caught up in a human-rights case involving the employees of smooth, seductive businessman Pierce Gray, who seems to be pursuing her, as does the more elusive Danish architect she meets in Italy. In the past, crime, plague and banishment link the destinies of three strong women with healing talents. Hardie seems heavily in thrall to her research; while her twin tales eventually reach pat endings, they fall short of a fully meshed conclusion.

Product Details

Washington Square Press
Publication date:
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Product dimensions:
5.38(w) x 9.92(h) x 1.23(d)

Meet the Author

Titania Hardie is the author of The Rose Labyrinth, as well as several books on folklore, magic, and divination. A native of Sydney, Australia, she lives in Somerset, England with her husband and two daughters.

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The House of the Wind 3.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
A unique piece of literary fiction that was so enjoyable, I may be short on words. There are two stories running at the same time and the intersect at just the right moment. One woman is in 2007 in San Francisco, has recently lost her fiance and is trying to deal with the grief of it all. Another young woman is in 1347 in Tuscany and is also dealing with losing a family member. The parallels between these stories weren't too obvious to make the reader feel belittled, but they were subtle and sweet. Maddie (2007) was a character I fell in love with from the beginning, I wanted to hear more about her job, her family and everything in between. Mia (1347) was harder to get in to, maybe due to the time the story was taking place and my lack of knowledge about Tuscany and its history. I think the depth of this book was perfect. I loved sinking my teeth into a good women's fiction and the satisfaction of finishing a good book. Beware this is a chunkster at just under 500 pages!
skstiles612 More than 1 year ago
I have to say the writing was beautiful. This author definitely has a way with words. Although I enjoyed the story, which is actually told in two different time periods, I felt the story moved very slowly. That did not stop me from continuing on my reading journey. The story starts out in the 1300’s with a young girl held prisoner in her own home for refusing to enter the convent. Instead she wants to marry a man she loves. The times dictate she must do as her parents say. On her last night of freedom she is walking in her garden when a violent wind wipes out her home and all within. She is left alive and must flee with the man she loves. Later on we meet Mia, a young girl who lives with her aunt and runs place where traveler stop to rest. We then meet Maddie, a lawyer who is preparing for her fiance’s arrival in America. He is a doctor in England. As her mother and sister arrive she receives a phone call from her future mother-in-law. Her beloved has been killed in an accident. She goes back to work at her law firm. She goes through the motions. Her grandmother sends her to Italy to dig into her past in hopes that she will find herself. The connection between Maddie and Mia becomes evident when Maddie travels to Italy. The changes she makes in her life and in those she tried to help back home becomes evident as the story progresses. I would recommend this book with the understanding that this is not a story with a quick pace. However, it was one I had trouble putting down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book very much - everything held my interest. I started a few other books after finishing this one but they seemed so shallow after reading this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this book sometime ago & finally picked it up to read. I was hooked from the first page. I enjoyed how the author intricately connected a grieving woman in 2007 to a grief stricken voluntary mute in 1340's. The author was able to bring to live the hillsides of tuscany as well as the people who inhabit them in both centuries. It is a story of intrique, family history, superstition, heartache, joy, compassion and love. What more could you ask for. I couldnt put it down once the intrigue of the house of the wind grasped a hold of me
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Couldn't make it through.
ccjackie34 More than 1 year ago
I liked the way the story moved between two different centuries, and eventually connected.
Icecream18 More than 1 year ago
Looking for a different romance? The writer begins this book with a tragedy that will lead the reader to believe there will be constant action, but what follows is a little like a slow-moving creek. However, the author has a way of writing that will likely intrigue the reader to keep reading. A young girl in the 1300's desires to marry her love, but her parents attempt to force her to enter a convent. She finds herself with a sudden choice and a gust of wind that makes that choice for her. The reader will enjoy following her story and learning what becomes of her. The reader will meet two other women who are bound together in an intricate web of DNA and coincidence. The reader will get to know both young women very well. The reader will understand the sad events in their past and their hope for the future. The novel has a constant undertone of mystery. The two women discover their ties and the novel weaves back to the myth of Saint Agnes...a myth worth reading up on if one is to read this book. The author writes with a lyrical twist and fills the book with plenty of detail. The detail will make the scenery and environment of the places, especially Italy, the novel is set in. Although the plot does not move as fast as some readers may be used to, this book is definitely worth reading if a reader enjoy romance with intrigue.
Sue5 More than 1 year ago
Book flips between two time periods every other chapter. Just a bit boring for me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There are two stories here. One is pretty good, the oter bored me to tears. I never really got a real connection to it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very enjoyable