The Tuscan Child

The Tuscan Child

by Rhys Bowen


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781503951815
Publisher: Amazon Publishing
Publication date: 02/20/2018
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 5,908
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Rhys Bowen is the New York Times bestselling author of the Royal Spyness, Molly Murphy, and Constable Evans mystery series, as well as the #1 Kindle bestseller In Farleigh Field. She has won the Agatha Award for Best Novel and has been nominated for the Edgar Award for Best Novel, among numerous other awards, nominations, and starred reviews. Bowen was born in Bath, England, studied at London University, married into a family with historic royal connections, and now divides her time between Northern California and Arizona.

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The Tuscan Child 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Anonymous 4 months ago
The Tuscan Child is a beautiful story of a young woman wanting to learn of her father's history when he was shot down in Italy during WWII. Joanna goes to Italy to uncover the story and meet Sophia, a woman mentioned in a letter found after her father's death. The books alternates between the 1940s with the story of Hugo and Sophia and the 1970s with the story of Joanna. It is a little bit history, a little bit mystery, and a little bit love story. Altogether it is a lovely story and well worth the read.
Sailim 9 months ago
The Tuscan Child by Rhys Bowen is a lovely historical fiction split between 1944 Tuscany and 1973 England and Tuscany. Expertly woven, the story intertwines the two eras into a story which might have been the history of anyone, exploring the impact of one’s actions on the situation of progeny. In this story, Bowen relates the adventures of an English airman who is forced to abandon his mortally damaged bomber over the skies of Italy only to be found by a local woman who at the risk of her own life and that of her son, husband’s grandmother, and the entire village, decides to help the Englishman hide. A strong relationship blooms between them. For a time Bowen leaves the reader wondering if the relationship survived the war and his return to England. Some 30 years later, the Englishman dies. His daughter, Joanna, who believes herself to be his only child, returns home to learn she has an older half-brother she has never met and possibly another sibling living in the Tuscan countryside. Uncovering a part of her father’s life she never knew existed, Joanna is driven to learn more of her father’s time in Italy during the war. She makes her way to Italy only to become entangled in a “new family”, a murder, and an entirely new life while discovering a father she never really knew. Bowen is a master story-teller and certainly does not disappoint in “The Tuscan Child.” Her characters are well developed, storyline well thought out, situations believable. The story flows with an ease which engages the reader, while allowing for periods away.
auditor2 More than 1 year ago
In 1944, British bomber pilot Hugo Langley parachuted from his stricken plane into the verdant fields of German-occupied Tuscany. Badly wounded, he found refuge in a ruined monastery and in the arms of Sofia Bartoli. Nearly thirty years later, Hugo’s estranged daughter, Joanna, found among his personal effects an unopened letter addressed to Sofia. Joanna embarks on a healing journey to Tuscany to understand her father’s history—and maybe come to understand herself as well. Joanna soon discovers that some would prefer the past be left undisturbed, but she has come too far to let go of her father’s secrets now… After the first chapter, I was sucked into this book. I really wanted to know what would happen to Hugo. And after he met Sofia, I was sure that Joanna would find out that the Tuscan child was the result of his relationship with her. The story was well told through time slip from Hugo and Sofia during the war and current day Joanna and her visit to Tuscany. Although I have been to Italy many times, I have never spent much time in Tuscany and I learned quite a lot through reading this book. My mouth watered at the description of the food that Joanna was introduced to in the book. As the story unfolded, it seemed only right that there should be some romance in the book also. What more could you want besides mystery, romance and food? It certainly made for an entertaining read. I definitely recommend the book. I received a copy of this book in exchange for a review which is my own.
C_Fowler More than 1 year ago
The Tuscan Child is a lovely book and story, told from two different viewpoints at two different periods of time -- Hugo's narrative begins in 1944, and his daughter, Joanna's, in 1973. We are transported to the tiny village of San Salvatore in Tuscany in both time periods as Hugo's and Joanna's stories begin to converge. The writing in this book is absolutely beautiful. The descriptions of Italy, Tuscany and San Salvatore and its residents were so rich that they reminded me a lot of Mary Stewart's wonderful prose and her ability to capture her settings so perfectly. Then, there is the food -- don't read this book on an empty stomach! There are no recipes for the mouth-watering meals prepared in this book, but the descriptions are enough to get you started. I had not read any books by Rhys Bowen prior to this one, but I am looking forward to delving into her other books as I know I will be just as enchanted by her writing as I was with A Tuscan Child. I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are solely my own.
Rhonda-Runner1 More than 1 year ago
This story toggles between Hugo, an English pilot who was shot down near San Salvatore somewhere near Tuscany in Italy in December 1944. Hugh is rescued by Sophia and hidden in an old monastery where she sneaks to in order to look after him. Skip to England in April of 1973 where Joanna has just parted company with her boyfriend and is getting read to take her bar exam. Her father, Hugo, dies suddenly and Joanna has to dispose of his things. She finds a letter he had mailed to Sophia after the war that was returned to him undelivered. Joanna opens it and decides to go to San Salvatore to try and find out about her father's relationship with Sophia. This story has a number of surprising twists and turns in it and I really enjoyed it. I could have done with a little less Italian cooking/recipes but overall it is a really good book.
SuZ2Reader More than 1 year ago
I read The Tuscan Child book because I lived in Italy for three years and visited Tuscany frequently. Also I’d heard this book had an art historical bent to it. The book is a bit of a genre-blend with a mystery, a bit of a travelogue, and a romance to boot. It is for cozy mystery type readers, those enjoying foreign locales, as well as those liking genre-bending fiction. Ms. Bowen typically writes mysteries and has received many awards for the Molly Murphy series, the Lady Georgiana series, and the Constable Evan Evans series. She has written stand-alone novels, including most recently In Farleigh Field, also set during World War II, and The Tuscan Child. Ms. Bowen’s prose is clear and easy to read. She has chosen to tell this story in the point-of-view of a British lord, Hugo Langley, serving as a World War II fight pilot in Italy in the 1940s alternating with that of his daughter, Joanna Langley, a woman in her late twenties studying for the bar in the 1970s and dealing with her own traumas. She avoid visiting him, seeing only the “old and bitter, remote and resigned, [father] who had long ago given up on the world.” He, in turn, doesn’t agree with certain life decisions she has made. The first chapter starts as the pilot’s plane is spiraling out of control and about to crash. It is exciting and definitely shows the POV of a rational man making tough decisions under extreme stress. That excitement fades with the next two chapters written in the daughter’s POV as she returns home at his death. These chapters are slow, but eventually Joanna finds artifacts that help her see her father for the man he had once been. Her own life in tatters, these items propel her to Italy, to the fictitious hamlet of San Salvatore, where the majority of the story is set, to try to piece together her father’s history. Bowen also handles scenery well, capturing the atmosphere of Tuscany with its heat, its vegetables, orchards, even its cooking. She sometimes lingers a bit too long on the beauty of the area, however. For example: “Down below shops were open to the street: a butcher or delicatessen with piles of salami in the window, a shoe shop, a wine merchant with casks outside. Impossibly narrow alleys led off from that central street, some hung with laundry, others with casks of wine outside doorways. And everywhere there were bright window boxes full of geraniums…” On and on for well over a page. Despite its slow start after an exciting opening, I enjoyed reading The Tuscan Child. Bowen masterfully teases the reader with several minor mysteries in one POV that are somewhat solved later, sometimes in another POV, all leading up to the big mystery. For example, Joanna has her own tragedies, and these are carefully withheld by Bowen and revealed somewhat later in the book. Her father’s mysteries gradually come to light as well as the identity of the “Tuscan Child.” The romantic ending is a bit too tidy.
KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings So this book has one of my favorite things going for it - dual narrative. One storyline is 1944, a British bomber has landed in Italy and is injured and a local woman finds him and helps bring him back to life. The other storyline starts in 1973 and his daughter is trying to find the truth about him as he has recently passed and she found some interesting bits in his things and it sends her on this journey. I love when I read a dual narrative and I love both storylines at the same level. Obviously having Joanna's story from her point of view was a little more entertaining, but I was on pins and needles throughout his story because I wanted to know how he ended up back in England and with his wife and a new daughter, I just needed to know what he lead him from there to here!
Carstairs38 More than 1 year ago
When Hugo Langley dies, his daughter Joanna finds a letter in his possession addressed to someone named Sofia in Italy. It references “our beautiful boy.” Joanna knows her father was shot down in the Tuscany region during World War II, but does this letter mean she has a half-brother? Intrigued, Joanna sets out to learn about that time in her father’s life. What will she learn? This book switches back and forth from Hugo’s story in 1944 and Joanna’s journey in 1973. The chapters are clearly labeled, so it is never hard to follow which time period we are in. While this is not a traditional mystery by any means, we do learn what happened back then and how it plays out in the more “modern” setting. This book is just as much about Joanna’s growth, and she lead a cast of very strong characters I quickly fell in love with as I read.
nhr3bookcrazyNR More than 1 year ago
Another excellent story by Ms. Bowen. It's different from her others, but I totally got caught up in the story and loved the Tuscany setting.
TheBookBag More than 1 year ago
Rhys Bowen is a new-to-me author so I didn't know what to expect when I started The Tuscan Child. I loved everything about this book; the story line, the wonderful way the author writes, and the way she made me feel like I was there with her characters—characters that I came to care about. The story is told from two different time frames, going back and forth as Joanna digs into her father's past and learns about the mysterious Sofia. There is enough mystery, intrigue, and suspense to keep the story moving forward and kept me wanting to read 'just one more chapter'. I am definitely going to be reading more of Rhys Bowen's stories, now that I have discovered her!
TeeP2 More than 1 year ago
Historical novels usually have to be very good in order to capture and hold my attention, and this one fit the bill. In this story, we travel with Joanna Langley from Surrey, England in the early 1970s into the lush, rolling hills of Tuscany and the little village of San Salvatore as she searches for clues about her recently deceased father’s past. Along the way, we are also treated to her father’s story of survival and romance at the end of German occupation of Italy during WWII. The story was well-written and compelling. The dual timelines were not distracting, but instead lent even more drama and build-up to the story as a whole. Both perspectives were given equal attention and were very well represented by the author. Bowen’s writing was crisp and colorful without being muddled in unnecessary details. I especially enjoyed the descriptions of the Tuscan landscape and the delicious food – it made me long to visit Italy. Fans of historical fiction will appreciate this novel for its skilled placement in two distinctly different eras of history. Lovers of romantic fiction will also appreciate the tender love stories that develop as well.
Storytellermary More than 1 year ago
I finished Rhys Bowen's THE TUSCAN CHILD this morning; I just couldn't stop. The ending was so satisfying that I actually sighed, but now I miss it and want to go back. I’m left thinking of the wickedness of war, the betrayal of people and values just to survive, balanced by the goodness of most people. I hope that someday we get things right. Sharing simple, good food and friendship and trust would be so much better for all of us. There had been heavy "me first" competition on my TBR mountain, but this was the clear winner, captivating!
lauriesophee More than 1 year ago
I really loved this novel. It takes place during World War ll in Italy.. I enjoyed how each chapter told a part of the story from that past and then the present, making it an easy read to follow, and kept my interest and heart jumping. I was quickly absorbed by the beautiful findings within the monastery, the wonderful recipes shared, and the scenery of Tuscany both in the past and in the present times. This was truly a love story and will be long remembered by all!
Kathlingram More than 1 year ago
Thanks to both NetGalley and Lake Union publishing for this ARC, which I award 4.5 stars and thoroughly enjoyed. A different genre than I usually choose, from mystery author Rhys Bowen, but delightful to read. It was a very fine stand-alone read about WWII, told with two timelines. In 1944 a British warplane was shot down over Tuscany and Hugo Langley ( Sir Hugo actually), the pilot, although wounded parachutes to safety. The story is told alternately between winter 1944 and Hugo's tale a and Joanna his daughter in the 1970s ( born in 1945). In Italy, in the same time shifts are Sofia a lovely Italian young woman with a young son. Joanna in 1973 goes to San Salvatore to try to put closure after her father's death and meets Sofia's son.There is an interesting dual love story going on, as well as a very good mystery. I know little about how the war progressed in Italy or about the privations that people endured so that part held my attention also. Perhaps the characters might reappear under different circumstances? I loved it and Rhys Bowen has a way of drawing one into the environment she describes. An exciting and fun Christmas read which I am recommending to mystery fans.
jbc85 More than 1 year ago
This was a really charming dual-timeline historical fiction that takes place partly in late 1944 WW2 Italy, and part in the early 1970's. The author did a masterful job at delivering the tension that we would expect with the pilot being shot down, injured in the crash, and the constant fear of being discovered by Germans (both when he had just crashed, and then later the heightened fear when a local woman risked her life to bring him food and care for him). This tension was presented in a realistic manner without being heavy-handed. I also very much appreciated that the author allowed a romance to blossom between Hugo and Sofia without feeling the necessity to make it all about sex. The 1970s portion of the book was equally engaging as I quickly got to know and like Joanna. I could relate to her guilt and regrets over not having a better relationship with her father, especially once she got to understand more of what he went through in the war. There is a little mystery with Joanna that I found intriguing - the "reveal" on what happened with Adrian was wrapped up a little too rapidly, but at least it did provide some context in what was going on with her life that had caused other challenges. I found it slightly unrealistic that she learned enough Italian in just a few weeks of a course to travel to Italy and be essentially fluent (except for dialect or very fast talk or unusual words) as I think it generally takes much longer than that to get to that level of fluency. But that was a minor sticking point in what was otherwise a very enjoyable book. This is not a historical fiction book that will necessarily drive you to learn more about what really happened in this time and place, but it is a good, fast, clean read with minimal foul language, sex, or violence. Very refreshing in that regard. Thanks to #NetGalley, the author Rhys Bown, and the publisher Lake Union Publishing for providing me with a free digital ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. It was a distinct pleasure to read this book.
dibbylodd More than 1 year ago
Once again, Rhys Bowen has captured me with a marvelous book. She is remarkable in her ability to go from a light(er) hearted series (Her Royal Spyness) to the grittier Molly Murphy and then add in the stand alone stories. All expertly research and beautifully crafted. This one has the added feature of giving two stories at once--the WWII experience of the main character's father in Italy and the 1970's daughter trying to make sense of her father and his war experience. It is wonderfully done and quite engaging. I would like for her books to last longer, but I read them very quickly, wanting to know "what happens".
CharlotteLynnsReviews More than 1 year ago
The Tuscan Child is set in WWII Italy and the 1970’s. While the story goes back and forth between the two eras’ there is no confusion as to what is happening. WWII is told from a pilot, Hugo, whose plane has been shot down and he has landed in enemy territory where he is hidden in a monastery that had been destroyed by bombs and taken care of by a local woman whose husband is off fighting in the war. The 1970’s centers around the pilot’s daughter, Joanna, who is searching for the beautiful boy who is mentioned in a letter she finds after her father’s death. The beautiful boy is assumed to be the pilot and the woman’s son so she is looking for her brother. Rhys Bowen is a talented author. She describes the scenery, the food, and the local is such detail that I could easily picture the story as I was reading. I could smell the wonderful dishes the Italian woman, Paola, makes. I could hear the men at the restaurant telling their tales. I was picturing the monastery where Hugo stayed, the mountains surrounding the town, and washed out mud roads that had to be travelled to get around. The Tuscan Child is amazing. I fell into the story, got to know the characters, and loved every minute of my time reading. I recommend picking up your own copy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Having been a long time Rhys Bowen's fan, I actually expected more before reading "The Tuscan Child." Not too much a crime mystery, but about the quest of uncovering the past romantic secret of the protagonist's deceased parent, an English, during WWII in a Tuscan village where German soldiers looted and threatened the lives of the Italian towards the end of the war. A pleasant read overall but I enjoy Ms. Bowen's other novels better. "The Tuscan Child" is nothing spectacular in terms of the plot development. Very predictable. I guess the only surprise I have is the identity of the protagonist's mom. The characters are very likable, by the way. "The Tuscan Child" has an interesting historical background yet it feels more like a romantic literature rather than a historical one. I guess the lacking of either the mystery or historical element is the biggest disappointment to me. Even so, I do not mean "The Tuscan Child" is of mediocre quality. Rhys Bowen always delivers the best for her readers Her writing is always lyrical with the charm that fits well with the backgrounds and the characters. Beautifully rendered, carefully plotted. The author's attention to details pulls all the loose threads together to make "The Tuscan Child" a wonderful read. By the way, whenever I pick up novels with Italy as backdrop, I have noticed many authors love to write about cuisine and wine; this novel is of no exception. Thanks Lake Union via Netgallery for providing me the opportunity to review an early copy of "The Tuscan Child."
Candace-LoveyDoveyBooks More than 1 year ago
I am convinced that Rhys Bowen is a queen of historical fiction! I first read her work with In Farleigh Field and gladly jumped at the chance to read The Tuscan Child. I was easily transported to a small village in Tuscany where an English World War II pilot crashed, and years later the mystery of his experience is explored by his grieving daughter. Admittedly, quite a few chapters pass before the story gets really interesting but once it does it's captivating! Joanna Langley returns to her childhood home after her father's death. While preparing to clean out his home she finds a letter written to Sofia Bartoli returned unopened. The contents of the letter make Joanna believe that her father might have had a child with Sofia and she must go to Italy to find out what happened to Hugo while he was stranded there. The Tuscan Child unfolded with an air of mystery and intrigue. The trip to Italy awakens Joanna in a way that she had not known she needed. Even though digging into the past holds hidden dangers, the truth will help set more than one person free. She makes lasting friendships that help her through a time of turmoil. The Italian characters were so lively and seeing them interact with the reserved English woman adds a comedic effect that takes your mind off of the possible tragedy that might await Joanna. Once The Tuscan Child takes off, it moves fast right up until the end! There are so many layers revealed as Joanna opens herself to the past and takes readers on a journey that heals. I felt that I got to really know the characters in this story, even more so than in In Farleigh Field. Rhys Bowen really outdid herself on this story! *ARC provided in consideration for review*