Joanna Langley returns from London to her family home in the countryside to arrange for her father’s funeral. Estranged for many years, Joanna realizes there is much about her father that she does not know. Among his effects she comes across an unopened letter addressed by her father to a woman named Sofia Bartoli in Tuscany. Joanna knows that her father’s plane was shot down over Italy during WWII and that he always walked with a limp from the injury he sustained in the crash, but she had never heard him mention a woman named Sofia. The letter had been returned to her father, as “addressee unknown,” but the message inside galvanizes Joanna into postponing studying for the bar exam and instead go to Tuscany so she can find out more about her enigmatic father and what happened to him during the war.
When she finally arrives in the tiny remote village indicated in the address on the letter, Joanna is transported to a quieter, more gentle world than London. Here people tend their gardens, savor their food, drink wine and press their own olive oil. She finds a room where she can stay and begins to ask questions about an Englishman whose plane crashed nearby and about a woman named Sofia Bartoli. She soon finds that her innocent questions are disturbing to the villagers who are unwilling to talk about what happened during the war while she is viewed with suspicion for dredging up a painful past. But Joanna persists, for she knows the cost of painful secrets and she is determined to find the answers she was never able to ask for while her father was still alive.
This was a lovely read, with mouth watering descriptions of simple Tuscan food! I wish the author had included recipes of the food she so lovingly described. Although somewhat predictable, the characters were nicely developed and the descriptions of Tuscany and its countryside were lovely.
Brenda’s Rating: ***1/2 (3/1/2 out of 5 Stars)
Recommend this book to: Marian and Sharon
Book Study Worthy? Sure, as long as you have some great Tuscan food to serve!
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