The Villa || Rosanna Ley

9:53 am

Title: The Villa
Author: Rosanna Ley
Length: 417 pages
Publication date: August 5, 2014
Genre: adult contemporary
Rating: 2.5/5

One day Tess Angel receives a letter from the solicitor of a man she never met, saying she inherited his villa in Sicily. The man, named Edward Westerman, was Tess' mother Flavia's employer when she was a young woman. The thing is, Flavia never went back to Sicily after she left when she was in her early twenties, and she never spoke about it with Tess. Because Tess has so many questions about what her mother's life was like growing up, and why she has inherited this villa in the first place, she goes to Sicily to do some investigating. Flavia struggles with her daughter's decision to go to her hometown, and has to deal with all of the memories that come flooding back. And in the meantime, Tess' daughter Ginny is dealing with her own problems of deciding what to do with her future now that she's completed high school. The story follows these three women as they face the past and make decisions that will greatly affect their futures. 

I was intrigued by this book mostly because it was set in Sicily, and didn't look much at what the plot was, to be honest. So I didn't have many expectations for this book. And unfortunately, this book was not very enjoyable for me. First things first, the writing was really clunky. Ever been a passenger in a car with someone who is learning how to drive manual, and they aren't quite picking up on how to shift gears? That was how reading this book felt to me. The sentences didn't always flow very well, and the author really liked to use ellipses and dashes excessively. It did smooth after the middle of the book, but it still wasn't great. 

I don't have much to say about the plot of the book. It was alright, pretty basic, kind of predictable. It would make a good beach read.  But mostly I didn't like the characters all that much, especially Flavia. **Spoilers ahead** As a teenager, she meets a man named Peter and they fall in love. Peter has to leave, and for 6 years Flavia pines after him. Finally she decides to go to England to see if she can find him. She does end up finding him, but he's married with a child by then. So Flavia is heartbroken, and ends up getting married a couple years later, even though she'll never love him the way she loves Peter. After Flavia gets married, Peter comes waltzing around and tells her that he's left his wife because he "was never happy with her." At least Flavia doesn't run out on her husband, although that would have preferable to what she does end up doing, which is her having an emotional affair on her husband for 25 years. These people have been separated for THIRTY-THREE years and yet they think their love is true love. NO. I'm sure this was supposed to seem romantic, but it was just pathetic and it made me upset. I do not condone cheating at all, under any circumstances. By the time you find out what Flavia and Peter were doing, it was about 75% into the book, otherwise I might have stopped sooner. The worst part? Flavia doesn't think it affects her husband at all, that it has nothing to do with him. Well, Flavia, you are an unbelievably selfish person if you believe that. At then beginning of the book, Tess is "the other woman," and you can see where she gets that trait from. (At least she smartens up and leaves the guy)  That whole storyline was enough to sour my enjoyment of the book.

Overall, The Villa is just a mediocre book, and I feel like there are better books out there for you to spend your time on. I didn't hate everything about it, but I just can't recommend it.

I received a digital copy of this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

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