The Invitation

by Lucy Foley

Books with reviews by our Reader Review Panel eBooks of the Month Family Drama Historical Fiction Relationship Stories Sagas and Romance

LoveReading View on The Invitation

A sophisticated, expressive, and emotional story set in the glamorous Italian film promotion world of the 1950’s. Hal and Stella meet at a party, an immediate connection flares into life, yet the spectre of war holds both in a devastating grip. The story in the present focuses on Hal, on the journey he takes with the other fascinating and intriguing characters. Occasionally Stella allows Hal a glimpse of her past. Told in the first person as the described events are happening, creates a separation from the intimacy of the confession, and ensures the innermost being of Stella remains hidden. A 16th century journal finds it’s way into Hal’s hands, as the story takes it’s hold on him, the feelings it evokes begin to combine with the present, creating an undercurrent of unease and tension. Lucy Foley balances a fine silky edge between serenity and passion, her writing caresses obsession, fear, strength and hope. ‘The Invitation’ gently takes hold and becomes a beautifully poignant, yet seductive and heady delight of a read.

Liz Robinson

The Invitation Synopsis

'The perfect summer read...Gorgeously compelling' Good Housekeeping 'Full of mystery and long-reaching shadows of the past ...richly drawn and compelling' Rosanna Ley It's 1951. In Europe's post-war wreckage, the glittering Italian Riviera draws an eclectic cast of characters; lured by the glamour but seeking an escape. Amongst them, two outcasts: Hal, an English journalist who's living on his charm; and Stella, an enigmatic society beauty, bound to a profiteering husband. When Hal receives a mysterious invitation from a wealthy Contessa, he finds himself aboard a yacht headed for Cannes film festival. Scratch the beautiful surface, and the post-war scars of his new companions are quick to show. Then there's Stella, whose secrets run deeper than anyone's - stretching back into the violence of Franco's Spain. And as Hal gets drawn closer, a love affair begins that will endanger everyone...The Invitation is an epic love story that will transport you from the glamour of the Italian Riviera, to the darkness of war-torn Spain. Perfect for fans of Kate Morton and Victoria Hislop.

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The Invitation Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.

  • Victoria Whish - 'Please accept this invitation to a wonderfully beguiling summer read set on the Italian coast in the 1950’s. It’s a love story with a twist that you won’t see coming.'
  • Emily Wright - 'The Invitation is a heady combination of mystery and romance. Picturesque locations provide an idyllic backdrop for the unveiling of a wealth of secrets, lying dormant beneath the gilded surface of the 1950s glitterati.'
  • Jane Pepler - 'As a huge fan of The Book of Lost Found by Lucy Foley, I had high expectations of her second novel, ‘The Invitation’. I was not disappointed. The novel was full of fantastic descriptive writing about Italy in the 1950’s.'
  • Sarah Jones - 'A pleasant and escapist read about secrets, lies and most of all love.'
  • Elisabeth Thomas - 'A fairly enjoyable read but did not grasp me like the authors first book.'
  • Jane Macleod - 'A subtle story that develops throughout the book interweaving a mix of characters, histories and emotions so you feel part of the unfolding drama.'
  • Jacqui Passfield - 'A beautifully woven story providing fascinating details of Italian life of the 1950s as well as 1930s Civil War Spain.'
  • Joy Isabella - 'Lucy Foley drew me into the Italian Riviera with ease and created a perfect summer novel. It blends romance with mystery in a style I would liken to Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca.'
  • Humaira Kauser - 'A fabulous book, perfect for the summer!'
  • Glynis Elliott - 'I loved the nostalgic feel of this novel.'
  • Ruth Paterson - 'Once again I find myself reading a spellbinding story of love and loss from Lucy Foley.   Mystery, romance, danger and lots of “sun” kept me reading on and wishing for more.'
  • Julie Bertschin - 'From the glamorous setting of a high society party in Rome to the beauty of the Mediterranean coast this story slowly unravels the hidden histories of Hal and Stella.  A glorious summer read.'
  • Emma Barton - 'This is a brilliant book, set in 1950's Italy during a luxurious yacht trip, heading to the Cannes Film festival, where everyone on board has a story to tell.'
  • Phylippa Smithson - 'Ooh I so wanted to be a character in this most compelling and intriguing story based in 1930s Spain and 1950s Italy.'
  • Angie Rhodes - 'Set in Rome and Cannes, this beautiful novel made me think of The Great Gatsby.'
  • Joy Bosworth - 'I shall look for this author again...good, atmospheric and very believable.'
  • Janet Monks - 'Writer Hal is invited to a party in Rome where he meets Stella an intriguing socialite. A glamorous story set in Italy, which through other tales takes the reader from New York to Spain and beyond.'

The Invitation Press Reviews

'A seductive love tale'  Sunday Times Style

'Glamour, secrets and danger makes this a gorgeous summer read'  Woman & Home

'Sultry escapist fiction at its best - 5* HEAT

'The perfect summer read... Gorgeously compelling'  Good Housekeeping

'Oozes glamour... Lush, romantic and cleverly crafted - a brainy beach read to relish'
Sunday Mirror

'I loved THE INVITATION ... I could dive into this book. A beautifully complex and vivid story, full of repressed longing and secrets. An absolutely enchanting tale'
Lucinda Riley

'A seductive love tale'
Sunday Times Style

'So powerfully evoked ... with dark, sensuous undercurrents that lingered on in my mind, long after I'd reluctantly left Stella and Hal behind'
Kate Riordan

'Film crew, Italian Riviera, 1950s. What part of that does not appeal?'
Red

'Full of mystery and long-reaching shadows of the past ... richly drawn and compelling'
Rosanna Ley

'This epic love story is an unputdownable summer read'
Essentials


'An utterly seductive story depicting forbidden love and loss in 1950s Italy. The perfect beach read this summer'
Louise O'Neill

'I loved every page - it's vividly written and utterly absorbing'
Iona Gray

'Foley weaves a very satisfying love story ... readers will be taken by the luxurious Mediterranean setting'
Publishers Weekly

'Glamorous and romantic and bittersweet all at once ... a fabulous story'
Beatriz Williams, New York Times bestselling author of A Hundred Summers

'It's a beautiful, compulsive and glamorous read - perfect for long summer days'
Lucy Clarke, author of the Richard

& Judy bestseller, The Sea Sisters 'The combination of the glittering, glamorous setting and the magnetic characters mesmerized me. This book is luminous
Elin Hilderbrand

'A compelling love story that takes us far beyond the alluring Italian coast to a darker place'
Brunonia Barry

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780007575398
Publication date: 15/06/2017
Publisher: Harper an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9780007575367
Publication date: 14/07/2016
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780007575398
Publication date: 15th June 2017
Author: Lucy Foley
Publisher: Harper an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 432 pages
Genres: Reader Reviewed Books, eBook Favourites, Family Drama, Historical Fiction, Relationship Stories, Sagas and Romance,
Categories: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),

About Lucy Foley

Lucy Foley studied English Literature at Durham and UCL universities. She then worked for several years as a fiction editor in the publishing industry - during which time she also wrote The Book of Lost and Found. Lucy now writes full-time, and is busy travelling (for research, naturally) and working on her next novel. Author photo © Philippa Gedge

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