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The Villa Triste by Lucretia Grindle

The Villa Triste

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Longlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger 2011.

A delightfully written and delicately observed insight into the fragility of human emotion set in the chaos of the Italian surrender in the Second World War. How will uncontrollable national events affect the lives and ambitions of individual characters on a day-to-day level? And what effect will these events have on them in the modern day, fifty years later?

These apparent opposites - the neat simplicity of daily life against a world of chaos and the juxtaposition of the then and now - are carefully and skillfully interwoven into an involving and compelling narrative.

Although the events and relationships in this book are set in, and stem from, the social chaos of a lost war, this book certainly succeeds both as a story and as a sensitive insight into human emotions and behaviour. Indeed, it may even be a triumph.

If you like Lucretia Grindle you might also like to read books by Rose Tremain, C. J. Sansom and Irene Nemirovsky.


The Villa Triste by Lucretia Grindle

Florence, 1943. Two sisters, Isabella and Caterina Cammaccio, find themselves surrounded by terror and death; and with Italy trapped under the heel of a brutal Nazi occupation, bands of Partisans rise up. Soon Isabella and Caterina will test their wits and deepest beliefs as never before. As the winter grinds on, they will be forced to make the most important decisions of their lives. Their choices will reverberate for decades. In the present day, Alessandro Pallioti, a senior policeman agrees to oversee a murder investigation, after it emerges the victim was once a Partisan hero. When the case begins to unravel, Pallioti finds himself working to uncover a crime lost in the twilight of war, the consequences of which are as deadly today as they were over sixty years ago.


'Grindle vividly evokes Florence as few tourists see it ...Here is the perfect summer holiday read.' Literary Review

'Grindle saves her best story-weaving to the thrilling denouement that creates a surprise as unexpected and delicious as the finest Florentine cuisine.' Daily Express

About the Author

Lucretia Grindle was born in Boston Massachusetts and grew up spending half her time in the United States and half her time in the UK. Continuing as she started out, she still splits her time, but now calls the coast of Maine home.

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Book Info

Publication date

1st April 2011


Lucretia Grindle

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Pan Books an imprint of Pan Macmillan


560 pages


Family Drama
Historical Fiction
Reading Groups
eBook Favourites
eBook Favourites

Crime & mystery



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