I so enjoy Domenica de Rosa writing as Elly Griffiths that I jumped at the chance to be part of the launch celebrations for One Summer in Tuscany as I haven’t read any of her women’s fiction before.
Previously entitled Summer School, One Summer in Tuscany was published yesterday, 29th June 2017 by Quercus and is available for purchase in e-book and paperback here.
One Summer in Tuscany
Rivalries and romance in a Tuscan paradise. A relaxing writers’ retreat? If only! Perfect holiday reading from Domenica de Rosa, author of the bestselling Dr Ruth Galloway series under the name Elly Griffiths.
Patricia Wilson’s carefully composed ads for the writers’ retreat she runs at her thirteenth-century Italian castle promise so much. But while the splendour of their surroundings and chef Aldo’s melanzane never fail to wow the guests, huge maintenance bills and bad news from the bank threaten to close Patricia down. It’s make or break time for the Castello.
Each of her seven aspiring authors arrives with the inevitable baggage alongside their unpublished manuscripts. But this August something is different, and soon lifelong spinster Mary is riding on the back of Aldo’s vespa, and smouldering odd-job man Fabio has set more than one heart racing.
As temperatures rise, the writers gossip, flirt and gently polish their prose by the pool. But with ghosts, scorpions, and some unexpected visitors to contend with, one thing’s for sure: neither the Castello, nor Patricia, has ever seen a summer like this.
My Review of One Summer in Tuscany
With the threat of bankruptcy over her head, Patricia really needs an injection of cash. Maybe one of her summer school guests can provide the answer?
Oh my goodness I enjoyed One Summer in Tuscany. What I really loved was the whole writing conceit. I enjoyed the pieces coming from the participants in the course that enabled me to see more of their characters and the whole idea of a writing retreat which transported me to the beautiful Italian countryside. There’s the fabulous joke of one hit wonder Jeremy teaching the others when he can’t write anything himself.
There’s a fantastic sense of place in One Summer in Tuscany and the smatterings of Italian lend an authenticity that transports the reader to Italy so that it’s impossible not to want to go there too.
In a sense, there isn’t a complicated plot, but that was one of the positives. This is very much character led writing with a well defined time frame of the two weeks at Patricia’s Castello. There’s a vivid feeling of what it would be like to be one of the participants, to write, swim in the pool, visit local attractions and eat Aldo’s wonderful food. I could so easily picture myself there as one of the less talented writers!
And speaking of Aldo – what a wonderful creation. He and Mary were my favourite characters, but I think it says something about the quality of Domenica de Rosa’s writing that I utterly loathed Cat who is so well named when we consider how cattiness is seen as unpleasant. I so wanted her to get her comeuppance but you’ll have to read One Summer in Tuscany to find out if she did.
I thoroughly enjoyed One Summer in Tuscany. It’s a smashing summer read – especially if you’re off to Tuscany on holiday.
About Domenica de Rosa
Domenica de Rosa was born in London. She is half Italian and half English and her books often reflect life in both countries. Her first book The Italian Quarter was shortlisted for the Pendleton May First Novel Award. She lives in Brighton with her husband and two children.
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