Read Villa Triste by Lucretia Grindle Online


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 ofFlorence, 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....

Title : Villa Triste
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781455505371
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 629 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Villa Triste Reviews

  • Gemma
    2019-05-01 09:33

    Villa Triste is about a Florentine detective who has three murders to solve. In each case the victim was an elderly war hero and each was made to eat lots of salt before being shot. His efforts to solve the crimes are juxtaposed with a war diary written by a young female nurse who worked for the resistance in Florence during world war two. Gradually the two narratives begin informing each other. Immediately apparent is how much love the author channelled into this novel. Usually that’s a good thing and that’s the case here too, up to a point. But her heartfelt engagement with her own book also makes it a bit long-winded with lots of overly lavish and unnecessary description which slows the pace down, especially the modern sections. My opinion is that this would have been a better novel had lots of these passages been cut. It’s a long book. Then the fact that the war years were recounted through a diary meant a lot of excitement was sacrificed because everything is being told rather than shown. I had the suspicion the author of The Nightingale might have read this before writing her book – there are two sisters, one heroic and reckless, the other more cautious. The reckless one is called Isabella as is the case in The Nightingale. The war in The Nightingale was more gripping for being narrated directly rather than through the filter of a diary though I found Villa Triste a better written and more lovingly and thoroughly researched book. So, a bit too long but a very enjoyable read on the whole.

  • Christy B
    2019-05-06 06:17

    The Villa Triste was a fabulous piece of fiction that I'm glad I came across. I enjoyed the book immensely and was gripped the entire time.The story opens in 1943 Florence. Two sisters: Caterina and Isabella. Their lives – along with all of Italy – are about to be turned upside down. As Italy backs out of the war and severs its alliance with Germany, most of the country immediately becomes occupied by the Nazis. Isabella and their brother Enrico join The Resistance, and soon Caterina has no choice but to help.After this part, the only way that we find out what has happened to Caterina, Isabella, and their family and comrades is through Caterina's diary, which is found among the possessions of a old man in present day Florence.An old man is found murdered, and senior policeman Pallioti is summoned by the mayor to take the case. This isn't just any old man – he was one of the Partisans during the war, a hero. Pallioti swipes Caterina's diary from evidence and finds himself immersed in the brave stories of the Partisans and tries to find a connection between the dead man and the names in the diary.The story just ran so smoothly. As we switched between present day and the diary entries, little bits were uncovered that helped solve mysteries from the past and the mystery of the present. I was just astonished to learn about the members of the Partisans, what they did, how much they risked their lives. Most of them probably didn't know what they were doing, but they knew that had to do something, had to do the right thing.And it made me sad about the lost futures, those who ended up being executed by the Nazis. And then there were the moments that made me angry, reading about the traitors. I was just feeling all kinds of emotions while reading this. And as the story wore on and bit by bit was uncovered, I thought I was starting to get a clear view of what happened, and by the end, I only got a few things right. Some things I was not even close about.I got so attached to the characters and what happened to them, hoping that they ended up safe. Some of them did, but some of them didn't. This was the reality. 200,000 Italians were involved in the resistance movement and over 47,000 were killed. Other stats:Approximately 21,200 Italian partisans wounded or disabledApproximately 15,000 Italian civilians killed in retaliationsApproximately 40,000 former Italian soldiers died in concentration campsAnd sadly, before reading this book, I knew none of this. I highly suggest reading this book, and when you're done, doing a bit a research about the period of time and the folks who lived and died for what they believed in.

  • Patricia
    2019-05-06 09:22

    I absolutely LOVED this book. From the first page, the book captivated my imagination, heart and head with the prose, characters, overall story and subplots. Richly woven and multi-layered, this was the best of several themes from several great books combined: "Trieste," "A Small Death in Lisbon," "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," and "The Goldfinch." I couldn't read it fast enough, like the need for a drug I raced to get back to the book, it sucked the oxygen from the room, and now I am gasping because it has ended. The book is ultimately a modern day mystery founded on historical fiction from the Italian resistance movement during WWII. Set in Florence, the story is tender about the relationship between two Italian sisters, Caterina and Isabella, their parents and brother, and a small band of young men who risk their lives to fight against the Germans and Italian fascists. The sisters are brave as conditions deteriorated around them as the Germans were retreating. So many people were lost, so much truth and history evaporated with death, and the past is reawakened and the pieces strung together by Inspector Pallioti. Aside from the strong human characters, Grindle created other rich characters via the little red diary, the two underground resistance radios JULIET and ROMEO, and the group Remember the Fallen. Grindle is a gifted writer and story teller. Brilliant book!

  • Diane Ferbrache
    2019-05-10 09:27

    Isabella and Caterina are sisters in a very close family. Caterina's fiancé is in southern Italy with the army, and their brother is also in the fight. When Mussolini signs a compact with Hitler, things change dramatically for this Florentine family -- Isabella joins the resistance fighters and Caterina, a nurse, is reluctantly drawn in.Flash forward to present time. Someone is apparently targeting war heroes -- murdering two of the elderly men honored at a recent ceremony for Italian heroes of the resistance. When the chief inspector comes across a Caterina's diary in one of the victim's personal effects, things get complicated.This is a wonderfully crafted mystery set in two time periods. The characters are fully developed and interesting. As Caterina's and Isabella's stories are revealed, the reader is set squarely in Italy during the 1940s. Their story is at times exciting and at others heartbreaking. The way in which their story is woven into the present day mystery is captivating. For most of the book, the stories are parallel, but separate and equally intriguing. Once the connection is revealed, I couldn't put it down. I admit I'm a fan of historical fiction, especially set in the last 100 years or so, but this one has many elements to attract a reader -- romance, adventure, mystery, and a piece of history mostly unknown to Americans. A very enjoyable and quick read. I can't believe it was over 600 pages.

  • Patty Brandl
    2019-05-23 09:25

    What a great combination of historical fiction and a major who-done-it! Set in beautiful Florence, Italy, the author immediately applies a stranglehold to your mind, never letting up. The story begins in WWII Florence immediately following the step-down of Mussolini which, in turn, caused former fellow Axis member, Nazi Germany, to invade Italy. The stage is set for the story of two sisters, both working for the Partisan movement to help Jewish families and Allied soldiers trapped behind enemy lines to escape to safety. Then the story flips to Florence, circa 2006, with a strong leading character, a newly promoted Police inspector, Alessandro Pallioti. Barely ensconced in his new and much larger office, he learns that one of the few remaining decorated-for-heroism partisans has been found shot in the back of the head in his apartment with his mouth and stomach stuffed with salt. Then another aging partisan hero is found murdered in the same way. That's when the story becomes supercharged amidst the back and forth of the time periods. The search for the killer in modern Florence interspersed with the partisan group's struggles to help the Allies end the war is non-stop action. All characters are beautifully developed, and the use of Florence as a backdrop, one of the most beautiful cities I've seen, make this one of the most riveting stories I've read. Two HUGE thumbs up to "Villa Triste."

  • Jen
    2019-05-12 08:30

    I probably shouldn't write this review yet because I'm still reeling from the end of the book. I'm one of those people who reacts differently after a day or two, but in this case, I don't think I'm going to change my mind. This book was beautiful. Odd to say about a book with gritty executions partially set in 1940s occupied Florence, Italy. But the writing itself was beautiful.The story begins with Caterina and Isabella (Cati and Issa) in Florence as the armistice is declared, just before Germany invades. The first few chapters draw you in to their lives and you don't want to leave. Then you move to present day and the mystery of two rather grisly executions. The inspector on the case, while investigating, comes across a journal written by Cati. His interest in the journal keeps the reader involved with both parts of the story. He comes across as a little stodgy and, until he found the journal, boring and career-focused. Normally that would be hard to read because a character like that can be hard for me to connect with. But the journal draws him out and gives him depth.To me, the journal is the most amazing part (in case you can't tell). Even though what you learn of the sisters is limited to interspersed journal entries, you feel like you are still part of their lives. Like you are getting a glimpse of history and some tiny idea of what that daily struggle was like. The parallels between past and present, dead and living were well done.Overall, one of the best books I've read in a while.

  • Tim
    2019-05-09 05:22

    This was an okay read and did get better toward the end. But it could have been much better. The book was marred by a couple of things. One is(especially early on) that the author tended to slip into trite usages-- things like "her heart stopped". Well, no, it didn't, otherwise they'd be calling 911! The other thing was that she tried to build up encounters artificially -- lots of needless description of the setting before the characters get down to whatever it was they had to talk about. The author just teases us. She also liked to withhold information that she knew but wasnn't going to let us in on it. A favorite tactic of lesser authors.Finally, I found the scenes in the past less convincing than those in the present. Which was too bad since the title is Villa Triste. I would like to have really felt and seen what that villa was like. I got the sense that the author wasn't really up to describing such horror, even in a subtle less-is-more sort of way.Still it wasn't bad.

  • Zora
    2019-05-11 07:22

    This could have been a terrific novel about the resistance movement in Italy in WWII and a modern day murder that results from those events, but it has two major flaws. The worst is this: it should have been edited down to perhaps 420 pages. Particularly in the modern day sections, the author makes a point, and makes it again, and makes it yet again, for 6 or 8 pages of no forward progress. That gets old quickly and led me to start skimming in those sections. The second problem is that the modern day mystery's solution is obvious early on, at least to anyone who reads mysteries. Where have all the editors gone? Books get published with severe grammatical errors (though the grammar is fine in this book)...books get published that need major blue-pencil work; what's up with that? If they aren't going to edit any more, how are "real" publishers different than the self-publishers on kindle, except for charging five times as much?

  • Shelli
    2019-05-02 06:16

    I ended up really enjoying this WW11 story told from the perspective of two sisters, who were very different, but ended up fighting for the same cause. This took place in Italy, so I once again learned about a different angle and "side" of this war. This was as awful as the rest. Same terror…different location. I liked both the historical story from the past and the modern day mystery. I felt the author did a great job of making both stories equally as exciting and interesting. The book was very good. I did feel a few different times that it could have been shorter. Still, I would recommend.

  • Bowerbird
    2019-05-05 09:32

    A novel with a great sense of time and place: The book begins as Caterina prepares for her wedding in September 1943. She is a nurse, but her sister Isabella, a University student is already involved in an underground group determined to resist the German occupation. Reluctantly Caterina becomes involved as her nursing skills prove useful in getting Jews and others whose lives are threatened out of Italy. However, in the 21st century a man is murdered: a man who has recently received a medal for his part as a partisan, fighting the Germans. Among his effects is a notebook written during the war by Caterina recording the activities of the local partisan group. There appears to be little or nothing to link the two together, but Pallioti - the police detective - is determined to seek out the truth.Set in Florence, the book is an eye-opener revealing the intrigue and anguish caused by German/ allied conflict after the Italians signed an armistice with the allies. However, it is also a modern detective story as the past returns to haunt those left alive.Although I didn't always find it easy to keep track of the characters many of whom went by several different names, the book is well written, and held my interest right to the end.

  • Alyssa
    2019-05-11 09:17

    This book was one part literary novel, one part thriller/murder mystery, and one part historical fiction. The story alternates back and forth between Nazi-occupied Florence, where two sisters become caught up in the resistance movement, and modern-day Florence, where a police inspector tries to solve the murders of two old men, both decorated former partisan fighters. The stories weave together well, but not too quickly that the reader can see the endgame far in advance. We discover things at the same speed the inspector does, and this gradual unfolding is one of the novel's strengths.The writing itself is lovely, with beautiful sentences and description; yet at the same time the author describes the brutality of both the Nazis and the Italian Facists in such a stark, unsparing way that she manages to drive home the horrors and violence of the war unlike many other books I've read that deal with the period.The characterization of the two freedom fighting sisters, Isabella and Caterina, is extremely thoughtful and well done, as is the characterization of Inspector Pallioti and many of the secondary characters as well.I would recommend this to those interested in WWII or Italian history, or anyone who likes that ever-elusive literary page turner.

  • Anne
    2019-04-25 06:21

    Another brilliant "find". This is one that'd appeal equally to those of you who like detective fiction (Pallioti's a really endearing character, a bit of a Florentine Morse with his slightly rougher sidekick, Enzo) and romantic dual time narrative. The book opens with Isabella and Caterina, two fairly well-off sisters in Florence in 1943, and tells of their growing involvement with the partisans as the Allies move North through Italy to drive out the Germans. We then switch to the modern story, the murders of some elderly ex-partisans - but the sisters' stories continue through Caterina's notebooks. It all seems very well-researched, is beautifully written (longish, but a real page-turner) with a strong sense of place: the wartime story is gripping and emotional, and the detective story is really well done. The tying together at the end is absolutely spot-on (I almost guessed it, but not quite...) - I do hope she writes more Pallioti stories. Highly recommended - and thanks to Caroline who passed this one on for my birthday.

  • Hanneke
    2019-05-10 05:21

    De toon van deze detective is heel traditioneel en dat vond ik een verademing in vergelijking met al die thrillers van de laatste jaren, waar het bloed van de bladzijden spet. Deze detective is interessant omdat er twee paralelle geschiedenissen worden verteld die allebei hecht met elkaar verbonden zijn. Het verhaal en de daden van de twee zusters in Florence tijdens WW-II hebben direct te maken met de moorden die de inspecteur in de huidige tijd onderzoekt. Boeiend om over de situatie in 1943 in Florence en ook Italië in het algemeen te lezen. Ik had bijvoorbeeld geen idee dat de bevolking meer angst had voor de Italiaanse fascisten dan voor de Duitsers. Ook vond ik het opmerkelijk dat de mensen de komst van de Geallieerden met angst tegemoet zagen. Het verhaal had best wat bondiger opgeschreven kunnen worden, soms was het wel erg traag. Ik vond het een ouderwetse detective met goed speurwerk en een sympathieke inspecteur. Ik noem het met opzet geen thriller, want je zit niet met ingehouden adem te lezen. Aanrader!

  • Orla
    2019-05-03 10:32

    I'd never heard of this book before. An old man is murdered, salt is found in his mouth, he is a dealer in antique pornographic prints. Another old man is found miles away in another Italian city, killed in a similar fashion. The investigator finds they are connected, both were involved in Italy's partisan movement during WWII. A journal from that era, written by a young woman who worked as a nurse, is woven into the story.To tell anymore would spoil it - suffice it to say that you enjoy reading about the second World War and Italy, this book is well worth reading. There's a nice pace to it, appealing characters, and a nice twisty plot. Enjoy.

  • harshv
    2019-04-23 11:37

    An ordinary family living in Florence against the backdrop of the second world war gets involved with the partisan movement...the choices they make change their lives forever and create the circumstances leading to murder many years later.Really well written, this book has believable and human characters, a moving account of how 'ordinary people do extraordinary things', an elegant investigator and very skilful interplay between the past and the present... sad, beautiful, complex and exciting - I really enjoyed this book!

  • Louise
    2019-04-24 08:38

    I bought this book a couple of years ago because of a recommendation on Twitter but just got round to reading it. I wasn't sure I was going to like it at first, as I found the characters a bit prickly and difficult. However, that was just setting the stage for some family dynamics that were integral to the plot. This was a very gripping read, very compelling. The actual mystery wasn't too difficult to figure out, but that didn't diminish the story. I found that I cared very much about what happened to the characters. Recommended!

  • Ingrid
    2019-05-23 04:09

    Interessant onderwerp, alleen hier en daar wat theatraal geschreven.

  • Audrey
    2019-05-17 11:21

    At 629 pages, the sheer size of this volume initially overwhelmed me, and I probably wouldn't have picked it up if I hadn't won a copy through a Goodreads giveaway. Connecting the past with the present, this was more of a current-era murder mystery than I thought it would be. Once I warmed up to this concept, however, I actually found the mystery angle to be quite intriguing. The writing was good, the story was never dull, and there were just enough leads and diversions to keep me guessing right until the end. But . . . unfortunately, I did have quite a few issues with the moral implications of the plot. The book is written from a rather grim, secular worldview. The main characters don't seem to have any faith, and at least one explicitly states that she doesn't believe in God. It's not that I feel every book has to incorporate a sermon; it was just sad for me to read about characters that went through such hard things without any faith to sustain them. There is also a smattering of foul language in this book. There's not an f-word in every chapter or anything like that, but I recall at least one f-word, as well as multiple abuses of God's name, and some other profanities. An out-of-wedlock pregnancy plays a major role in the plot, and the characters seem to find nothing wrong with this. A minor character is involved in an adulterous affair, which is mentioned once, and some references are made to another character's failing marriage. There are also a few mentions of porn, never in any detail, but it's not something I like reading about in any case. I wondered why that element was even incorporated into the story. Finally, there is one incidence that could be called a sex scene, although it is handled very discreetly and nothing is described. It would actually be easy to miss altogether if not for the veiled references made to it later on in the story. The narrative detailing the events and destruction of WWII are often heavy and written in a way that makes it all seem like a surreal sort of nightmare (which is probably what it seemed like to those living it). There are also portrayals of wartime violence, death, etc. and modern-day murders that are truly sad and horrific. I don't necessarily object to the handling of the violent events (I don't recall it getting overly gratuitous); I'm just mentioning it in case anyone picks this up expecting a light story. Some parts are definitely hard to read about. Perhaps my main problem with the story, though, was the fact that (view spoiler)[ the central element of the murders was based on vengeance and on the demented idea that killing the people responsible for the betrayal and death of your family is the only way to achieve justice and peace. It was a twisted premise, and what makes it worse is that the inspector himself almost seems to be okay with it. Committing a crime to avenge another is utterly pointless. The only thing that kind of thinking really achieves is the rooting of self-destructive bitterness and revenge into one's soul. Forgiveness is the only way to find freedom and peace. So, yeah, that did not settle well with me at all. This story could've gone in such a different direction. Okay, that said, I had some questions/comments about plot points within the book: If Il Corvo's mother and sister were Jewish, wouldn't he be Jewish as well? Why didn't Pallioti read Caterina's entire journal at once? I understand the need for it to be sequentially incorporated into the book, but was it realistic that he would only read segments of it at a time? Also, would a journal really include that much dialogue? I don't get why they initially suspected Il Spettro as the killer. If he was a partisan, what would his motive be to knock-off his fellow aging partisans? How did Pallioti find out about the Cavicallis being that same family? Finally, I really think that Isabella should have contacted Caterina in America. I think that whatever qualms she would've had about giving up her nephew would be vastly alleviated by the joy that would come from knowing her sister, believed to be dead, was indeed alive. The logic for concealing the information seemed completely irrational to me. (hide spoiler)]In conclusion, while this story was well-written and entertaining with definite potential, the lack of an ultimate redeeming moral framework rendered it quite unsatisfactory. Without that, for me, the experience just wasn't worth it.

  • Janny
    2019-05-15 05:38

    Ik dacht een boek te gaan lezen over het Italië in WO II. Over een familie in oorlogstijd en de gevolgen daarvan op hun leven. Ook na een stukje in het boek te hebben gelezen, verkeerde ik nog steeds in die veronderstelling. Begrijp me niet verkeerd, dat is óók zo, maar ik was verrast toen er ineens een sprong in de tijd werd gemaakt. Van 1943 springen we naar het Florence van 2006 en een oude man blijkt te zijn vermoord. Politiechef Pallioti wordt belast met het onderzoek naar de moordenaar. De roman blijkt ineens ook een thriller te zijn.Het verhaal gaat weer verder in 1943. De zusjes Caterina en Isabella Gammacio wonen nog thuis. Zij hebben achtereenvolgens te maken met de fascisten van Mussolini en de Duitse bezetter. De zusjes en hun familie proberen ieder op hun eigen manier te helpen bij het in veiligheid brengen van Joden en geallieerden. Het bieden van die hulp heeft uiteindelijk ingrijpende gevolgen.Het duurt even voor het verband tussen beide verhaallijnen duidelijk wordt. Ik heb dan toch al een vijfde deel van het boek gelezen. Een beetje geduld moet je wel hebben. Je hoeft je niet ongerust te maken de draad kwijt te raken want Grindle heeft het niet gecompliceerd gemaakt. Het is altijd volstrekt duidelijk op welke datum en op welke plaats iets zich afspeelt. Persoonlijk houd ik wel van romans met verschillende verhaallijnen die zich afspelen in heden en verleden. Twee verhaallijnen waarvan je vermoedt dat ze met elkaar te maken zullen hebben maar nog geen idee hoe, nodigen uit tot doorlezen. In mijn geval moet ik me bedwingen om niet steeds sneller te gaan lezen .Grindle geeft de personages relatief veel aandacht. De politiechef komt er wat bekaaid vanaf maar het verhaal gaat ook niet over hem. Hij is een instrument van de schrijver om de verhaallijnen bij elkaar te brengen.Het boek is vlot geschreven en leest lekker weg. Daarbij is het ook spannend want bij die ene moord blijft het niet en de clou van het verhaal blijft tot het eind bewaard.Soms vond ik de zinnen wat al te kort geschreven en wat betreft taalgebruik niet zo sterk. Daarbij is het natuurlijk de vraag of de auteur het zo op papier heeft gezet of dat de vertaler niet zo'n beste dag had. Ik heb de originele versie niet gelezen en kan dit daarom niet beoordelen. Denk bijvoorbeeld aan twee zinnen achter elkaar met "toen" als eerste woord. Maar ook een passage waarbij de zinnen achtereenvolgens beginnen met "hij had", "hij had", "maar hij had", "hij keek", "als hij snel was" en "hij stak over". Niet zo heel fraai en het stoort enigszins.Al met al is Villa Triste een lekker boek om te lezen. Voor mijzelf was er een bewustwording van het feit dat ik eigenlijk niet zoveel weet over Italië in de WO II. Er worden naar mijn idee ook aanmerkelijk minder boeken op de markt gebracht met Italië in WO II als thema dan over Duitsland, Frankrijk of Engeland.Een diepgaande roman moet je niet verwachten maar als je op zoek bent naar een aardig boek voor op vakantie of in je luie stoel tijdens een regenachtig weekend dan is Villa Triste zeer geschikt.

  • Elsje
    2019-05-24 07:14

    Ik had ingetekend op Villa Triste van de Amerikaanse schrijfster Lucretia Grindle. Het werd aangeprezen als het ideale vakantieboek. Nu hangt dat er natuurlijk erg vanaf wat voor boeken je graag tijdens vakantie leest maar dat terzijde :-)Het verhaalHet verhaal speelt zich afwisselend af in het Florence van 1943-1945 en het najaar van 2006, waardoor de invloed van het verleden op het heden Zomer 1943. De fascisten van Mussolini zijn verdreven, het wachten is op de geallieerden. Denkt men. Want met een uiterste krachtsinspanning weten de fascisten, geholpen door de Duitsers, Florence weer in te nemen. Twee zusjes, Caterina en Isabella Commaccio, staan compleet verschillend in het leven. Waar verpleegster Caterina zich het liefst afzijdig houdt en zich opmaakt voor haar aanstaande bruiloft, heeft Isabella zich bij het verzet aangesloten. Zij is fervent bergsporter en wil op onderduikers weg helpen komen door hen door de bergen heen te loodsen. Om door de barricades om de stad heen te komen, vraagt ze haar zusje te helpen. Zo raken ze verzeild in een voor iedereen levensgevaarlijke situatie.Zestig jaar later moet inspecteur Pallioti (herhaaldelijk "de knapste politieman van Italië en zelfs Europa genoemd, wie zou die vertolken in een verfilming?) de moord op een toenmalige verzetsheld oplossen. Bij zijn onderzoek stuit hij op het dagboek van Caterina. En langzamerhand blijkt hoe de moord op deze Giovanni Trantemento een "logisch" gevolg is van de gebeurtenissen zoveel jaren eerder.Al vond het eerste deel, waarin Caterina en Isabella geïntroduceerd worden wel erg lang (want o, o, wat ergerde ik me aan de domme-wichterigheid van Caterina, die vond ik weinig geloofwaardig neergezet!) en uitermate traag, naarmate het boek vordert wordt het tempo van het verhaal voldoende opgevoerd om aangehaakt te blijven. Het wordt nooit een pageturner, maar als lekker lui vakantieboek waarbij het niet erg is om wat weg te soezen in de zomerzon kan het prima dienst doen.

  • Badseedgirl
    2019-05-12 11:20

    Historical fiction can be a dangerous thing. If the novel is not well researched the "Historical" can be suspect. Plus there is always the danger that the reader will forget the "fiction" aspects of the novel and fail to realize the author may have taken liberties with historical figures as a plot devise. Think of the movie "Titanic" and all those screaming girls.The best historical novel nudges the reader into the non-fiction sections of the library to find out more about the historical time. Lucritia Grindle's novel Villa Triste not only nudged me it basically grabbed me by the throat and dragged me into learning more about the Italian Resistance Movement. I was amazed to learn about the Partisan movements, and just how many woman were active fighters.As for this novel, it is a murder mystery of the best form. The death of two former Partisan fighters causes the protagonist of the novel, Inspector Alessandro Pallioti to learn more about the WW2 resistance movement. The novel is told in alternating flashbacks to 1944 and present day. By skillfully weaving past and present together, the author was able to provide the sense of just how much the war effected an entire generation of a country without getting preachy about it. This is actually the second novel in Inspector Pallioti series. I would happily go back and read the first novel, The Faces of Angels

  • LemonLinda
    2019-04-24 06:11

    This is the story of two sisters, Isabella and Caterina, in Florence, Italy during the waning years of WWII as the Allies are approaching but the Germans and remaining Fascists are entrenched and wielding a strong arm of fear and horror as random citizens are brutalized or even killed. The authorities are determined to find, arrest and execute anyone working against their regime, especially the partisans who have made it their mission to free their country from the rampant brutality of the occupation. The sisters, their family and friends are part of an elaborate network of "dedicated" partisans.It is also a present day mystery with several deaths of former "heroic" partisans as well as the story of a search for connections from the present to the past. Are the murders a result of a resurgence of neo-Nazism, a retaliation against partisans for wrongs committed, or the result of a simple blackmail plot, etc?The characters, present and past, are interesting. The mystery is well concealed and yet hints abound. As the story unfolds and the connections are made, it becomes increasingly compelling. I loved learning about a new facet of the overall WWII story and trying to unravel the clues as they play out finally giving us the rest of the story which for me was unsuspected.

  • Jodi Lutz
    2019-05-21 05:21

    I enjoyed this book quite a lot, but I wish it was better. The portions of the story set in the 1940's were engrossing, but the portions set in current day were tedious, and as the book went on, became much more prominent. What I liked. The the two sisters fighting with the partisans against Nazi's and Fascists, albeit each in their own way, made for interesting reading. The characters had different personalities, and each fought in ways that were consistent with their outlook. Each experienced tremendous sacrifice, and their relationship with each other was difficult at times. This is a part of Italian history that I know little about, and has prompted me to research non-fiction sources from this time period. As mentioned above, I didn't care for the tie-in to the 2000's. We ended up following Alessandro Pallioti, a police detective mined from the same vein as Mikael from The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo trilogy. Pallioti was a good character, if you like police/crime procedural. It's not a genre I hold near and dear to my heart, and so was somewhat less enthused by chapters focused on him.In balance, I would have liked to give a review of 3.5 stars, but since I can't, I'm going with 3.

  • Marathon County Public Library MCPL
    2019-05-15 09:15

    No other historical fiction novel has grabbed my attention like that of Lucretia Grindle's "Villa Triste." Grindle expertly intertwines contemporary mystery with historical fiction set in a location that many novels about World War II do not touch on as heavily. Set in Italy during the Nazi occupation, readers are told the gripping story of two sisters, one on the brink of marriage and both quickly forced to make decisions impacting the present day murder investigation of a local partisan hero. Grindle weaves the present day and the past in a way that continually captivated me, with an ending that left me thinking about the Cammaccio sisters, and the trials of so many others during that time, long after I turned the last page. Sarah M. / Marathon County Public LibraryFind this book in our library catalog.

  • Kristin
    2019-05-04 09:34

    I had some misconceptions of this book going in:1) When I picked up this book to start reading on Friday, I mentioned to my husband it was a biggie - over 600 pages. I even mentioned "daunting," though really I just meant it might take some time to finish since I often have time to only read a chapter a night.3) I must not have fully read the synopsis on the back of the book, because I did not expect to be bounced back from 1943 to the modern era once I hit page 87. When it happened, I was a bit dismayed to be in a murder mystery.But, having finished the book last night after racing through it all weekend, I must say those "negatives" turned out to be positives. I'm not saying that I love huge books, but when they are a good read, there is nothing daunting about them. In that case, you don't want them to end! The whole book was action packed and the storyline moved very quickly.In this case, I didn't feel like the book needed much more editing to eliminate extraneous material because it took that many pages to present the two intertwined stories in the past and present.

  • Jennifer
    2019-05-24 09:25

    Villa Triste feels like a brick but it is so enjoyable that you will be HAPPY that it is so long once you start reading! You won't want it to end. I would give it more stars if I could. The story holds strong for 600 pages, right to the very end, and I enjoyed every bit of it. Grindle kept all her lines straight and all the threads wrapped tightly. I enjoyed the easy flow of her writing style that said so much with so little waste. I never felt that urge to skim pages in order to "get on with" the story (I like details but... too many and you lose me). I felt immersed in Italy and spent many moments daydreaming about the characters and their motives - or trying to predict where the plot was headed (very well done, Ms. Grindle!). She wrote a REALLY GOOD BOOK, simple as that. I highly recommend it. I kept thinking: "This would make a fantastic television series." Anyone... anyone...? :)

  • Leslie
    2019-04-29 09:29

    This book was a mixture of past and present. A story that unfolds and takes you back to where it all began is great but it doesn't stay in the past as much as I had hoped. It closed out nicely.

  • Lili
    2019-05-04 08:16

    This is a story set in Italy during the war years and revolves around two sisters who worked for the resistance. It is an exceptionally poignant story, that moves easily from the war years to current murder investigations. A little slow during the first chapters and overly descriptive but it eventually gets going. Villa Triste is hard to put down; in fact I found it compulsive reading, I needed to discover the truth.

  • Anna
    2019-04-27 06:20

    I made it through part one. The writing is beautiful; evocative of place and emotion, but then, as an incurable end-reader, I peeked at the end and discovered what was going to happen in the story and decided it was too serious and perhaps to sad for the mood I am currently in. I may revisit this at another time.

  • Pat Stearman
    2019-05-03 04:21

    Excellent - love the Florence setting, love the 'sexiest cop in Italy' and most of all the actual story. (Partisans in 1943/1944 and a serial killer in 2006)Lots of twists and some great characters.