This is a marvellously atmospheric tale of four strangers summoned to a grand but neglected villa on the Italian coast. Each of them has been named in a will, but not one of them knows their benefactress…Four very different people are named in a will: Delia, an opera singer robbed of her voice by illness; George, an idealistic scientist who cannot face what his skills have created; Marjorie, desperately poor and unable to dislodge her writer’s block; and Lucius, ostensibly in control but whose personal life is in chaos. All are summoned to the Villa Dante, home of the late Beatrice Malaspina. But who was she? While they wait to find out, the villa begins to work its seductive magic.
In a post WWII world, four people – each damaged in their own way – are called the Italian home of a woman they’ve never met at the behest of her will. They are each tasked with finding the codicil to the will that tells them exactly what has been bequeathed them, all whilst staying in the Villa during the spring.
Despite being a little run down (the war having removed all the active and fit men from the area), the nature and the view start working their magic on people, so that even when confronted with their issues, they can find a way through.
Some things were a little too “meh” for my liking – the sudden finding of the typewriter for the author with writer’s block, and the library (including religious discourses) for the man taught by Jesuits who needed to find his faith again – which *could* have been better placed in a book with more supernatural undertones, but when placed in this story was a little too twee.
However, the book was a sunny book to read in the run up to winter.