The House of the Wind, Paperback Book
3 out of 5 (1 rating)


A legendary ruin. An ancient mystery. Will unveiling the past transform the future? San Francisco, 2007. Madeline Moretti is grieving for her fiance. Nothing brings her joy any more, and Maddie's grandmother, a fiery Italian, sends her to Tuscany to heal.

Here, Maddie is immersed in the mystery of a ruined villa.

Destroyed centuries ago in a legendary storm on the Eve of St Agnes, it has been known ever since as the Casa al Vento - the House of the Wind.

Tuscany, 1347. Mia hasn't spoken since her mother's death, and lives in silence with her beloved aunt.

One dark night, a couple seek refuge in their villa.

Used to welcoming passing pilgrims, Mia is entranced by the young bride's radiance and compassion, but mystified by her reluctance to reveal even her name.

Where has she come from, and why must her presence be a secret?

Centuries apart, each searching for a way to step into her future, Mia and Maddie will be haunted by the myth of the woman who walked unscathed from the ruins of the House of the Wind.


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I thought this rather slow in starting but once Maddie gets to Tuscany the action gets going. For me there was rather too much "telling" by the author - both of the action and the thoughts of all her characters: I wanted to learn it for myself. There were also abrupt switches to the point of view of a different character, which is something I find rather uncomfortable, and a tendency to over-write - too much flowery prose and efforts to make old metaphors look fresh.Under that, there's a really nice novel that would have benefited from some tighter editing, because some good ideas get lost: for instance, the significance of the Etruscans. The myths and legends could have been explored much further, rather than just being part of the history of both timelines, but it got swamped by the necessity for lots of explanation about Stormtree in the present-day. By trying to gradually draw out what was going on, the author got bogged down in detail - that was an instance where simply telling would have been the better option.The portrayal of the house and garden was much more successful, and is what makes the book memorable, and the historical timeline was much better handled. The last third was very enjoyable, so that I wished the beginning had been better. I like the sound of her earlier book, The Rose Labyrinth, and this has encouraged me to read that too.