Tuscan Child
by Bowen, Rhys

Joanna Langley embarks on a healing journey to Tuscany to learn about her British-bomber-pilot father's hidden past. By the New York Times best-selling author of The Royal Spyness and the Molly Murphy Mysteries.

Bowen's second foray into straight historical fiction, after In Farleigh Field (2017), intertwines two time lines, of a father and daughter. Joanna Langley has mixed feelings about the sudden death of her disapproving father. While cleaning out his attic, she discovers a passionate letter, returned unopened from Italy. During the war, Sir Hugo Langley was shot down over a small village in Tuscany, where the kind Sofia Bartoli clandestinely tends his broken leg. Soon a friendship blossoms. The letter assures Sofia that Hugo hid their "beautiful boy," and Joanna heads to Tuscany to see if she has a half brother. Instead, she meets Renzo Bartoli, bitter at having been abandoned by his mother after the war. While Joanna learns to appreciate the beauty of the Italian countryside-especially the fresh, simple food-she tries to unravel the mystery of her father's time in Italy. But not everyone in San Salvatore wants to relive the war, and soon she is the subject of a murder investigation. The alternating narratives keep the story moving along, and the pastoral setting is transporting. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

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