Bowen’s historical novel, The Tuscan Child, is a gratifying read.
Joanna and her father, Sir Hugo, couldn’t be more different. After his death, Joanna is startled to find a love letter to a woman in Italy.
Intrigued, Joanna goes to San Salvatore in Italy, to discover more about her father’s life. She knew he had crashed while serving in World War II but she had not known the exact location, San Salvatore, a hill town in Tuscany.
Though there are no hotels in San Salvatore, Joanna finds a comfortable place to stay. She feels at home with Paola’s family until a strange event occurs. Someone has drowned one of the local men in the well near Joanna’s rented room.
Police think Joanna, a foreigner, is suspicious, even though she insists she has nothing to do with the man’s murder.
Renzo, the son of a rich landowner in San Salvatore, has a connection to her father and the woman he names in the letter, Sofia Bartoli. Is he the “beautiful boy” her father mentions in the same letter?
The novel takes many twists and turns and Joanna learns what’s true and what’s false.
At the Corpus Christi festival she beings to see Renzo in a new light. Though she does not trust Renzo, something is drawing her and him together.
This is a charming World War II story with light intrigue and light romance.