Thursday, December 29, 2011

The House of the Wind by Titania Hardie

3.5 Star
A legendary ruin. An ancient mystery. Will unveiling the past transform the future?

San Francisco, 2007. Madeline Moretti is grieving for her fiancé. 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.

Kaley - 3.5 Star

Do you ever find yourself reading a book that has a story that totally captivates you? The House of the Wind by Titania Hardie was one of those books for me. Yes, I only gave it three and a half stars but that had less to do with the plot and more to do with how the book was written.

I enjoyed that there were two stories to tell in this novel – Maddie’s started in 2008 and Mia’s began in 1347. It took quite awhile to discover the link between these two women and while I like how they were connected I wish there was a bit more to it. It’s hard for me to really describe it without giving anything away so I’m sorry if that doesn’t make much sense! Each character had an interesting enough story on its own but weaving them together created a sense of mystery and intrigue that kept me reading. 

I did not, however, enjoy the way the stories were told. It changed viewpoints every chapter and I didn’t like how the chapters always seemed to end abruptly – especially in Mia’s story. It was like I was constantly dealing with cliffhangers. Also, some dates were skipped and other parts that I would have liked more explanation on were glossed over. Hardie sometimes tried too hard to be mysterious and doesn’t give a lot of details which didn’t mystify me, it was just annoying. For example, Maddie’s at home and someone knocks on the door. Very little detail is given and the reader is left to assume who was visiting her until two chapters later, after reading the chapter on Mia. I suppose I can understand why it was done that way but it left me a little frustrated.

This was not a very fast paced novel but that didn’t bother me. It was stretched out over a longer period of time which I appreciated because I was able to get the conclusion that I needed for both stories. I was a little surprised when Mia’s time jumped ahead by seventeen years but that allowed everything to be wrapped up in the best way. The extra time in Maddie’s story allowed her the necessary time to grieve and we see her fully heal by the end of the novel.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading The House of the Wind. It actually reminded me a little bit of The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton (though not quite as good) with the historically connected stories. Mia and Maddie captivated me and I didn’t want to put the book down until I found out how the two women were connected. This is an enchanting read and I think fans of historical fiction in particular will really enjoy it as well.

1 comment:

  1. okay ... I just finished the book and still do not see how they are connected maybe I missed something it is so slow to read.

    can you tell me how you see their connections . all to vague unless I fell asleep midstream.



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