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Last Voyage of the Valentina

3.61  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,213 Ratings  ·  113 Reviews

Exotically beautiful but desperately unhappy, Alba lives on a houseboat on the Thames, where she enjoys a life of leisure and entertains an endless and unfulfilling succession of lovers. But then she discovers a portrait of her dead mother, Valentina a woman she'd hardly known, whose story has been kept from her by her still grieving father. Determined to learn the truth

Paperback, 416 pages
Published May 23rd 2006 by Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group (first published February 28th 2005)
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Dec 16, 2014 Leslie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When Santa Montifiore writes, she transports the reader. This time I was in Italy. Gorgeous descriptions, romance, suspense, characters with depth...all the ingrediants of a perfect story. I didn't want it to end.
Feb 04, 2008 Phyl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Santa Montefiore takes you on a breathtaking journey from the heart of London to a little bay of the coast of Sorrento - Incantellaria. The story starts at the end of the first world war with a murder then jumps ahead twenty years. It is a skillfully woven plot but it is the descriptions of Italy that will intice the reader. The author has complete mastery over the medium and one experiences the many delights of Italy through the eyes of the characters. The characters themselves are complex and ...more
Paula Sealey
It's London in 1971 and Alba is living a promiscuous life aboard her houseboat The Valentina. She discovers a portrait her father had drawn of her dead mother and wants to confront him and her Step-Mother about it. But her father, Thomas, has always been reluctant to discuss her, so Alba ropes in charming literary agent Fitz to accompany her to her father's home for the weekend to try and prise information from him. What Fitz learns leads Alba to a little island in Italy and a voyage of discover ...more
Carla Geraldes
Sinceramente este foi daqueles livros que me deixou com sentimentos ambiguos. Se por um lado gostei da história em si, por outro, acho que faltou alguma coisa. A juntar a isto, achei que houve paginas e páginas que em nada ou pouco contribuíram para o desenvolvimento.
Uma narrativa trágica, mas ao mesmo tempo romântica, sobre dois amantes que se conhecem num cenário de quase pós-guerra, que não termina da melhor forma.
Uma viagem entre o passado de Thomas, pai de Alba e do presente desta somos lev

I am not surprisingly, considering where I currently live, drawn to novels set in Italy. This turned out to be not as atmospheric as one might have hoped, but it was still a reasonable easy read for a sunny afternoon.

Romantic escapism set in England and Italy in the 1940’s and the 1970’s, the novel starts with a Prologue telling us about an honour murder committed at the end of WWII. This mystery behind this murder is finally solved in the 1970’s when Alba
May 11, 2008 Reagan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was one of the most disappointing books I have read in a long time. The outdated Woman's Day magazine I flipped through at the doctor's office had more originality and depth. The only reason I continued reading this book to the end is because I wanted the author to solve the mystery of the protagonist's mother, for the book jacket promises "a mysterious tale of decadence, deception, murder, and betrayal involving partisans and Nazis, peasants and counts." Perhaps if the author had spun such ...more
Catherinehaine Haines
A captivating read with beautiful descriptive writing. A mystery that unfolds and because of this people are able to move on from the past.
Apr 24, 2012 Lorma rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love anything about Italy,but I must say this was the first book I read from Santa Montefiore and I absolutely fell in love with it and her. Alba,the main character is living in Thames and was never told about her mother Valentina who is deceased. This sets her on a journey of discovery as she returns to her mother's homeland ... the olive groves of the Amalfi coast of Italy,the village of Incantellaria. Alba discovers her true self as well as her family's hidden secrets.

Montefiore has a spell
2.5 stars ... I rounded up for the "official" star count.

I had a hard time getting into this book ... The main character Alba is a gorgeous girl who gets everything she wants, including a string of lovers she can use at will. She has never worked a day in her life, not wanted for anything - but the knowledge of her mother.

Without the truth, she constructed a fantasy about her mother, which colored her perceptions of (and relationships with) others.

As a horribly spoiled and selfish brat, I had
Sep 18, 2014 Laurel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: women-s-fiction

I was hoping that reading a book by this widely available author would fill the void now that I've read pretty much everything by authors such as Lucinda Riley. But I was quite disappointed. The blurb sounded like an intriguing foray into WWII Italy, with the usual plotline of family secrets, etc.

The first thing to note is that the main character, Alba, is completely unlikeable in my opinion. At age 26, her only claim to fame is sleeping with anything that moves on her houseboat
Eve Recinella
I have been a big fan of Santa Montefiore's books for awhile now and her novels set in South America are some of the best I have read, so I looked forward to this one with much anticipation, alas it just did not live up to her other novels. The characters were unlikeable, the plot predictable and the ending confusing! If you are thinking of trying this author definitely try "Meet Me Under the Ombu Tree", "The Butterfly Box" or "The Forget-me-not Sonata".
May 20, 2015 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was another book I got given for my birthday (by my sister). This book was fantastic....once i got in to it i felt almost like Alba herself..I had to know the past. It was an intriguing and well written book that pulled on all my emotions. I loved how it began, and ended and loved the bits in the past. Characterisation was great and throughout the book i wasn't ever sure whether i liked Alba, she was almost like a roller coaster, i felt frustrated with other characters such as her father wh ...more
Kate Forsyth
Jun 20, 2010 Kate Forsyth rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
I enjoyed this book, though I didn't love it - even though I love books set during WWII and set in Italy. Somehow the writing didn't quite come to life for me
May 09, 2012 Tracey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction

After a shaky start at the first few chapters, I have to say I loved this book. I picked it randomly off my mums bookshelf when I finished my previous book today , and had nothing else to read with me.
From the moment I was introduced to Alba and her family , I knew this was going to be a book with a mystery buried deep that needed solving.
I must admit that at first I disliked Alba finding her a very selfish person, but on her relocation to Italy she blossomed and became a much better person. F
May 13, 2010 Betita rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mais uma vez a autora leva-nos para um cenário marcado pela II Guerra Mundial, personagens com recordações, com personagens sempre envoltas em grande mistério. Mas desta vez não visitamos a Argentina... Em "A Ultima Viagem de Valentina" viajamos até à bela Itália, a uma ilha Encantada onde apesar do triunfo do amor em tempos de guerra, a tragédia e o misticismo acabam por tomar parte da história.
Alba viveu toda a sua vida sem nunca poder falar sobre a Mãe: Valentina, uma italiana lindissima que
Jun 18, 2015 Ann rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A friend lent me this book, otherwise I don't think I would have read it. I think that Santa Montefiore is a good writer but I have a problem with her plots. I found the character 'Valentina' totally unbelievable - especially her dramatic death -which was the whole point of the story - I'm not sure what planet Ms Montefiore is on. Her description of the 70s was not very accurate, she had some characters being very shocked at Alba's mini skirt! Everyone wore mini skirts -until the maxi skirt beca ...more
Oct 31, 2014 Joanne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Alba never knew her mother and has been dreadfully spoilt by way of compensation. The dark secrets surrounding her death have been hidden from her all her life, so that, in her 20's she determines to go to the Itallian village where her mother lived, and discover her roots.
An amazing storyline set in 1945 and 1971 following the lives of mother and daughter.

It has romance, sex, mystery and beautiful Italian setting all in one book

What I loved most was the unpredictable ending - not the happy ever after that you would expect, but great. Well worth reading.
Aline Soules
This was okay, but not one of Montefiore's best. It dragged in places and I found myself skipping over some of the description. The plot was somewhat far-fetched as well. Overall, an okay book for "escape," but not a great one.
Lorna Gilder
Mar 27, 2016 Lorna Gilder rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A murder mystery and romance story about Alba, a hedonistic girl who, through her search for her mother and various heart aches that follow, finds herself and happiness. Beautiful imagery of the Italian countryside and the contrast of life in London. A captivating read.
Mar 01, 2016 Carol rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love, Love, Love her books! She write "full" stories, with many twists and turns. I also love the many characters that she includes in her stories....(loved the houseboat neighbor and author)! A must read!!
Val Dyson
Nov 25, 2014 Val Dyson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Santa Montefiore writes a mystery that keeps you reading to the end. Alba is a lost character searching for anything she can about her dead mother. She finds someone completely different to what she expected.
Jan 17, 2015 Theresa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. A book with atmosphere and dark hidden secrets. The ending however did leave me a little bit wondering who was the young man who stepped ashore? A really good read.
Christina Philippi-toro
This book was beautifully written and went back and forth in time that was was easy to follow. Often books forward and flash back and it is choppy and confusing. Not with this story.

Feb 04, 2015 Peg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having found Santa Montefiore somewhat accidentally, I am enjoying her storytelling and am indulging in a Montefiore reading binge. She is the mistress of coincidence!
Siobhan Johnson
Jul 28, 2016 Siobhan Johnson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first Santa Montefiore book that I have read and I certainly enjoyed it. Alba never knew her mother and has been dreadfully spoilt by way of compensation. The dark secrets surrounding her death have been hidden from her all of her life so that in her 20's she's determined to go to the Italian village where her mother was lived and discovered her roots.

Alba's character was a bit flat but I loved Fitz and their eccentric friend Viv. The life on the houseboats was also very interesting
Jan 11, 2015 Kerry rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my first book by Santa. A bit of a slow starter for me but the more I read, the more I got into it. I really enjoyed it half way onwards!
I find it pathetic when a female is characterized as a shallow, spoiled, angry, male manipulating, sex addict that does an about face in a minimal time frame due to the "right guy". The plot was weak and the story uninspiring. Her mom, step-mom, grandmother(s), uncles, step-sisters and dad where just as bad. YUCK!
Jan 06, 2016 Sam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
ok, but not fantastic, recommnded to me because it was 'geographical', but it isn't some of the story takes place in a fictional Italian village. A chick lit novel for your hols.
Edith Byrd
Jun 24, 2015 Edith Byrd rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love this author. This is the second book I have read of hers. Each one has a very interesting plot, with an ending that makes you think.
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Born in England in 1970 Santa Montefiore grew up on a farm in Hampshire and was educated at Sherborne School for Girls. She read Spanish and Italian at Exeter University and spent much of the 90s in Buenos Aires, where her mother grew up. She converted to Judaism in 1998 and married historian Simon Sebag Montefiore in the Liberal Jewish Synagogue in London. They live with their two children, Lily ...more
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