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The Tuscan Child

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  83,920 ratings  ·  4,156 reviews
A novel about a woman who braves her father’s hidden past to discover his secrets…

In 1944, British bomber pilot Hugo Langley parachuted from his stricken plane into the verdant fields of German-occupied Tuscany. Badly wounded, he found refuge in a ruined monastery and in the arms of Sofia Bartoli. But the love that kindled between them was shaken by an irreversible betraya
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published February 20th 2018 by Lake Union Publishing
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Rhys Bowen
Rhys Bowen - New York Times bestselling mystery and historical fiction author

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Eliece It's not Italian cooking, but the wonderful Bruno books by Martin Walker are set in the Dordogne area of France, and are mysteries that feature lots a…moreIt's not Italian cooking, but the wonderful Bruno books by Martin Walker are set in the Dordogne area of France, and are mysteries that feature lots about cooking. Try them. This book reminded me very much of them, and they are a series, so should keep you happy for a while. I actually liked them even more.(less)
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Shawntel Mcdonough I am so disappointed. The book was fantastic, up until their time in the old church. Then everything went so fast and there was no longer any detail o…moreI am so disappointed. The book was fantastic, up until their time in the old church. Then everything went so fast and there was no longer any detail or magic. I think the painting was sent to the mayor. However, I feel that too could have been interesting to read about. (less)

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Average rating 3.98  · 
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Nov 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Sometimes you make choices in life and sometimes choices make you." (Gayle Forman)

Hugo Langley, an RAF pilot, finds himself behind the controls on a bombing mission near the northern hills above Lucca, Italy. December of 1944 brings no choices, only commands from the powers that be. The Germans have taken over the area and Langley and his crew are in a destiny to stop them.

Once airborne, Hugo and his co-pilot have been hit by enemy fire. Too late for the co-pilot, but Langley parachutes and mi
Mar 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Barely 3 stars.
I had enjoyed In Farleigh Field, so I was pleased to get an advance copy of this novel. Bowen is again covering the time period of WWII. The book is told in two parts, Hugo Langley’s escape after his plane goes down over Tuscany in 1944 and his daughter Joanna’s return to their home after his death in 1973 and subsequent trip to Italy.

This book starts off slowly. I wasn’t immediately invested in Joanna’s story. For starters, I had trouble identifying the era. The only time the 7
5 Stars. Wonderful.

When Joanna Langley's father Hugh passes away in 1973 she returns home to arrange his funeral and sort out his possessions. Among his things she finds a small box and within it a letter addressed to an Italian woman named Sofia. Joanna wasn't close to her father, a rather cold and withdrawn man who became even more distant after the death of Joanna's mother. The mysterious letter gives Joanna a glimpse into her father's heart, revealing to her a man very different from the on
Apr 09, 2018 rated it liked it
I chose to read this because I enjoy Rhys Bowen's Her Royal Spyness series so much. This was a very different kettle of fish being set half in World War 2 and half in 1970's England and Tuscany.

A big problem for any book when the author has chosen to write alternately in different time periods is if the two are not perfectly balanced in interest for the reader. In The Tuscan Child I was much more interested in Joanna than I was in Hugo which meant I put the book down and went off to do somethin
Bam cooks the books ;-)
*3.5 stars rounded up.

In December, 1944, Hugo Langley is a young British pilot who is forced to parachute from his burning plane over Italy. Hugo has received a leg wound and is sure he will soon die until a young Tuscan woman comes to his aid.

Nearly thirty years later, his daughter Joanna is sorting through his papers after his death when she discovers an old sealed letter addressed to an Italian woman named Sofia. A letter that is marked "Not known at this address. Return to Sender." It is a
Stephanie Anze
Apr 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
When Joanna Langley is cleaning out the house of her father after his unexpected death in the English countryside, she comes acrosss a sealed letter. Having beeen stranged for a few years, Joanna realizes how little she knew about him and his past as an English airman in the RAF. The letter is adressedd to Sofia Bertoli and in it there is information that unsettles her. Not being able to contain her desire to know, Joanna takes off to the village of San Salvatore, the address on the envelope. In ...more
Jan 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the Tuscan Child Rhys Bowen has written a novel with a dual time line. One part is set in Tuscany during World War 11 time, where Hugo - an English pilot is forced to eject from his damaged plane. Badly injured he is helped by Sofia - a local young woman. She hides him in bombed monastery and carries food to him when she can.

As well we meet Joanna - Hugo's daughter, in 1973 returning home to Langley Hall on the sudden death of her father. She finds some items amongst his things that lead her
Feb 22, 2018 rated it it was ok
I am a big fan of Rhys Bowen for the Royal Spyness series. But I found this book to be cheesy and cliched. There were times when I rolled my eyes at some of characters and typical storylines. It seemed like the book dragged on for a long time -- right about until the last 2 or 3 hours, when things miraculously fell into place (without much explanation as to how such things fell into place). It also seemed too quick for Hugo and Sofia to fall in love. There wasn't much explanation; just seemed li ...more
Jun 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Joanna is studying to become a lawyer, and all that is left to do is to take her bar exam, but she has been out of work for a while because of an accident and a boyfriend, when her father, Sir Hugo Langley dies. He has always been a distant father, and Joanna doesn't know much about his life at all. And now she is all alone since her mother died when she was 11. She must go home and settle up his affairs and go through his things when she happens upon some items that seem to have a mystery to th ...more
BAM Endlessly Booked
Netgalley # 25

Many thanks go to Rhys Bowen, Lake Union, and Netgalley for the free copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased review.

Joanna Langley loses her father, but gains a legacy that takes her to the Tuscan region of Italy to discover the past. The book flips between the 70s and the 40s (Joanna's time and her father, Hugo's, time). The story revolves around a mystery woman named Sofia and "a beautiful boy." I'm afraid to mention anything else without giving the plot away.
I saw the den
Tiffany PSquared
Historical novels usually have to be very good in order to capture and hold my attention, and this one fit the bill. In this story, we travel with Joanna Langley from Surrey, England in the early 1970s into the lush, rolling hills of Tuscany and the little village of San Salvatore as she searches for clues about her recently deceased father’s past. Along the way, we are also treated to her father’s story of survival and romance at the end of German occupation of Italy during WWII.

The story was w
Feb 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Having read and enjoyed Rhys Bowen’s In Farleigh Field, I was more than happy to pick up The Tuscan Child. The synopsis intrigued me, and I was excited to see how the story came together.

From the very start, The Tuscan Child sucks you into the story. It pulls you into the past, leaving you turning page after page as two interconnected storylines play out. You know they are linked, you have ideas of how, but it is not until you’ve worked your way deep into the story that everything becomes appare
Feb 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Genre wise this Tuscan Child is a blend of mystery, romance, and general fiction. The setting is stunning set in a fictional town called San Salvatore in northern Italy the action pivotal between 1944 and 1973 and between a gunned down RAF pilot and his daughter. At first I was more intrigued by the WWII story but as things progressed and the mystery heated up I enjoyed the daughter’s tale also.

I can’t say the conclusion was as enticing as the rest of the book but the story zips along so pleasan
The Lit Bitch
Feb 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
WWII romances are so my thing, but this book was so much more than just another romance. It’s story about family, loss, children, and life choices. It’s not very often that I find a book set during WWII that is set in some place other than England or France but this was that unique and rare occasion.

Rhys Bowen is an experienced author with a couple of impressive mystery series under her belt. I have been lucky enough to read a few of the Molly Murphy mysteries in the past and have grown to love
Bebe (Sarah) Brechner
Nov 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent, standalone story by the wonderful writer Rhys Bowen. The story is set both in WWII Italy and the 1970s. Bowen is superb at period stories, and in this book, she brings to life the story of a downed British pilot hiding away in the hills above a small Italian village. The more contemporary story follows the daughter of that pilot who is picking up the pieces of her life after her father dies. This is a moody and romantic, and yet realistic, story that is a true pleasure to r ...more
Feb 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I finished reading the ARC of The Tuscan Child by Rhys Bowen on Thursday night, but I am still in heavy book hangover. This book is one of those rare books that not only sticks with you but that you feel like you lived through. It was undoubtedly brilliant and engaging, and just how Rhys writes it I could see this as a major motion picture with academy award accolaids. I am not usually a fan of historically based cozies, mysteries or stories, at least that was until I discovered everything Rhys ...more
Feb 28, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2018
I REALLY wanted to like this book, and I expected I would because I am such a fan of Rhys Bowen, but sadly this was a total flop for me!

It was eye-rollingly cliched, too easy, oversimplified, the ending was too quick and all things were resolved in a snap. Everyone gets rich and lives happily ever after.

I especially disliked all the food talk! It did not advance the story at all and the attempts to slip recipes into the story felt contrived. I realize the point was to paint the scene and make us
Dec 26, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: self-published
The book has some interesting parts and some parts where story or dialogue doesn’t move the story forward. It’s stagnant and not interesting. I had to start skipping the stagnant parts in order to continue with the story. But after a few chapters of such reading, I didn’t see a point of continuing to read it.
First Sentence: He was going to die. That was quite obvious.

Joanna Langley returns to plan her father's funeral at the place which was once the family estate. In going through her father's things, she comes across an unopened letter addressed to Sophia. All Joanna knew of her father's past is that he had been shot down over Tuscany during the war and left with a permanent limp. With the revelation of the letter, Joanna decides to travel to Tuscany in order to learn more about her father, and h
Jennifer Ryan
Aug 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
A lovely, warm-heated read from Rhys Bowen, perfect for the summer. A WW2 pilot parachutes out of his exploding plane over Tuscany, only to find danger, love, and intrigue within the ruined monastery where he hides. After he dies in 1973, his daughter goes to Tuscany to find the truth of the child he left there.
Cindy Burnett
Mar 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: net-galley
I love the Lady Georgie books and the last stand alone by Rhys Bowen, In Fairleigh Field. The Tuscan Child was too slow for me, and I just could not get into the story line.
Janelle Janson
Feb 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Thank you so much Little Bird Publicity and Lake Union Publishing for providing my free copy - all opinions are my own. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel as it is a quick and easy read with two very compelling storylines. The chapters alternate between Hugo’s life in 1944 as a bomber pilot, and his daughter, Joanna, dealing with the aftermath of his death in 1973. Joanna is sorting through her estranged late father’s possessions when she comes across a mysterious letter addressed to a woman named
Last year, the prolific Rhys Bowen gifted us with a stand-alone book, Farleigh Field. Set in England during WWII, it was a smashing success, and it was just my cup of tea in WWII novels, with mystery and history and shocking revelations. That I had two more novels from Rhys to enjoy last year, too, in her Royal Spyness series and her Molly Murphy series, was incredible good fortune. Well, she has done it again in 2018 with the stand-alone The Tuscan Child, another WWII novel, but set mostly in T ...more
Julie Daniels
Nov 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
I have yet to read a WWII Historical Fiction that hasn't destroyed me by the end or at the very least made me cry. This one was so good and had such a beautiful yet tear-jerker ending! Full review to come closer to release day. Thanks to Little Bird Publicity for sending me an advance copy.


When I receive a review copy of a book from a publisher, author, or publicity company, whether it's an advance copy or finished copy(early or released) it usually takes me a week or two to finish what
Judith E
Dec 27, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
An easy, breezy, historical fiction romance with luscious scenes of Italian food and landscape. I skim read most of the second half of this fairy tale. At least it was a cheapo Kindle deal.
I enjoyed The Tuscan Child up to a point. I liked the historical setting of 1944 and the descriptions of Tuscany and Italian food are beautiful. It’s easy reading and the dialogue gives a good impression of people speaking in a foreign language in which they are not fluent. Although I love Italian food I did begin to groan when yet another meal was being prepared and described in detail.

But the split narrative between Hugo and Joanna didn’t work too well for me. I liked Hugo’s story more than Jo
May 27, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audible
Rhys Bowen is one of my favorite writers and I was excited to read one of her stand alone books. This was not a bad story but fell just a bit short for me. I still and will remain dedicated to her series’s.
Feb 26, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc-netgalley
I received this from in exchange for a review.

In 1944, pilot Hugo Langley parachuted from his plane into the fields of German-occupied Tuscany. Badly wounded, he found refuge in a ruined monastery and in the arms of Sofia Bartoli. 1973, Hugo’s estranged daughter, Joanna, has returned home to the English countryside to arrange her father’s funeral and travels to Italy to discover his past.

For me, books written in duo timelines can be a hit or miss. This time, neither timeline was b
Oct 12, 2018 rated it liked it
This was on the meh side of 3 stars for me.

When an author who writes a lot of light, genre books writes more serious fiction, sometimes she can bring her readers along and sometimes it’s more difficult.

I didn’t go into this expecting or wanting a light read despite my experience with some of her other work. And it started out with an interesting enough premise. But I never found any of the characters particular enough to get involved with, or the plot fresh or compelling enough to overcome the
Appreciable details:
1. the description of Italy villages, its people and customs
2. the simultaneous narration of the present and the past

We can say the start was good.
It gives a perspective of what people in the present think or would like to say on the past and what reality might be i.e. may be very simple and something unique which is theme with the title.
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I'm a New York Times bestselling mystery author, winner of both Agatha and Anthony awards for my Molly Murphy mysteries, set in 1902 New York City.

I have recently published four internationally bestselling WWII novels, one of them a #1 Kindle bestseller, and the Tuscan Child selling almost a million copies to date. In Farleigh Field won three major awards and was nominated for an Edgar. My other s

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