“At villa Donnafugata, long ago is never very far away,” writes bestselling author Marlena de Blasi of the magnificent if somewhat ruined castle in the mountains of Sicily that she stumbles upon one summer while traveling with her husband. There de Blasi is befriended by Tosca, the patroness of the villa, who shares her own unforgettable love story. In a luminous and tantalizing voice, de Blasi re-creates Tosca’s life and romance with the last prince of Sicily descended from the French nobles of Anjou. But when Prince Leo attempts to better the lives of his peasants, his defiance of the local Mafia costs him dearly. The present-day narrative finds Tosca sharing her considerable inherited wealth with a harmonious society composed of many of the women–now widowed–who once worked the prince’s land alongside their husbands. This marvelous epic drama reminds us that in order to live a rich life, one must embrace both life’s sorrow and its beauty.
One of our patrons couldn’t recommend this book highly enough. She liked it so much, she read it twice before she returned it to the library. It seems like the perfect summer book.