Saturday, March 25, 2023

Rachel Hawkins: The Villa

In Rachel Hawkins latest book she shows that a house can remember and affect many things:

In 1974, five people enter the Villa Rosato in Orvieto Italy but only 4 will make it out alive. But in the time that they were in some great artistic works were made during that time and some of those works continues to inspire those in present day. Emily's life is in shambles, after a strange bout of sickness no Doctor seems to be able to explain, her husband wants a divorce and the next novel in her book series is due and she unable to write it. When her lifelong friend Chess, who is a successful self help author, suggests a summer in Italy to get away, Emily jumps at the chance. The place that Chess chooses the same place of the famous 70s murder and though it may be strange Emily is finding inspiration in the Villa. But Chess is acting really strange and she's not sure why but the Villa is sure to change her life.

This is the third book that I have read by Hawkins and it was not the book that I was expecting but I’m okay with that as I became wrapped up in the both stories of the women in two different times. This book is a slow burn of the book and I do not think that it is a thriller/haunted house (villa) as some people have touted it to me. I would classify it more along the line of a contemporary novel with a side of murder, as you know someone is going to get murdered in the 1970s, its more about how it will happen.

I think this book was so much more than the house and the murder in the 70s, it really was about these two women trying to find themselves. For Mari in the 70s this was trying to find her voice in a male dominated environment and her life being dominated by men and for Emily in the present trying to find herself again after her life has imploded around her as well as find a new voice that she never had before.

This book has two main characters and dual timelines and I really liked the way that it was presented in the book and even the interaction with the past and present. Especially how the past shapes the present throughout that timeline. I like both of the main leads, and I feel like you get to know them very well and how similar they are even though decades separate them.

I was able to figure it out most of the twists that Hawkins was going to throw my way in this book but that is okay as I wrapped up in the characters and the Story.

I think my one criticism of the book is that I wish that Hawkins would have went a bit darker in the present time, especially with the ending.

I really enjoyed this book and really have enjoyed all the books that I have read by Hawkins so far (I have not read her YA books) and I look forward to reading another book by her and what story she is able to come up with next.


If You Like This,
Check These Out Too:
(I do not have a review for it to link to, but I would also recomment the Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo to individuals who have read the Villa or who have read Seven Husbands)

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