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Return to Valetto – Dominc Smith

Return to Valetto – Dominc Smith

As I loved The Last Painting of Sara De Vos, I was very keen to read this one.

Here’s the blurb …

A captivating and moving new novel from the international bestselling author of The Last Painting of Sara de Vos.

A nearly abandoned Italian village, the family that stayed, and long-buried secrets from World War II.

On a hilltop in Umbria sits Valetto. Once a thriving village-and a hub of resistance and refuge during World War II-centuries of earthquakes, landslides and the lure of a better life have left it neglected. Only ten residents remain, including the widows Serafino – three eccentric sisters and their steely centenarian mother – who live quietly in their medieval villa. Then their nephew and grandson, Hugh, a historian, returns.

But someone else has arrived before him, laying claim to the cottage where Hugh spent his childhood summers. The unwelcome guest is the captivating and no-nonsense Elisa Tomassi, who asserts that the family patriarch, Aldo Serafino, a resistance fighter whom her own family harboured, gave the cottage to them in gratitude. Like so many threads of history, this revelation unravels a secret – a betrayal, a disappearance and an unspeakable act of violence – that has impacted Valetto across generations. Who will answer for the crimes of the past?

I enjoyed it, but not as much as The Last Painting of Sarah de Vos. It is very evocative of place, I could almost taste the food they were eating. Beautifully written, I really wanted everything to work out for Hugh, Elisa and Elisa’s mother.

A review

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Filed under 3, Fiction, Historical Fiction