Ten-year-old Floriana is captivated by the magnificent Tuscan villa just outside her small village. She likes to spy into the gardens and imagine that one day she'll live there. When Dante, the son of the villa's powerful owner, invites her inside and shows her the enchanting Mermaid Garden, she knows that her destiny is there, with Dante. But as they grow up, their romance jeopardizes everything they hold most dear. Decades later and hundreds of miles away, a beautiful old country hotel on England's Devon coast has fallen on hard times, and its owner, Marina, advertises for an artist to stay the summer. The man she hires begins to transform the fortunes of the hotel, and her family, but why is he really there?
©2011 Santa Montefiore (P)2011 Dreamscape Media, LLC
"Two stories, two generations, and two beautiful European locales are neatly gift-wrapped into one sumptuous tale of love, loss, and redemption...Luxurious and romantic depictions of scenic Tuscany and the beautiful English coast." (Publishers Weekly)
"An absorbing plot. It is to the author’s credit that she manages to prolong the puzzle until the not-so-bitter end." (Kirkus Reviews)
"...Montefiore excels at juxtaposing the opulent with the ordinary in delicately woven tales that seamlessly traverse borders and span decades." (Booklist)
At the very top of my list! Rosalyn Landor is an excellent narrator, I've listened to other books she's narrated and she's incredibly talented.
I loved the fact that I was "in" the story the entire time. I felt the pain and cried the tears. Ms. Montefiore wove the story together and kept me wondering what the outcome would be. A book that can draw me in that much is worth rereading again and again.
If I read the book instead of listening to it, I still would have thoroughly enjoyed it and felt the same emotions but Ms. Landor has an incredible skill of defining the voice of her character. Any book that Ms. Landor narrates is a bonus.
I would have loved to listen to it in one sitting, I'd push myself at night to listen just a little longer. It did take a bit of an emotional toll so would have to take some breaks.
I've already purchased two more of Ms. Montefiore's books and can't wait to start.
Beautiful, Haunting, and Peace
I just discovered this author about two months ago and have enjoyed all three books I've read. I think The Mermaid Garden is closer to The French Gardener rather than The Perfect Happiness. Her ability to bring the story to life, the longing of the 'star crossed' lovers, you feel their passion and inevitably their pain as so far, the characters don't end up together and I did enjoy the ending of The Mermaid Garden more even to the wrapping up of two secondary characters; I look forward to reading my next Montefiore book.
Ms. Linder's narration was absolutely amazing! It was incredible to experience the story with each character brought to life by the subtle changes in her voice. I'm not a big reader of "romance" books so I appreciate the suspense the author adds to each chapter. The story unwinds in current time (2009) and the past and it was very enjoyable when the story came together, merging the two time frames. I think it brings the character's more to life to listen to a book as opposed to reading a book and Ms. Linder had the most beautiful accent which added even more to the experience.
I always ponder this question as I always want to just sit and listen to all of my books without even a pause but I have to say since I only listen when I drive I have no trouble picking right back and I always feel like I'm getting back with 'old friends' as I pick up the story again.
This was my first book by SM and it wasn't my taste in a story. I thought parts of it went beyond sad, more like depressing. RL did a fabulous job as always.
Everything. I don't think I would have finished it otherwise.
This story moved me. The author skillfully created two worlds: one in Italy in the 60's and the other in England in 2009. The scenery in both periods is lushly described and the issues that challenge the characters are not only well written, but touching and at times funny. But what I admire the most is the complexity and variety of the female characters. Each woman, not just the main character, is drawn out in a way that allows you to understand their motivation (whether you like them or not). So their beauty (or lack of it) is not the only reason you grow to care about them. This is a timeless story of love, faith and endurance.
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