The cast is assembled; rehearsals are underway; the glamorous chair of the historical trust which has been given the magnificent property arrives to sow discord. Kearsley's usual strongly-constructed plot with the historical back-and-forth that was in, for instance, Firebird, is missing. We do have flashbacks to the long-ago lovers, but they are weak. The plot, in the guise of six plus weeks of rehearsal, is long and drawn-out. The last portion of the novel, more quickly paced, tying up the mystery and the relationships, simply doesn't justify the first three-quarters. Although presented as a gothic mystery, for me, I'm sorry to say it's a 3.5, much below her earlier works. But if you are a lover of Italy, and the stage, this could be the book for you.
Find the author at www.susannakearsley.com
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