Monday, August 11, 2014

Bianca's Vineyard by Teresa Neumann

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Obtained from: Personal Kindle Library/Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours
Read: August 10, 2014

Bianca Corrotti’s vineyard is more than a piece of mouth-watering real estate in Tuscany. It’s an inheritance; a storehouse harboring the secrets of her Uncle Egisto Bertozzi, a world-class sculptor, and his troubled wife — a woman whose destiny converges with Mussolini’s when WWII overtakes them all. Based on a true story, Bianca’s Vineyard follows a devoted family of strong-willed men and lion-hearted women waging an epic battle against a gathering storm intent on destroying their lives.

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Teresa Neumann's Bianca's Vineyard was a surprise from the start. The cover art gave the impression it'd be something of a love story while the description hinted at war era fiction. Neither is entirely wrong, but for me, the book is more family saga than it is anything else. 

Why is this important? Because at its heart, the book isn't about Egisto's snap decision to marry Armida, Armida's insecure and troubled nature, or even the war that forever changed their homeland. No, Bianca's Vineyard is about family, the ties that connect its members and how our actions ripple across those bonds.

Historically, I loved Neumann's description of Mussolini's Italy, but the atmospheric details paled next to her characters. Each individual has a unique personality and with so many cast members, that's a real achievement. More importantly though, her characters are authentically flawed. They struggle and hesitate, they make mistakes, suffer anger, jealousy, remorse and uncertainty. Maybe it's just me, but the pragmatism in that approach held genuine appeal. 

The author's dedication to Italian culture and traditional values is also worth noting. There is an attention to detail throughout the narrative that creates a real sense of the lifestyle and customs of Italy and how those norms evolved between generations and geographic local as individuals emigrated around the world.

All told, I found Bianca's Vineyard an eloquent and detailed story of secrets, compassion, betrayal and forgiveness. A refreshingly original read that illustrates the true meaning of family loyalty. 

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I confess I am worried about the secrets. Maybe because the Americans will think less of our family or lay blame where it doesn’t belong. I’ll wait until tomorrow, after they’ve relaxed at the beach and settled in and then I’ll tell David the story, from the beginning. Yes, that’s what I’ll do. Nonno always said I was good at explaining things, at untangling the knots in people’s lives. Once they know what it was really like here during the war, how everything changed forever, Egisto’s grandson will understand. Please God, let him understand.
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Check Out All the Stops on Teresa Neumann's Bianca’s Vineyard Virtual Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, August 11
Review at Flashlight Commentary
Tuesday, August 12
Spotlight at Reading Lark
Interview at Flashlight Commentary
Wednesday, August 13
Review at Oh, For the Hook of a Book
Thursday, August 14
Review at Beth’s Book Reviews
Friday, August 15
Spotlight at What Is That Book About
Monday, August 18
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Review at Queen of All She Reads
Tuesday, August 19
Spotlight at Historical Tapestry
Wednesday, August 20
Spotlight at Passages to the Past
Friday, August 22
Review & Interview at Bookish
Tuesday, August 26
Review at Luxury Reading

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To win a Kindle eBook of Bianca’s Vineyard please complete the Rafflecopter giveaway form below. Two copies are up for grabs. Giveaway is open to US residents only.

Giveaway ends at 11:59pm on August 26th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
Winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter on August 27th and notified via email.
Winner have 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

1 comment:

Holly (2 Kids and Tired) said...

This sounds fantastic. Terrific review. I can't wait to read it.