Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Source: NetGalley and Publisher for review
In the early 1900s, in the elegant, isolated villa Il Piacere, the playwright Galeazzo D'Ascanio lived for Celia Sands. She was his muse and his mistress, his most enduring obsession. And she was the inspiration for his most stunning and original play. But the night before she was to take the stage in the leading role, Celia disappeared. Now, decades later, in a theatre on the grounds of Il Piacere, Alessandro D'Ascanio is preparing to stage the first performance of his grandfather's masterpiece. A promising young actress - who shares Celia Sands' name, but not her blood - has agreed to star. She is instantly drawn to the mysteries surrounding the play - and to her compelling, compassionate employer. And even though she knows she should let the past go, in the dark - in her dreams - it comes back.My thoughts:
This book is part ghost story and mystery with romance thrown in for good measure. The story starts out by alternating 2 time periods. In one period you were with the playright Glaeazzo and Celia Sand in the early 1900s; then you switched to a much later time with his grandson and a young actress named Celia Sand (no relation) in the quest to put on a play that had never been seen on stage. The beginning of the book is a bit slow but it does start to pick up and get interesting the more you are absorbed in the mystery in what happened and in what is going on presently in the villa.
While I finally got into the book and the mysteries, I have to say that some of the contemporary mystery seemed a bit forced and thrown in to heighten the suspense. I didn't hate it, but it also just didn't seem to connect to everything that had gone on in the past. I did like the romance but I also wanted a bit more connection to the relationship. It still read well enough and I did root for the couple. The ghosts and the mystery of Celia's (the first one) disappearance was well played out. I did enjoy that part and I really liked the characters including most of the secondary characters. The ones I didn't like, I wasn't supposed to like so it worked out well. :)
I give this book 3 stars. This is a book I would recommend to those that enjoy historical fiction, ghost stories and mystery.