Love and Treasure …. Secrets and Betrayal … This is briefly the plot of “The Villa” by Rosanna Ley. The author has chosen Sicily as a set for her book because the island has always been “shadowed” and mysterious and its locals always hide deep secrets and are very sensitive to betrayals. On the other hand, islanders of Sicily fall in love and love strongly till the end of their life. After this short introduction, you might want to know what the book is about. Okay, then….
Actually, “The Villa” tells three stories of three ladies from three different generations – Tess Angel, her mother – Flavia and Tess’s teenage daughter – Ginny. Definitely, Tess is the main character in the book. Her story starts when one day she receives an expected letter from an Englishman who lived in Sicily many years ago. The letter invites her to claim her inheritance on a beautiful Villa Sirena located on a cliff-top in the small village of Cetaria. The only condition to obtain the property is her going to this place. So, she plans her visit there.
Upon her arrival she faces the quietness of this Sicilian paradise and falls in love with it. Step-by-step she decides to make several changes in the villa and not to sell it. Unfortunately, all her decisions lead her to the revealing of hidden secrets of three local families – her mother’s, Amato and Sciarra, and the weird Englishman who got the villa before the war. Tess is determined to reveal all of the mysteries at any cost and this way she discovers il tesoro (the treasure) which was in the centre of the friendship and betrayals of the three local clans.
At the same time her mother – Flavia, cannot hide her secret anymore and reaches a decision to tell her daughter about her strong love for one young English soldier from the war. She saves his life with the help of his family. Unfortunately, his father is the reason why their love cannot flourish and she cannot be with him. Freedom-loving Flavia can’t think of marrying a local Sicilian guy and of living the restricted life the village of Cetaria offers to its locals. So, the English owner of the villa assists her in her journey to England in search of his blue-eye soldier.
Ginny has her story in the book as well. She is Tess’s teenage daughter who tries to find her way in life. The appearance of her “runaway” father helps her to get rid of the tension and stress and find the right way in life.