Paperback: 352 Pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (April 9, 2019)
A once-beloved hotel and a fountain whose water suddenly can restore lost memories. But is it a miracle, or are there strings attached?
The Tuscany Hotel was once a haven for young artists. A place full of inspiration and a work of art in and of itself, the hotel was built by Robert Gandy for his wife, Magdalena: a woman of beauty beyond description who was orphaned as an infant in Florence and grew up without the ability to remember. A tragedy caused the hotel to close its doors, however, and it has been years since the fountain in the courtyard ran with water and inspiration.
Vitto Gandy, Robert’s son, returns from the horrors of World War II to a wife who fears him, a son who is too young to remember him, and a father whose memory of him is fading. As Vitto faces the memories that torture his heart and mind, his father runs off in the night to seek solace in the last place he was happy: the Tuscany Hotel. Instead of finding ruins, he discovers that the water in the fountain has begun to run again. And as he drinks it, his memory returns.
Filled with Alzheimer’s patients hoping for restored memories rather than artists longing for inspiration, the hotel is once again a source of life and art. But nothing is truly as good as it seems, and the mysterious gift of the hotel comes with a price that each must determine they’re willing to pay. Bursting with beauty, art, and inspiration, Midnight at the Tuscany Hotel is a story of parent and child, husband and wife, and the joy and pain of what it means to be alive.
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Vitto Gandy has returned home from World War II, his mind ravaged by the events that have taken place overseas, things he did and did not do. Vitto returns home to a child who does not remember him and a wife who has been raising a toddler and taking care of Vitto's father, Robert who has been having memory issues- what doctors now call Alzheimer's. When Robert goes missing one night, Vitto knows that there is only one place that he would go- the Tuscany Hotel that Robert and his wife Magdalena built years ago on the California Coast as a creative retreat for artists and scientists. When Vitto and his family find Robert, he is miraculously cured. Claiming that the water from the fountain at the hotel has aided his recovery, Robert has invited others with memory issues and re-opened the hotel. Along with the inexplicable claims of the fountain, stories of Vitto's mother, Magdalena have resurfaced. An anomaly, herself, Magdalena was born with memory issues. The water at the Tuscany Hotel flows freely as more and more people show up for its medicinal properties. However, when the other side of the water's powers are uncovered, the guests will have to decide whether or not to take the good with the bad.
A mesmerizing, magical and mythological testament to the powers of memory. James Markert artfully weaves together the very real issues of post-traumatic stress disorder and Alzheimer's with the magic of miracles and the Greek mythology of Mnemosyne, the goddess of memory. From the beginning, where Magdalena is introduced at an orphanage on a stormy night, I felt invested in her story. Magdalena's character was not present for most of the story, but it was her spirit that kept the rest of the characters motivated. The Tuscany Hotel was created for artists and creators and the writing mirrored that in the descriptions of fresco's, colors, landscapes as well as the minutiae of everyday living. The power of the fountain intrigued me as well as the stories of the people that were helped. Vitto's healing was fascinating to watch as he resisted the pull of the water and looked within himself to recuperate. As Robert and Vitto were able to heal, they slowly teased apart Magdalena's past and the story behind the the fountain. Filled with more tantalizing stories that the one's she often told of the Greek gods and goddesses, Magdalena's written memories aided to unlock more than the past. Emotional and unique, Midnight at the Tuscany Hotel delivers a powerful story of love and memory.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
James Markert lives with his wife and two children in Louisville, Kentucky. He has a history degree from the University of Louisville and won an IPPY Award for The Requiem Rose, which was later published as A White Wind Blew, a story of redemption in a 1929 tuberculosis sanatorium, where a faith-tested doctor uses music therapy to heal the patients. The Angels’ Share is his second novel, and he is currently working on his next historical, All Things Bright and Strange. James is also a USPTA tennis pro, and has coached dozens of kids who’ve gone on to play college tennis in top conferences like the BIG 10, the Big East, and the ACC.
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