Free Public Library
2:30 – 4:00 p.m.
In 1944, British
bomber pilot Hugo Langley parachuted from his stricken plane into the verdant
fields of German-occupied Tuscany. Badly wounded, he found refuge in a ruined
monastery and in the arms of Sofia Bartoli. Nearly thirty years later, Hugo’s
estranged daughter, Joanna, has returned home to the English countryside to
arrange her father’s funeral. Among his personal effects is an unopened letter
addressed to Sofia. Joanna embarks on a healing journey to Tuscany to understand
her father’s history—and maybe come to understand herself as well. Joanna soon
discovers that some would prefer the past be left undisturbed, but she has come
too far to let go of her father’s secrets now…
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rhys Bowen is the New
York Times bestselling author of more than forty novels, including The
Victory Garden, The
Tuscan Child, and the World War II-based In
Farleigh Field. Bowen’s work has won twenty honors to date,
including multiple Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity awards. A transplanted Brit,
Bowen divides her time between California and Arizona.
The Tuscan Child
is told in two timelines. What techniques did the author use to create a
smooth sync between the time periods? Did the stories seem historically
Two different characters narrate The
Did you enjoy one of the stories more than the other? Did you relate to any
of the characters? Why or why not?
opinion of Sofia change as your reading of the book progressed? What about
the other characters?
contrast Joanna’s relationship with her father and Renzo’s with his.
other comparisons or contrasts among the characters and the two stories?
Rhys Bowen is
a mystery writer. How far into the story did you need to read before you
as a mystery? Why do you think the author paced the storylines without any
sense of urgency?
The plot moved along after the
murder of Gianni Martinelli. Were the local police right to suspect Joanna
of his murder? Did Cosimo’s arrangements for her to leave the country seem
How long did
it take you to realize what "the beautiful boy” was? Were you disappointed?
one of the final plot twists. Was the earthquake realistic?
When the seal of confession was broken, was it due to a priestly judgment (or
misjudgment) on saving the village from the Nazis, or just a writer’s technique
used to solve the mystery? Why do you think the priest broke the seal of
confession again on his deathbed?
Joanna's quick but authentic
embrace of her Italian community means she could stay, or she could go, and
either way, she might continue solving mysteries. Why do you think the
author left the book so open-ended? Do you think it might be the first book
in a series?