Author: James Markert
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: April 9, 2019
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewer: Jessica Higgins
Another interesting book by Market, yet unlike anything I’ve read of his before.
Vitto has just returned home after thirteen months spent in Europe at the close of World War II. He witnessed the evils of war that refused to stay behind when he returned home. Now back home, his five-year-old son doesn’t want anything to do with him and his father’s memory has left him with what doctors have begun to call Alzheimer’s disease. He has nightmares and is a classic case of post traumatic stress, so he checks himself into a newly constructed VA hospital. However, one night his father packs his bag and runs away. After his wife Valerie comes for him, they travel to the one place that would have any semblance of normal for his father, The Tuscany Hotel. Built and run by Vitto’s parents, the hotel used to be filled with artists, actors, and writers who were looking for inspiration. Now the famed fountain in the center courtyard is mysteriously flowing again and Vitto’s father has started drinking from it and it seems that his dementia is disappearing. When word gets out, the rooms begin to be filled again by people seeking control of their minds. But does drinking this water come with a cost?
I’ve read the author’s previous books and I must say that this was unlike anything he’s written before. The story is told primarily at the end of World War II when Vitto returns home from the war. However, there are also some occasional back stories thrown in concerning his mom, Magdalena, and her upbringing as well as when he and Valerie were kids at the hotel. Markert does a good job of tying several of the loose ends together, but it’s done at random (almost as if he is trying to simulate a type of mis-organization for the reader). There is also a lot of Greek mythology throughout the book as it relates to the layout and design of the hotel. So, if you are not a fan of that, you will likely get bored with multiple areas of the book and the stories that go along with the architecture and sculptures within the hotel. Ultimately it is a book about memories and how different individuals cope with painful memories. Markert does a great job weaving his supernatural flair into the story as well, making it his own.
I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher. The views and opinions expressed within are my own.