Read The Silent Fountain by Victoria Fox Online


Something terrible happened here...Hollywood, 1975: Tragedy sends troubled film star Vivien Lockhart into the arms of Giovanni Moretti, and it seems her fortunes have finally changed. Until she meets his sister, and learns that her new husband's past holds dark secrets. Tuscany, Present day: Everyone in London is searching for Lucy Whittaker - so Lucy needs to disappear. BSomething terrible happened here...Hollywood, 1975: Tragedy sends troubled film star Vivien Lockhart into the arms of Giovanni Moretti, and it seems her fortunes have finally changed. Until she meets his sister, and learns that her new husband's past holds dark secrets. Tuscany, Present day: Everyone in London is searching for Lucy Whittaker - so Lucy needs to disappear. But her new home, the crumbling Castillo Barbarossa, is far from the secluded paradise it seemed. Across the decades, Vivien and Lucy find themselves trapped in the idyllic Italian villa. And if they are ever to truly escape its walls, they must first unearth its secrets......

Title : The Silent Fountain
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781848455009
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 464 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Silent Fountain Reviews

  • Julie
    2019-05-19 21:42

    The Silent Fountain by Victoria Fox is a 2017 Mira publication. This is a moving, heartbreaking story written with shades of Gothic mystery and romance.In the 1970s, after escaping an abusive home life, Vivien finally got her big break as an actress, but the price of success comes at a big cost. After a horrific accident, Vivien is nursed back to health by the handsome Dr. Giovanni Moretti. The couple falls madly in love, but secrets from the past could stain their lives together, while tragedy tears away the remaining shreds of happiness left in their relationship. Fast forward to present day and we find the aging and haunted Vivien living in Tuscany, on the Castillo Barbarossa estate, which is only a shadow of its former glory. Needing help, Vivien hires, Lucy Whittaker, a young woman who needs a change of scenery after a finding herself at the heart of gut wrenching scandal. But, once Lucy arrives, she feels ill at ease in the old house, which is full of strange noises, and the neglected courtyard fountain seems to hold the knowledge of horrifying crimes. Lucy is compelled to figure out all of Vivien’s secrets, but, she never would have imagined the ghastly truths she would uncover, which will more than explain why Vivien has been living a reclusive life, while Lucy, discovers a few truths about herself and what is really important in life. This story is an emotional tale, full of dark family secrets, sadness, cruelty, and heartbreak, but is also a story of redemption, closure and new beginnings. I loved the Gothic undertones in this story. The old estate, the reclusive actress, the buried secrets and crimes helped to create a taut, atmospheric tone, full of suspense and danger. There were a few weak spots in the story right there at the beginning, where events were glossed over, perhaps to propel the story onwards, but other than that, the reader will be easily drawn in by all the mystery and the romance surrounding Vivien and will worry about Lucy’s involvement and her current predicament as the press begins to zero in on her private location. The tale is bittersweet, and in some ways a little moody, and melancholy, but I loved the way things turned out for Lucy, which was a very pleasant and upbeat way for the book to conclude. Overall, the author did a great job of capturing a pure Gothic tone while weaving a mesmerizing tale of suspense, love and loss. This book was right up my alley! I really do wish there were more books written like this one! 4 stars

  • Lindsay
    2019-05-18 21:49

    4 stars!This was a haunting, addictive and atmospheric story. I thoroughly enjoyed the characters and setting of this novel told in dual timelines – Hollywood, 1978 and Tuscany, Present Day. I was equally intrigued with each storyline and was quickly flipping pages to see how the two timelines would intersect. The majority of this book unfolds within an old mansion, the Castillo Barbarossa, nestled and secluded in the Italian countryside. This eerie Italian villa becomes a character of its own, with its crumbling stone façade, its old stone courtyard fountain, endless rooms, dim hallways, dark stairways and the forbidden, locked-up attic. This Italian manor house had such a dramatic and eerie feel – I could fully imagine the characters within its walls, secluded behind its massive structure.The author, Victoria Fox, did an outstanding job building suspense as each page was turned. I was completely engrossed in the writing and found myself absorbed within the characters thoughts and predicaments. A few minor pieces of the story seemed a little unrealistic, but nothing that took away from my overall enjoyment of the novel.I found this novel to be an easy and highly entertaining read with just the right mix of suspense, historical plot, eerie atmosphere and suspenseful secrets. A big thank you to NetGalley, Harlequin and Victoria Fox for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review!!

  • Zoe
    2019-05-01 19:50

    Heartbreaking, romantic and utterly alluring!The Silent Fountain is an incredibly absorbing and emotive novel about love, life, loss, deception, infidelity, friendship, family, jealousy, obsession, and tragedy.There are two main memorable characters in this novel. Vivian, a starlet from the 1970s who moved to Italy with the love of her life until one day everything she held dear was taken, shattered and destroyed. And Lucy, a young woman who fell in love with the wrong man and is now hiding from the public and media revile being cast her way.The writing is eloquent and expressive.  The plot is well crafted and uses a past/present, back-and-forth style to create suspense and emotion as it subtly unravels all the histories, personalities, relationships, and motivations within it. And the characterization is well done with a cast of characters that are distressed, raw and endearing and a setting, Castillo Barbarossa, that is a character itself with its dereliction, isolation, and multitude of secrets.The Silent Fountain is truly a clever, haunting, atmospheric novel that swept me away to a city touched by both cruelty and love and immersed me in a poignant, moving story that certainly had me shedding a few tears. This was the first novel I've read by Victoria Fox but I can guarantee you it won't be the last.Thank you to Harlequin Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.All my reviews can be found on my blog at

  • Amy
    2019-04-29 18:50

    4.5/5I’m not exactly sure what I was expecting when I started reading The Silent Fountain but whatever I had been anticipating could in no way live up to my actual experience reading this little gem of a book. It had a little bit of everything and then some, there was suspense, tension, intrigue, scandal, romance all steeped in a dark and painful history. It was also extremely evocative and took me on quite an emotional journey that I won’t soon forget.This is told using dual narratives, you have Lucy in the present day who is fleeing London after a troubled past to seek work in Tuscany and then there’s Vivien in the seventies who lived in the house where Lucy will be working. This was a very compelling read but I did find myself more drawn to Vivien’s sections, I think I was just more emotionally connected to her and fully invested in her story. The pacing was great, it flipped back and forth effortlessly until things almost merged together in a heartbreaking conclusion.Fox is an amazing writer, her imagery was beautiful and I was swept away to Italy inside the walls of Barbarossa. She did an awesome job of constructing a haunting setting in the old, worn out mansion and I could easily imagine each and every scene I read. The stunning cover didn’t hurt either, I swear I kept staring at it time and time again! Fox has a new fan in me, I’ll definitely be following her closely, this was an excellent read.

  • TL
    2019-05-05 15:44

    I received this via Goodreads Giveaways in exchange for an honest review. All my opinions are my own. 😊---I seem to be in the Minority here for the most part, aah well.There were elements that reminded me of a couple of my favorite authors but overall was underwhelming to me. I give the author kudos for how creepy Isabella was though.It felt a bit drawn out as well.*shrugs* On to the next one.

  • Rachel Gilbey
    2019-05-24 20:39

    Sitting here open mouthed in wonderment, but equally speechless with just how much I completely adored this book. I read the first 3 chapters when I had a short bit of time, and then spent the next few hours thinking about how the book would progress, which showed me just how much it was under my skin instantly. I had many questions just from the beginning and over the course of the book I did get all the answers. My next stint of reading too me to about 75%, where I incredibly reluctantly put the book down, only because it was 2.30am, and I figured I should probably go to bed. I just had to keep on turning the pages, and kept gasping in shock, as various elements were revealed, or turns in the story occurred. Of course I read the last bit in one sitting too, so the book was basically unputdownable for me, and whenever I wasn't reading it, I was thinking about the characters. The Silent Fountain is a remarkably different book from Victoria Fox, who is more known for her big bonkbuster summery novels. This story however has far deeper veins running through it, and tells two different stories alongside each other.One starts in the 1970s, and is the story of Vivien Lockhart's life, from her early childhood, and through her marriage, and issues with her sister-in-law. The other story is set in present day Tuscany, and all you know to begin with is that Lucy Whittaker is needing an escape from the UK, and from something terrible that she has done. I found both stories equally engaging and I just wanted to know more and more about Vivien especially, and her life. There is always a chapter heading when you are getting the past so it was easy to tell who or what you were following at any time. We also see a small amount of what Vivien is like in the present day, and large amounts of her story are heartbreaking. The Silent Fountain is a story that edged under my skin, leaving it on my mind even when I wasn't reading. I found it atmospheric, full of details, and loved reading about the Castillo Barbarossa and the secrets within its walls. I am also incredibly impressed by the change of style from Victoria Fox, and shows she is an even more talented author than I may have first thought. Not really sure how to describe the sort of book this is, other than if you like books that seep into your conscious, like a bit of mystery and drama, then this could be the book for you! Thank you so much to Netgalley and HQ for this copy of the book which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.

  • DJ Sakata
    2019-05-09 16:54

    Favorite Quotes:I’ve never told my family anything about my life, and the more personal it is, the more precious and the less willing I am to share it. Sometimes she pictures the materials of this house, the solid wood and hard marble, the cool stone, absorbing every thought and feeling her body has expelled. If she squeezes the drapes, tears will seep out, like the wringing of a cloth; if she scratches the stairways, secrets will plume and curl in a thin ribbon: grey smoke.He looked like a prince who had lived for a thousand years and never aged a day. His skin was marble, lightly tanned by the LA sun but harbouring the deep, permanent colour of foreign blood. She imagined him living in a forest, surrounded by sky and leaves.Vivien knew that Isabella was multifaceted, but even she was impressed at the dazzling persona that now charmed Gilbert Lockhart like a snake winding through grass.It felt like a long time that I was standing there, and that the rest of the café was transfixed. In reality, it couldn’t have been more than a few seconds and nobody else cared.My Review:I was quickly sucked down the rabbit hole with this well-crafted and superbly written tale and didn’t want to surface until I reached the heart-squeezing conclusion. The Silent Fountain proved to be a tantalizing treat that was irresistibly intriguing and maddeningly paced. This was my first experience reading Victoria Fox’s unique form of genius but I expect her to become a habit, as she is a master storyteller who certainly knows how to captivate and maintain the reader’s attention as well as tease the imagination with anticipation and misdirection. I was engaged, immersed, and taut with tension. I loved it! I was fascinated by the alluring and mysterious characters and was deeply embedded in the eerily compelling storyline and found myself becoming increasing conflicted as I neared the conclusion. I was anxious and eager to solve the mystery yet I didn’t want the tale to end. Victoria Fox is an evil genius and has diabolically mad skills and an instant fangirl!

  • The Lit Bitch
    2019-05-13 18:57

    3.5 starsThere is nothing like fall to make you want to read a mystery or a Gothic novel…..well at least for me! Fall is the perfect time to curl up with a creep or suspenseful book and spend the day lost in the mystery. That’s exactly what I did with The Silent Fountain!I read this book as part of Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon, it was hard to break with my Pink Carnation book but somehow I found the ability to read something else, and I was not sad in the least. This book was a great Gothic novel!I liked this book more than I was expecting to. The first chapter or two was a little meat for me. Plus I tend to like my Gothic novels set in the Victorian-esque time period, not just before I was born.It just didn’t seem to be long enough ‘in the past’ for me to really get into it. I wasn’t convinced when I read the description, but so many others loved it on Goodreads so I decided to give it a go. I was not disappointed in my decision in the least.As I said the first couple of chapters were kind of ‘meah’ for me. I wasn’t really invested in the story or characters but then when I was on a Readathon break, I found myself thinking about the story and wondering how things were going to progress and how the characters were going to evolve.Before long, I found myself wanting to know more and wanting to keep reading. This books had hints of Victoria Holt and Mary Stewart without being a cheep carbon copy of them and also a little more modern which I thought was tantalizing.The duel storylines worked well and I liked watching how things culminated for the two plots in the end. The end was a little rushed considering the book was long with plenty of time to build up the ending, but on the whole it was satisfying.This is a new author to me but from what I gather, this book is a little darker than some of her other books. I liked the tension and darkness within the plot but at times felt like things moved a little too slow in places that could have been faster and oo fast in places that things should have been slower, if that makes sense.This book was hard to rate, on one hand I wanted to give it 4 stars because I liked the Gothic feel of the novel but on the other hand I felt a little frustrated with the pace of the novel in various areas (both too fast and too slow) which made me want to give it 3 stars. I decided to combine the two and go with a 3.5 rating. It was enjoyable and had a distinct Gothic feel to it so fans of that genre will enjoy it but it needs some polishing in the pace department.See my full review here/

  • Thebooktrail
    2019-05-17 14:47

    BRILLIANT! Way more than five stars!Visit the locations in the novel here: The Silent FountainStunning in every way – the plot, characters, dual time line, hidden secrets, that stunning mansion in the Tuscan hills…the women whose destinies seem to be linked via that place…. I was enthralled throughout and was totally captivated with the twists and turns of the vine like plot which reeled you in and kept me firmly locked inside that house, hearing its every creek, wondering if I would ever see the mysterious owner, find out the mystery of that fountain….I’ve never felt so excited about a novel unravelling in a long while…that house had me captivated and entranced like I’d been mesmerized, hypnotised even. What is Vivien’s link to that house and why does Lucy find there? Why is Lucy welcomed by a maid who seems to lock everything away and hide even the owner from sight? OMG I wanted to know but all I could see were the vines, the cold gothic turrets of that house..when Lucy dared enter one of the rooms she was not allowed to venture into, I held my breath…… I could see the corridors, feel the tension, smell the fear and wanted to help Lucy dig those secrets out. Vivien especially had that allure from the start and her time in the house and her struggles were some of the most tense moments which shocked and made me gasp out loud. I found myself almost shouting out advice and the odd ‘ She’s behind you!’ so vivid was the tension and fear. This was no pantomime however – but real tension and a story being played out where you as the helpless readers was held there, hynotised by the flicker of each page….I loved this book – it reminded me of the times where as a child, the world slipped away, the trees seemed to wrap their branches around me, the walls of my bedroom dissolved and where I was in that gothic place, seeing characters come to life and step from the pages.Victoria Fox has written a novel of complex yet alluring detail that held my gaze from the start. Just brilliant. Breathlessly intriguing, as twisty and deadly as those vines growing on the wall outside. And the Fox puppet master controlling the characters from above…never once did I see or feel the strings and the performances were electric. The ending – bravo but I’m still inside Castillo Barbarossa even now as I cannot bear to leave its walls.

  • Deb
    2019-05-20 16:36

    The publisher's description of The Silent Fountain drew me in with it being primarily set in Italy, the promise of 'dark secrets' and a Gothic feel, and dual time settings and perspectives, which are are all things that I enjoy. Once I started the book, I was immediately absorbed--at one moment I was feeling all of the pleasures of the sunny Italian countryside, the next moment the menacing feel and foreboding chills of a crumbling estate with noises and odd occurrences would come sneaking in, along with a few goosebumps (called 'chicken skin' here). The writing is descriptive and the shifts in time and point of view serve to build the tension between chapters and move the story along, making it often hard to put down. Bits and pieces of the history of the two main characters, Lucy, a young British woman running to Italy from the implosion of her life, and Vivian, a faded American actress, owner of the Castillo Barbosa and Lucy's new (but mysteriously unseen) employer, unfold and their secrets are slowly revealed. I liked the well-executed mix of settings and stories--present day at the crumbling estate outside of Florence and the late 1970s through the mid-1980s in Hollywood and Tuscany, and I enjoyed both characters. Although Vivian is the headliner with more complexity and nuances to her story, Lucy provides a solid supporting role and her character grows throughout the book. There were some good twists that kept me guessing and although the ending wasn't quite what I was expecting, it worked with the story and left me feeling all the feels. The Silent Fountain will appeal if you like women's fiction with Gothic leanings, books set in Italy and/or romantic mysteries with a bit of depth to them. This is my first book from Victoria Fox but I will be looking into some of her other works. You can see my review, along with a recipe inspired by my reading on my blog post, here: A review copy of "The Silent Fountain" was provided to me by the author and the publisher via TLC Book Tours. I was not compensated for this review and as always, my thoughts and opinions are my own.

  • Il confine dei libri
    2019-04-27 15:40

    Miei cari lettori, ho paura di non avere molte parole da dedicare a questo romanzo. Me le ha tolte. Ho vissuto in una favola sinistra, surreale, un solo piedino a terra a comunicare con la realtà.Inventerei un genere a parte per questo libro. Non è una di quelle trame tessute per sgomentarti con un finale inaspettato; qui ogni cosa è inaspettata, persino i dettagli: sei completamente dentro alla storia eppure vivi sempre una storia diversa. Questo è stato per me "La casa deli scandali" di Victoria Fox, edito Newton Compton Editori. Abbiamo una scrittura semplice, fluida, ritmica. Un intenso flusso di coscienza che divora ogni particolare. Victoria Fox descrive l’ambiente circostante permettendo al lettore di vedere attraverso gli occhi dei protagonisti. Siamo a Firenze, al castello Barbarossa, un antico cuore di mura che pulsa di ricordi e di esperienze singolari. Noi possiamo percepire il marmo sotto le piante dei piedi, percepire il profumo dei limoni e dei fiori dei giardini. Possiamo avvertire lo sguardo dei ritratti o rimanere senza fiato davanti alla maestosità della sala da ballo. Possiamo avvertire il battito che accelera davanti alla porta della soffitta.Questo grazie a due anime di epoche distanti che vengono ad incontrarsi proprio tra quelle mura. Una giovane londinese, Lucy Whittaker, coglie al volo l’opportunità di scappare in Italia, lontana da uno scandalo che potrebbe cambiarle la vita per sempre. Ha il cuore talmente divorato dai sensi di colpa che puoi sentirli e così tremendamente innamorato che ti manca l’aria quando leggi il nome di James. Il Castello Barbarossa è pronto ad accoglierla, così come altre giovani prima di lei, per prendersi cura di quelle stanze insieme ad Adalina, la fedele cameriera della padrona di quella folle reggia. Non ci vorrà molto perché Lucy capisca di essersi imbattuta in qualcosa di persino più sinistro ed inquietante del proprio trascorso.Qui il destino di Lucy viene ad incrociarsi con quello della meravigliosa Vivien Lockhart, una donna resa ormai fragile e vulnerabile, consumata dal dolore e dalla solitudine. Vivien è la padrona del castello, e vanta un passato da giovane attrice amata e litigata dai più grandi di Hollywood. Vivien sceglie di abbandonare tutto per seguire Giovanni Moretti, un medico o forse uno scienziato, qui in Italia, per vivere in questo spettacolare castello. Una coppia mozzafiato capace di far invidia al mondo.Ma, c’è sempre un ma. Moretti è affascinante, misterioso e ambiguo. Sembra animato da due personalità. La causa?Isabella. Talmente sono rimasta affascinata da questo personaggio che ho quasi il timore di evocarlo. Isabella è una sorella, ma è tutto fuor che una sorella. Muta, silenziosa, evanescente. I fratelli Moretti condividono un passato molto doloroso, sono uniti da qualcosa di viscerale, intenso, inaccessibile a Vivien. Isabella parla solo con lo sguardo e giuro che mette i brividi. Isabella è l’inizio e la fine di tutto.Due sono quindi i tempi, due sono le voci narranti. Lucy capiterà per caso nel mondo disincantato di Vivien, quando tutto è ormai è perso e non le resta altro che Adalina. Perso, ma non finito. Non è rimasto nessuno al Castello Barbarossa, eppure…Non voglio rivelare nulla di più, sarebbe un vero peccato. Mi mancherà il castello, mi mancheranno i personaggi. Mi mancherà praticamente tutto di questo romanzo, persino la tremenda fontana di pietra che emana vibrazioni agghiaccianti. Se è questo che volete provare, leggete La Casa degli Scandali.

  • Jenea Whittington
    2019-04-30 22:40

    The Silent Fountain is a gothic and historical romance with a little bit of suspense mixed too. This house has some sinister things going on it. What more could I ask for?Fox takes us back and forth between Vivien Lockhardt in the 70’s and Lucy Whittaker in the present, and it done so with such grace that it flows right into each other. Never confusing, just completely enthralling and with a pace that kept me turning the pages to see what was going to happen. Vivien is one those characters who you love, but then you want to hate all at the same time. In the end, I found Vivien to be a wonderful woman, and felt her story deep with in. She had so many insecurities. But if you had a sister-in-law like Isabella you’d have insecurities too. Now in the marriage between Vivien and Gio, there was a love triangle, and not the normal kind. The other woman, was none other than his sister. Yep, his sister. He loved her, not in any way that he shouldn’t but he put her first before Vivien most of the time. And Isabella knew this and used it to her advantage, jeez, this woman was a piece of work. Gio on the other hand was quite a gentleman, he loved his wife, and his sister, and being in the middle was hard for him. I kinda felt bad for him, in a way.In the present day, Lucy Whittaker wants to escape her life. She has made mistakes, and they were some pretty big mistakes and from that a terrible tragedy has occurred. Now Lucy has to live with the consequences. She find herself at Castillo Barbarossa, with a new job. She has no idea who the reclusive Vivien Lockhardt is, but a job is a job. It doesn’t take her long to learn that is something else going at this house. And I really liked that she just followed her intuition and follow the clues before her and looked for answers. She got herself into the sticky situations, but that didn’t stop her. She was so much like Vivien, with her feelings of insecurity and guilt of mistakes. It wasn’t hard to feel for her, and want her to not be so hard on herself. She was a strong woman, she just had to find it within somehow.The setting within Italy was beautifully described, and yet the Castillo Barbarossa had horrible events that took place in this secluded home, even the walls have secrets. As the story flows along, those secrets are revealed and all the pieces fall into place. When the truth is revealed, it both a relief and heartbreaking. There is so much to this story, it is an ending and a beginning for both Vivien and Lucy. Victoria Fox has given us a wonderfully written story that both captivates and stays with you. And, I can’t recommend this enough. I certainly wasn’t prepared for that ending, so has some tissues.

  •  Martin
    2019-05-08 18:33

    I could sum up this blog entry with one phrase: grab this book now, and move on to the next topic...

  • Shaz Goodwin
    2019-05-19 14:32’s so hard to write down my thoughts because I loved The Silent Fountain. Where to start …The format is brilliant. Lucy’s first person narration beginning in London 2016 and arriving in Italy had my head buzzing with questions. My questions didn’t stop there. This is a story that keeps you continually thinking, questioning and trying to work out the anomalies. Vivien’s third person narrative takes us back to 1972 to when she is 16. I was already hooked because of Lucy and her dilemma but Vivien grabbed my emotions and didn’t ever let go. I was hungry to find out what was happening in those days from the 70s leading us to present day. I wasn’t disappointed. Victoria Fox leaves us hanging in suspense at the end of each narration and I’m so glad I read this during half term because it’s a novel I just couldn’t put down, still continuing to read into the early hours of the morning! You think you have it sussed when another layer comes unstuck and something you believed is a fact is not a truth at all. Perfect pacing and timing.Relationships. This is a love triangle with a difference. I thought Vivien’s relationship with Gio was toxic (co-dependent) but that was nothing compared to what else is going on. I was mistrustful of Max in Lucy’s life because when we find out something it’s obvious he’s lying … but is he? Gilbert is a low life and Isabella – well I guess I’m supposed to feel sorry for her but I don’t. And as for James. He deserved something more vile than what Lucy did. I’m going to use that word again. Perfect characterisations.I liked the contrast between the settings. You can feel the past of Castillo Barbarossa seeping out of the walls and into your pores. So much darkness. It’s a living and breathing entity and in a way, a supporting character looking for resolution.There’s no way you can finish The Silent Fountain without tears in your eyes. Poignant. The end. The beginning.

  • Emma Crowley
    2019-04-26 19:35

    Victoria Fox is perhaps best known for writing sizzling bonkbusters with a hint of mystery that always provide such an escapist read. But now she is back with something slightly different and almost sinister in tone which is evident from the cover of The Silent Fountain as it has such dark, foreboding colours compared to the usual brash, bright colours normally a book by this author would have. It's nice to see authors veering out of their comfort zone and taking things in a new direction. I was even more delighted to see this book featured a dual storyline between the past and the present which is just my kind of read.By the time I was a few chapters in I was kicking myself that I had let this book languish on my Kindle just that little bit too long. Victoria Fox may have ventured down new avenues with this book but she certainly hasn't lost her talent for writing an insanely good story that keeps you turning the pages eager to know more. OK it doesn't feature racy sex scenes and the intrigue and glamour that her readers may have come to expect but that didn't bother me in the slightest as the feelings of menace, hate, evil and dominance intensified with every turn of the page and held me in their thrall. Before I knew it I found myself halfway through this compulsive story whose main characters Lucy Whittaker and Vivien Lockheart had really got inside my head and I really didn't want to leave the book down until I had gotten the answers to so many questions.The story moves back and forth between Italy in the present and also the past life of Vivien Lockheart beginning in America. It soon becomes apparent the power of love is a strong theme throughout the story. As the story progresses similarities emerge between our female characters yet at the same time there are numerous hidden depths to both that are waiting to be uncovered. Lucy lives in London but even from the first chapter it's evident there has been a recent trauma in her life and everything is about to change. She is attempting to come to terms with what has happened and how both her head and heart have been messed with yet at the same time she needs to keep things under wraps. I enjoyed how we weren't privy to all of Lucy's story in one fell swoop instead we are drip fed bits of tantalising information at the end of every chapter that left you open mouthed more than once. There were such cliffhangers at the end of each chapter I found myself torn in two, wanting to read about whoever was next or else I found myself want to skip it to get back to the cliffhanger part. This story really was that absorbing and just as one question resolved itself another more major plot line would reveal itself. As Lucy battles with her emotions it's clear she needs to make a decision, hide or face the world and accept what has happened. So when an opportunity presents itself in Italy to look after the house of a reclusive woman Lucy jumps at the chance, little does she know instead of finding peace and solitude in order to reach acceptance instead waiting for her are mystery and secrets galore.In the earlier half of the book in the chapters from Vivien's viewpoint we get to know a little bit more about her back story. Slowly piece by piece the author builds a picture of a woman who has had a rough childhood at the hands of her father, zealous minister Gilbert, and how she ran away to seek her fame and fortune in order to bury painful memories of a cruel and spiteful man. I did initially think this will be the usual Hollywood starlet storyline of making it big against all the odds and meeting and dumping plenty of men along the way. I couldn't have been more wrong. I'm glad Vivien's career wasn't the sole focus as it really allowed the author to spread her wings and run riot with the crazy, foreboding feelings that pervaded for the majority of the book. Vivien is a woman who takes control of her life but the one thing she lacks and deeply longs for is love and through an accident she meets charming Doctor Gio Moretti and falls head over heels. I totally got what Vivien saw in Gio. He was the polar opposite to everything she had experienced when it came to male figures in her life and she wanted to be protected and loved unconditionally. So much so that she would do whatever he wanted even if it meant a third person enters their relationship. That is in the form of his sister Isabella who had been rendered mute by a traumatic incident in her childhood. I could see Vivien desperately wanted comfort, love and security and was delighted when that came in the form of marriage but similar to Lucy little did she know the path that awaited her.Isabella was a complex character for whom communication was an issue but thanks to the brilliant writing of Victoria Fox she came alive on the page and none more so than when Gio and Vivien move to Italy so he can engage in research. The book really got going then and as connections are established between the castillo Lucy finds herself working in and the story of Vivien's life in Italy. In both story lines the castillo becomes like a character all of its own and is witness to many strange and evil things. Lucy soon forgot what was going back at home (to be honest I felt she got herself into a hole of her own making and should have been wiser) as she tried to understand and uncover the castillo's secrets and the mysterious signora whom she never meets as the maid keeps her away.I think I preferred Vivien to Lucy, not that I hated Lucy, it's just her story was slightly stronger and made for real edge of your seat stuff. As Vivien settles down to what she hopes will be a blissful life in Italy it soon becomes apparent the villa is not all that idyllic and although one character may present a certain front to the outside world beneath it all there is a lot more going on. There are so many adjectives that could be used to describe said character – manipulative, cruel, evil, crazy, creepy and hateful are just a few. At times I couldn't believe what I was reading and wanted just to shake someone and say come on open your eyes, see what is in front of you. How can you doubt one person over another? As the chapters flew by and my impatience for the big reveal grew the overwhelming sense of mystery, darkness and menace just grew and grew and I couldn't help thinking this really is very different to anything I have read by this author before but my god I'm loving the rising tension and the crafty twists and turns.My only hope the further I read and as certain things were revealed was that when the big outcome came would it all prove to be a big let down? Where could the story possibly go as Lucy herself feels the sense of sadness and horror emanating from the castle? I would have been bitterly disappointed given how brilliantly the characters had been drawn and how the setting and back story created only to not have that gasp out loud moment of shock when the ultimate reveal came. Thankfully I wasn't one bit disappointed. I had grasped at the hints dropped throughout the story but was never fully able to bring them all together and was pleased with the overall outcome.Victoria Fox has written a brilliant story that takes you on a journey that is at times very sinister yet at others there are moments of tenderness. As soon as you start reading you will become oblivious to everything around you and find your heart in your mouth more than once as the intrigue and suspicion levels ramp themselves up a gear. To discover does Lucy unearth the secrets so long hidden in the castillo I suggest you get this book as soon as possible. It's a real page turner and definitely one for the keeper shelf.

  • Kerstin
    2019-05-21 23:00

    Kurzbeschreibung:Zwei Frauen. Ein Geheimnis um ein Kind. Ein tragisches Unglück.Lucy steht in London vor den Scherben ihres Lebens. Als ihr eine Stelle als Haushälterin in der Toskana angeboten wird, sagt sie zu. Angekommen auf dem Castillo Barbarossa, merkt sie schon bald, dass ein düsteres Geheimnis über dem Anwesen liegt. Rätsel ranken sich um die Hausherrin Vivien, die einst eine berühmte Schauspielerin war, ehe sie sich plötzlich aus der Öffentlichkeit zurückzog. Als Lucy das alte Tagebuch von Vivien findet, stößt sie auf ein tragisches Unglück und jahrzehntealte Geheimnisse. *Quelle*Zur Autorin:Victoria Fox, Jahrgang 1983, wuchs in Northamptonshire auf. Sie studierte an der Sussex University und unternahm dort ihre ersten Schreibversuche. Sie arbeitete als Lektorin, bevor sie sich selbst ganz dem Schreiben widmete.Meinung:Victoria Fox hat mit Der Mitternachtsgarten einen Roman vorgelegt, der sich in die im Moment sehr angesagten Familiengeheimnis-Romane, die auf zwei Zeitebenen spielen, einreiht, mich aber nicht ganz so sehr begeistern konnte.Die Geschichte wird abwechselnd in der Gegenwart, im Jahr 2016, und der Vergangenheit, beginnend im Jahr 1972 bis in die Gegenwart, erzählt.Beginnend 2016 reist Lucy Whittaker von ihrer Heimat London in die Toskana, um dort eine Stelle als Haushälterin im Schloss Castillo Barbarossa anzunehmen. In London hatte sie eine Affäre mit ihrem verheirateten Chef James, der sie entflieht, da diese kein gutes Ende nahm. Sie hofft, in der Toskana auf andere Gedanken zu kommen und James endgültig zu vergessen. Die Hausherrin, die ehemalige Schauspielerin Vivien Lockhart, bleibt ihr lange Zeit ein Rätsel, da sie sich vor Lucy versteckt und nur über ihre Angestellte Adalina mit ihr kommuniziert.In der Vergangenheit, beginnend im Jahr 1972, lernt man Vivien Lockhart näher kennen. Sie stammt aus einer gläubigen Familie, hat unter ihrem Vater zu leiden, bis sie eines Tages ihrem Elternhaus den Rücken zukehrt, danach in einem zwielichtigen Club arbeitet, um dann als Schauspielerin ganz nach oben zu steigen. Als sie den Arzt Giovanni Moretti kennen und lieben lernt, zieht sie sich aus dem Filmgeschäft zurück. Doch ihre Liebe zu Gio wird schnell getrübt, als sie seine Schwester Isabella, die seit der Kindheit an einem Trauma leidet, kennenlernt. Denn diese will ihren Bruder nicht mit einer anderen Frau teilen.Victoria Fox verbindet hier Vergangenheit und Gegenwart zu einer wirklich dramatischen Geschichte vor der Kulisse der italienischen Toskana, deren Schilderung mir sehr gut gefallen hat. Lucy Whittaker als eine der Hauptfiguren empfand ich allerdings lange Zeit als zu naiv. Ihre kopflose Flucht aus London, um ihre Affäre zu vergessen, konnte ich erst nicht richtig nachvollziehen bis die Hintergründe genauer bekannt wurden. Als sie versucht, Viviens Vergangenheit näher zu beleuchten, legt sie dann doch eine gewisse Hartnäckigkeit an den Tag, die sie mir wesentlich sympathischer machte.Als tragischer Hauptcharakter agiert hier die ehemalige Schauspielerin Vivien Lockhart. Als sie sich in jungen Jahren von ihrem bigotten Elternhaus lossagt, um auf eigenen Beinen zu stehen, erfährt sie schon so manche Niederschläge. Erst in der Beziehung mit Giovanni "Gio" Moretti blüht sie richtig auf, doch dies währt leider nicht lange, denn da ist auch noch Gios Schwester Isabella, die seit ihrer Kindheit an einem erlebten Trauma leidet, das sie stumm werden ließ, ihre Abneigung gegenüber Vivien aber nicht verleugnen kann.Als alle drei in die Toskana ins Castillo Barbarossa umziehen, wird immer mehr klar, dass Isabella Vivien schaden will. Kleine Intrigen und Geschehnisse häufen sich und Vivien sucht die Aussprache mit ihrem Mann, der ihr allerdings keinen Glauben schenkt, bis sich die Vorfälle häufen und am Ende das Unaussprechliche passiert. Vivien war für mich eine sympathische Figur, mit der man mitleidet in ihrer Hilflosigkeit gegenüber Isabella und der man gerne in irgendeiner Form geholfen hätte. Allerdings waren mir einige Kapitel, vor allem die, die in der Gegenwart spielen, oftmals zu langatmig und ausschweifend erzählt. Hier hätte man einiges straffen können, um den Lesefluss nicht zu beeinträchtigen. Doch konnte mich eine Wendung am Ende der Geschichte durchaus überraschen und auch der Schreibstil von Victoria Fox war an sich recht atmosphärisch und ein klein wenig mystisch angehaucht, was gut zur Kulisse der Toskana gepasst hat. Die Kurzbeschreibung, in der Viviens Tagebuch eine große Rolle spielt, ist leider irreführend, da dieses eigentlich nur ein paar Mal erwähnt wird. Hier ging ich anfangs davon aus, dass die Rückblicke in Viviens Vergangenheit direkt aus dem Tagebuch in Ich-Form erzählt würden, was leider nicht der Fall war und mir sehr viel besser gefallen hätte.Fazit:Der Roman hat eine wirklich tragische Lebensgeschichte der Hauptfigur Vivien Lockhart zu bieten, doch werden einige Kapitel in der Gegenwartsebene etwas zäh in die Länge gezogen. Die Kulisse und Schilderung der Toskana trug jedoch sehr zur Atmosphäre des Romans bei.

  • Susi
    2019-05-18 15:45

    Recensione presente anche sul blog Bookish Advisor http://bookishadvisor.blogspot.itSe volete rivivere le sensazioni uniche ed irripetibili che è possibile provare solo nella campagna toscana, a cui si aggiungono un concentrato di segreti da svelare pagina dopo pagina, La casa degli scandali di Victoria Fox è il libro che fa per voi.Parto col dirvi che questo è uno dei libri che adoro leggere perché la linea temporale delle vicende è spaccata tra il presente e il passato. Il primo narrato da Lucy e il suo improvviso viaggio in Italia per scappare da uno scandalo che la lega al suicidio della moglie del suo capo e il secondo legato al PoV di Vivien, dal suo scappare di casa a soli sedici anni, alla fulgida carriera in quello che è il periodo d'oro di Hollywood fino al matrimonio con un facoltoso dottore italiano che la porterà a lasciare gli States per diventare la padrona di casa di una maestosa dimora nella campagna toscana.Due storie affascinanti ed accattivanti che condurranno il lettore tra scandali e segreti, twist inaspettati e la ricerca del vero amore.Ho amato il personaggio di Vivien, ho amato la sua intraprendenza e la sua forza, è uno di quei personaggi che non puoi fare a meno di amare perché ti immedesimi facilmente nella sua vita e simpatizzi per lei al primo scorgere delle ingiustizie che le capitano.Il suo è un PoV in terza persona, un espediente letterario che permette al lettore solo di trarre le nostre conclusione relativamente a quello che è lo scandalo che nasconde.Lucy, invece, è la protagonista che ci porterà all'inferno della “casa degli scandali” per svelare finalmente quali sono i segreti e i rimpianti che si celano dietro quelle porte chiuse ormai da più di vent'anni. Lei rappresenta il coraggio del non arrendersi mai, di lottare fino alla scoperta della verità, ma più di tutto, lei rappresenta la lotta per il vero amore.Il suo PoV è in prima persona ed è grazie a lei che è possibile entrare a far parte della storia sin da subito e rimanere incantati dalla casa toscana e lo scandalo che la coinvolge.Ad accompagnare le due protagoniste si presentano un vario cast di figure di rilievo tra cui le controparti maschili come Gio, Max e James.Il personaggio, invece, che terrà il lettore sulle spine per la sua complessità e per l'enigma che rappresenta è Adelina, quello che potremmo considerare l'antagonista di questa storia.Lo stile di Victoria Fox è elegante e sapientemente costruito in linea con la storia narrata: descrizioni precise e minuziose degli ambienti che aiutano a determinare e rappresentare al meglio le sensazioni che l'autrice vuole far provare di passo in passo nel corso della lettura.La storia è costruita con estrema attenzione e precisione, non in un singolo momento è possibile prevedere l'andamento della storia portando il lettore a rimanere sull'attenti e sempre più curioso di proseguire la lettura determinando la realizzazione di una narrazione appassionante e coinvolgente sin dalle primissime pagine del romanzo.Questo è un romanzo, che a metà tra il classico giallo e il romanzo di woman fiction, riesce a catturare il lettore e a farlo suo. Ho amato tutto di La casa degli scandali, dall'intreccio delle storylines alla scelta dei due narratori, il setting unico italiano (di cui devo riconoscere un'attenta rappresentazione), e l'imprevedibilità della storia e il suo, inaspettatamente, happily ever after.La casa degli scandali è un romanzo che mi ha emozionato e che mi ha tenuta incollata alle pagine della storia per due giorni senza interruzioni. Un romanzo nostalgico e allo stesso tempo intrigante che racconta di come l'amore possa agire sull'animo umano.4,5 Stelle

  • CrazyForRomance
    2019-05-18 22:44

    Vieni a leggere la recensione su: CrazyForRomancePer acquistare il libro clicca quiINDIMENTICABILE!Lo devo ammettere, quando ho scelto questo libro credevo di trovarmi davanti una storia hot, “sporca”, invece mai più titolo fu forviante. La casa c’è, ed è anche protagonista, ma gli scandali non ci sono. Al loro posto troverete segreti, misteri, sussurri e cigolii di porte chiuse. Troverete la soffittadi un castello immerso nelle colline fiorentine, un vecchio manicomio diventato nel tempo alloggio lussuoso della brillante coppia composta da Vivian, celebre attrice hollywoodiana e Giovanni, il medico che l’ha sposata negli anni settanta.Troverete degli inquietanti ritratti appesi alle pareti, zone a cui è vietato l’ingresso e troverete Lucy, la domestica dei giorni nostri, che niente sa del destino che ha schiaffeggiato una coppia apparentemente ricca e felice, niente sa degli strani rumori che sente durante la notte tra i corridoi del castello.Un tempo era bellissima. Non si poteva negarlo. Era stata una donna affascinante. Spiritosa. Brillante, tutti avevano desiderato conoscerla. Quanto il mondo aveva dimenticato. Con quanta efficacia una tragedia rende lebbrose le sue vittime.Lucy sa solo che deve scappare da Londra – per saperne la ragione dovrete portare pazienza - mentre Vivien sa che le rimangono poche settimane di vita. L’ex attrice vive ormai barricata nel castello, richiusa dietro un esilio forzato dopo un tragico incidente accaduto decenni prima, un incidente di cui però nessuno vuole parlare.Il libro è composto da un alternarsi di pov che rivivono l’infanzia crudele, la carriera folgorante di Vivien, il suo incontro con Giovanni e la loro bellissima storia d’amore, altalenandosi a un presente chiuso e a tratti gotico. Lucy, infatti, non incontra mai Vivien si relaziona esclusivamente con Salvatore, un vecchio pazzo che girovaga per la proprietà e con Adelina l’assistente personale della signora. Tutto il libro è un insieme di scoperte, un insieme di tasselli che giungono a completare un quadro tragico quanto triste.Se strizza le tende, ne usciranno lacrime, come quando si torce uno straccio; se gratta le scale, emergeranno segreti come sbuffi di fumo grigio.La scrittrice è stata magistralmente brava a tenermi incollata alle pagine come non accadeva da tempo e, a questo punto del racconto, Victoria Fox si rivela anche geniale soprattutto nei flash-back che riguardano la vita Vivian facendo entrare in scena la vera protagonista del libro ovvero Isabella,sorella di Giovanni. Isabella è infatti una giovane ragazza che convive con dei disturbi psichici, affetta da mutismo e che ha instaurato con il fratello un rapporto viscerale, a tratti patologico. Vivian capisce troppo tardi di essere il terzo incomodo agli occhi della cognata ma la sua natura di lottatrice affiora e tra le due comincerà una lotta senza esclusione di colpi; Giovanni vede infatti nella psicolabile sorella minore una figura fragile da proteggere, Vivien vede in lei una ragazza furba, cattiva e soprattutto pericolosa. Le due si scambiano dispetti più o meno gravi, si scambiano occhiate di fuoco, minacce e arrivano a farsi del vero male…Continua a leggere la recensione su: CrazyForRomance

  • Britt
    2019-04-26 20:50

    Thank you again Harlequin for providing me with another excellent book in exchange for an honest review.Vivien Lockhart and Lucy Whittaker both have secrets to hide, parts of them so big that they make headlines. Their stories are similar in a way but happen in different decades. They're brought together at the once beautiful Castillo Barbarossa where they're both trying to escape their memories. They only begin to find peace when they share their tragedies together. In 1978 Vivien is the film star she always wanted to be but is still unhappy until she meets, Gio, the man of her dreams. He has a secret though that must come out before they marry: his clingy, mute, narcissistic sister Isabella. When they finally do marry and move in together, Gio announces that his sister will also be residing with them as she's sick and he needs to take care of her. Vivien isn't too happy but agrees. After many years of Isabella tormenting Vivien behind Gio's back, a tragedy occurs, fingers are pointed and the marriage is finally ruined. In 2016 Lucy falls in love with her married boss. After their affair comes to light, something horrible happens. Lucy flees the country to take a job posted at the Castillo Barbarossa in Italy.The book is written in alternating time periods, between Vivien's younger years and Lucy's modern day life. At the end of each chapter there's a cliffhanger from each woman's story so just when you feel like skipping over Lucy's chapter to continue reading Vivien's story, you get sucked into Lucy's story and want to skip over Vivien's. It makes this book an exciting fast read. I'd recommend it to anyone.

  • Eve
    2019-05-21 16:43

    The beginning was great . . . then not so much. :(

  • Elena
    2019-05-14 18:38

    torn between 4 and 5 stars!

  • Toglietemi tutto, ma non i miei libri
    2019-05-17 14:43

    Una storia triste, malinconica, ingiusta. Una storia intrigante, ingannevole, irritante!I segreti e i misteri appaiono fin dalle primissime pagine, impregnano ogni parte del libro e si fanno sempre più intricati.La trama del libro è davvero coinvolgente tuttavia vanta i peggiori personaggi di sempre!Sinceramente, l'autrice si è proprio impegnata a creare personaggi così odiosi!

  • Kelly (Belle of the Literati)
    2019-05-13 22:57

    2.5 Stars. Interesting enough but a little long and drawn out. The end was way melodramatic without foundation and felt rushed. Did really enjoy the Italian villa setting and the dual timeline. Definitely engaging enough to keep my attention and keep turning the pages, but fell short of being amazing. Thank you Harlequin MIRA for the review copy!

  • Harlequin Books
    2019-05-06 16:33

    "This haunting tale of love and tragedy will keep readers up all night as they work to unravel a mystery that will leave readers guessing until the very end. The complexity of the novel stems from the way Fox layers the character development and plants seeds of doubt about each character's nature and intentions. Truly one-of-a-kind, this is a book that can be read over and over, with something new being revealed each time" (5 stars GOLD @ RT Book Reviews).

  • April Oharah Hernandez
    2019-04-26 15:50

    Good story that kept you guessing but there were some holes that made it choppy and difficult to understand.

  • Candy
    2019-05-18 20:00

    A brilliant read - 9/10. Read my review on my blog : as part of the blog Tour, on 01/03/17.

  • Emanuela Imineo
    2019-05-13 16:37

    La casa degli scandali mi ricorda molto uno di quei film dai toni di thriller psicologici, di quelli che ti lasciano con il fiato sospeso, di quelli che ti fanno immedesimare nella protagonista del romanzo e tifare ogni sua scelta. Di questo romanzo mi è piaciuto completamente tutto. La copertina, il font, i colori utilizzati, addirittura i simboli vicino l'elenco delle parti. Completamente tutto. Non esistono le coincidenze e quando un libro così arriva nella vita, vuol dire che deve essere letto, vuol dire che si ha il bisogno di immergersi in quel luogo e in quelle storie. Si, avete letto bene, non è sbagliato, il romanzo non parla solo di una storia, ma di più storie che si intrecciano, due donne che si legano l'una all'altra anche se appartengono a mondi e anni diversi; un intreccio che sciolto, lascia l'amaro in bocca per averlo già finito.Dire che la casa degli scandali è un libro che emoziona, sembra quasi riduttivo. Avete presente quella sensazione di angoscia, di bisogno assoluto di continuare a leggere, di sapere cosa succede ai personaggi? Ecco, l'autrice riesce esattamente in questo effetto, ci troviamo dinanzi ad un libro che cattura l'attenzione, che non lascia andare, che decide lui quando farci uscire dal romanzo. Scordatevi cene, pranzi e pause da lavoro; qui l'unico desiderio che rimarrà è quello di continuare a leggere.Non lasciarmi. Vieni con me. Ti aspetto. Ti prenderò. Saremo di nuovo insieme. E' con un sogno che inizia questo romanzo, con una voce nel sogno, con lo stesso sogno da tempo, lo stesso sguardo, le stesse incertezze. La prima parte ci racconta la vita e ci narra la storia di Lucy, un personaggio femminile interessante; una donna che scappa da un problema, da un passato che continua ad affiorare, dal bisogno di trovare una nuova vita fino all'arrivo a Firenze.La scrittura di Victoria Fox è così incalzante che a stento riusciremo a non mettere in dubbio il luogo dove ci troviamo. Il linguaggio così forbito ed evocativo, ci porta ad entrare nel romanzo e a vedere quei luoghi con i nostri stessi occhi. Il romanzo ci assorbe, ci circonda. La meta di Lucy è il castello Barbarossa e arrivati alla fine diverrà anche la nostra.I luoghi descritti dall'autrice ricordano un po' la storia di Crisom Peak, quel buio a tratti gothico e oscuro, quell'amore malato e viscerale. Non posso e non voglio catalogare questo romanzo solo nel thriller, in quanto al suo interno, l'autrice riesce a rimescolare i generi con una naturalezza innata.Il lavoro di Lucy non è di certo facile e la presenza costante del passato e degli stessi segreti che circondano il castello, rende il tutto ancora più forte, diventa una droga da cui non si riesce ad uscire. Quando la vita della nostra protagonista, il suo modo di fare e il suo carattere, incontrano l'altra donna, ovvero Vivien, nel 1978, la struttura cambia fino a diventare quasi un opera lirica, un ritmo sempre più coinvolgente e accattivante. Anche Vivien è una donna complessa, anima dalle mille sfumature, una donna che si ritrova anch'essa segnata da delle cicatrici che continuano a sanguinare, ferite di un amore sbagliato, quasi sporco.Entrambe le storie corrono su due binari paralleli, corrono alla stessa velocità, corrono insieme per poi incontrarsi e scontrarsi in segreti che l'autrice segna inconfessabili. Se dovessi paragonare il romanzo ad un animale, sarebbe di sicuro un'aquila, capace di volare, di cercare l'anima del mondo ovunque voglia.E' un libro che non racconta solo una storia, un libro che non si dimentica facilmente, un libro capace di far sussultare il cuore. Avrebbe potuto porre fine all'eterno conflitto che perseguitava la sua vita al castello, e magari, renderle la vita facile. Che sciocca era stata. Nell'incarto, qualcosa scricchiolò. Lo aprì. Era uno dei tubetti vuoti di pillole che aveva gettato. Sul retro, erano scritte le seguenti parole: Perchè ti ci vuole così tanto, Vivien?

  • Silvia
    2019-04-29 22:59

    Recensione presente nel blog www.ragazzainrosso.wordpress.comVivien Lockhart è un’attrice molto nota nella Hollywood di fine anni ’70, con un passato tormentato alle spalle. Quando incontra Gio Moretti, noto medico, Vivien sembra vedere finalmente la serenità, ma la sorella di lui, Isabella, turba molto presto i sogni di felicità. La donna, infatti, insidia la loro unione, non accetta la nuova arrivata e anche quando lasciano l’America per trasferirsi in Italia dove la famiglia Moretti è proprietaria di un castello nella campagna toscana, la situazione non migliora, anzi.“Quella casa ha troppi angoli, troppi segreti, corrotta dalle ombre e dal silenzio.”Lucy Whittaker, giovane donna dei giorni nostri, a seguito di uno scandalo che la vede coinvolta, decide di lasciare Londra e, complice anche un annuncio di lavoro, si ritroverà a ricoprire il ruolo di domestica presso il Castello Barbarossa, lì dove Viviene vive reclusa da decenni.Avete presente quando un libro sembra dirvi: “Leggimi, leggimi”? Ecco, è quello che mi è accaduto con questo romanzo che racchiude in sé e fa coesistere alla perfezione atmosfere mystery, giallo e romance.Viven è una donna che nella vita ha imparato a guadagnarsi tutto da sé. Costretta a fuggire da una famiglia che sembrava non comprenderla, dopo anni di confusione, sembra trovare finalmente un porto sicuro. Eppure la sua nuova esistenza è anch’essa una prigione, nel senso metaforico del termine, a causa del marito costantemente scisso tra amore coniugale e affetto familiare nei confronti di una persona “debole”.È proprio la figura di Isabella a imprimere alla narrazione un’impronta in un certo senso paranormale. Il suo aspetto fisico, il modo di agire, le tante trappole e inganni che tende alla cognata, contribuiscono a fare di lei l’antagonista per eccellenza, la strega cattive delle favole, insomma.Lucy capita per caso ad avere un ruolo attivo in questo dramma familiare ormai divenuto leggenda. Con aspetti caratteriali talora simili a quelli di Vivien, la giovane diverrà depositaria di segreti e sarà l’unica a poter regalare all’ormai anziana Vivien quella pace interiore che tanto desidera.L’autrice cura nei dettagli sia l’ambientazione esterna tipicamente toscana, sia, soprattutto, quella interna. Il Castello Barbarossa si presenta agli occhi del lettore come un edificio imponente e maestoso, affascinante e inquietante al tempo stesso.Dal punto di vista stilistico, l’opera presenta una prosa fluida e diretta con una giusta alternanza tra passato e presente. Il lettore non può non appassionarsi alle vicende narrate, anzi prova egli stesso a immaginare cosa possa essere accaduto tra quelle mura e i ruoli che i diversi personaggi abbiano ricoperto.Un romanzo davvero ben strutturato con un ritmo sempre serrato. Una lettura che personalmente trovo adattissima anche per l’imminente Halloween.

  • Lisa girlsinbooks
    2019-05-13 22:38

    "The fountain looks back, that horrid unseeing eye, its lens stagnant and its belly full." My Synopsis:In The Silent Fountain by Victoria Fox, two woman with dark pasts find their lives intertwined in an Italian villa that used to be a sanatorium. Vivien is a former Hollywood movie star trying to navigate a rocky relationship between her husband, her sister-in-law, and herself while hiding from an abusive past. Lucy has come to work for Vivien has a means to escape a scandal back home in England.  Their parallel lives start to unravel as the truth of what happened at the fountain is exposed.Lucy’s Description of the Fountain:"There is one thing I'm omitting from this view, the thing I came past earlier and that I'm reluctant even now to acknowledge. The fountain by the entrance, set amid a dozen cypress trees, appears gloomier now the sun has fallen. I don't know why it's such a horrible thing. The protruding shape I detected earlier is an ugly stone fish, eyes bloated, scales crusted, its open mouth gasping air, fossilised mid-leap as if cast under a terrible spell. The trees don't help either, standing guard, their spears raised-- and perhaps that's all it is, the notion that there is something cosseted within that requires protection, something beyond the decaying stone and stagnant water..."The Character You Love to Hate:Professor Umbridge, Lord Voldemort, and Amarantha- there are so many villains we love to hate. Vivien’s sister-in-law, Isabella, is evil, maniacal, and manipulative all wrapped up with a shiny bow. The things she would do to Vivien had me in a fury! She’s that one character you want to punch in the face. Fox’s good writing incites emotions. Salvatore’s (the butler) description of the fountain: "The water will get you," he says. "The water gets everyone."Transitions, flashbacks, and cliffhangers- oh my!The chapters go back and forth between present day and Vivien’s life in the 1970’s. The chapters blend together so smoothly that Vivien and Lucy’s lives seem parallel. Each chapter leaves off with a cliffhanger and had me demanding more details, but then the author would which storylines, and I would have to wait a chapter or  two to find out more. Every chapter left me wanting more.My Recommendations:I recommend this book for fans of V. C. Andrews because the writing is so spectacularly creepy. There is even a spooky west wing like in Beauty and the Beast. This story combines a lot of genres so fans of historical fiction, mystery, and young adult fiction will all enjoy this novel.Lucy’s description of the fire: "The fountain glares at me, seeming to pulse with an answer."

  • Sonia Donelli
    2019-05-03 16:46 di Francesca – Victoria Fox inizia a scrivere una serie di commedie piccanti e sulla scia di queste, vengo ingannata dal titolo del suo ultimo romanzo La casa degli scandali, pubblicato dalla casa editrice Newton Compton.Avete letto bene ingannata, perché l’unica parola che mi viene in mente per definire questo romanzo è “inquietante”. La storia si sviluppa tra passato e presente. Inizialmente si parla di Vivien e di come, sola contro il mondo, intraprende la strada dell’attrice, riuscendo a crearsi una posizione a Hollywood. Vivien conosce Giovanni, dottore affermato e provando un improvviso amore fin dal primo momento, decide di dedicarsi interamente a lui. I due si sposano e si trasferiscono in Toscana, in una proprietà ereditata da Giovanni e sua sorella Isabella. Isabella si trova inclusa nel pacchetto di nozze e Vivien seppur con qualche difficoltà, per amor di suo marito, la accetta, ma con delle riserve. Del resto Isabella si presenta cupa e disturbata agli occhi di Vivien, ma quanto c’è di vero in Isabella?Nel presente la storia viene vissuta da Lucy, una giovane donna che presa dai sensi di colpa, per una tragedia che le sconvolge la vita, fugge da Londra. Inizia così una nuova vita nel Castello Barbarossa a Firenze, come governante, dove inizierà a scoprire i misteri che quella immensa casa nasconde. Le due storie si intrecceranno e Lucy scoprirà verità nascoste, tra i sussurri che aleggiano nell’aria del Castello, presenze inaspettate e segreti mai ammessi. Devo dire che sono stata sulle spine per l’intera lettura, in quanto Victoria Fox ha saputo scrivere una storia velata di giallo facendo sembrare ciò che non è fino alla fine. Ho sperato in un finale diverso da quello che poi si è rivelato, ma considerando che l’intera vicenda ha mantenuto una linea di scrittura misteriosa, va premiata per la sua bravura.Vivien è la protagonista assoluta di questa storia e, a mio avviso, è stata creato un personaggio unico nel suo genere, dal carattere forte ma amorevole, duro e compassionevole. Credo che la lettura di questo romanzo non sia un genere adatto a tutti, quindi lo consiglio agli appassionati di thriller e di giallo. Avete presente la musica di sottofondo che c’è in Psycho? Quella che vi trasmette quel tipo di ansia come se stesse per succedere qualcosa da un momento all’altro? Ecco, credo che sia l’unica musica che riesca ad esprimere al meglio ciò che ho provato leggendo La casa degli scandali.