As I close my eyes and relax into my seat, the glass of red wine I have just devoured plays a sweet tune upon my tongue. My soundtrack is that of the chatter of life happening around me. People talking, eating, laughing. The very essence of life is thick in the air and I long to join it’s dance. Maybe another glass will help me pluck up the courage. I have always had two left feet dear reader. That and the chicken dance…don’t ask.
Today in my pause I am reviewing Tuscany A Novel By Fay Henson. A big thank you to Henson for sending me a copy. Always appreciated here at Bunny’s Pause as I am forever wanting to expanded my list of hidden gems. The world always needs new books and writers.
Fay Henson was inspired to write Tuscany when she relocated with her 3 children and husband from south-west England to Tuscany, Italy. As well as her passion for writing she enjoys walking her fox terrier Bobby, drinking coffee in Italian bars, wine, pizza, meeting people and 50/60’s retro furnishing. Henson enjoys reading fiction or memoirs set in other countries like To Kill a Mockingbird By Harper Lee and Memoirs Of A Geisha By Arthur Golden. To read more about Henson check out her Facebook page here.
Tuscany was just the escape I was looking for. And when you can’t afford a quick get away, a book is always guaranteed to bring a similar experience to your mind. All from the comfort of ones own bed. Prefect. A romance novel, it was a welcome change of pace as I haven’t had the chance to indulge in much romance literature lately. Before I had even read the first sentence I was excited by the synopsis. It sounded like something I could definitely sink my little bunny fangs into it.
Bribed with 500 euros, seventeen-year-old Caylin agrees to go with her parents on a package holiday to Tuscany. She soon regrets her decision, leaves Mum and Dad behind at the hotel and hitchhikes alone to the city of Siena in search of something more exciting.
But Caylin’s big adventure in Siena soon gets scary and dangerous when she meets a girl, Lula, who brands her a thief, which leads to Caylin being ostracised by her new best friend, Stefania. Meanwhile, unknown to Caylin, twenty-one-year-old Joe has volunteered to leave the holiday group to search for her and make sure she’s safe, or at least that’s his story anyway! Caylin makes two dramatic discoveries, one about Joe and the other about Lula. Caylin’s adventure starts to spiral out of control, until love intervenes to give her the chance of a new life.
Henson has written the character of Caylin with great strength and determination. She wants to experience life and we can all relate to this. I also enjoyed reading how considerate Caylin is and how she thinks of others before herself. Even when she thinks about abandoning her parents at the hotel, she still worries about their feelings and leaves a note. While she is in Siena her mind often wonders to them and if they are ok. We can all learn a lot from her and she’s only seventeen years old. To help others when we see them fall down, be selfless and kind to each other. Caylin is also witty and it is a refreshing sight after a few tough situations she gets herself into it. Towards the end of the book I had massive respect for her. The lengths she goes to was astounding. Her big gesture of kindness melted me and I felt extremely proud of her. It was a weepy moment that made me question so much about today’s society and how we all should help each other out in times of need. Overall Caylin is someone who I could see my seventeen year old self hanging out with. She rocks and is totally awesome!
The romance in the book brought back all my giggly awkward teenage moments. Trusting someone, falling in love and being yourself completely with them are all huge things. It’s all new, fresh and exciting. Henson captures this innocence beautifully and has really thought about what goes through young minds at that time. It was nostalgic to read and made me smile. Young love and the whole world at your disposal. Love really is a version to behold and Henson has shown what it is to love, the good, the bad and the ugly.
A strong theme of truth and justice was woven throughout the pages of Tuscany. The language barrier added to the suspense as Caylin struggled to explain herself and found she wasn’t being listened to at times. It was frustrating to read as we know her innocence and I found myself shouting at the page in anger. But this just shows good storytelling as I am so immersed in the book’s events, I believe them to be real and happening in front of my eyes. Skilfully done and extremely effective.
“Now it was daylight I could see just how nice Siena looked and all the pretty window boxes filled with those bright red Geraniums.”
There were many points in the book where I could feel the sun prickle at my neck as a gentle breeze brought an array of heavenly scents. Henson absorbs the reader in Tuscany and it is utter bliss to read. To wander the streets and see the many sights. To hear the noise and get caught up in the rhythm of life.
“Imagine the warm middle of August night air filled with lively chitchat and cooking aromas, where there were rows of people sitting at the long tables with party lights dangling from above, wolfing down plates of pasta and tomato, trays with pizza slices and trays of jam or chocolate tart, jugs of fizzy drinks, water and wine; all the while some were practicing beating the drums suspended round waists and others swooping flags from side to side.”
The flow of the story is a pleasant evening stroll, relaxing and enlightening. I was intrigued from the first page and once I start reading something that really hooks me, I will willingly lose sleep until the last page has been turned. When you choose to read over sleep and you are a full-time mother, you definitely know you’re reading something great.
The getaway I much-needed. I give Tuscany A Novel By Fay Henson A Four out of Five Paw rating.
Full of adventure, new experiences and romance this is the perfect read to discover this summer. Grab a copy here and experience the beauty that is Tuscany. Discover more from the links below!
Fay Henson Amazon
Buy The Book
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Dear Emma, thank you so much for the review, and I know that Caylin would be dead chuffed too!
You are most welcome 🙂