Having grown up in an exclusive circle of wealthy British ex-pats in Florence in the 1920s, Alice Orsini shocks everyone when she marries the son of a minor Italian landowner and begins restoring San Martino, a crumbling villa in Tuscany, to its former glory. But after years of hard work, filling the acres with orchards, livestock, and farmhands, Alice's growing restlessness pulls her into the heady social swirl of wartime Rome and a reckless affair that will have devastating consequences.
Her indiscretion is noticed by careful eyes - those of Robert Marshall, a renowned dealer of Renaissance art. In exchange for his silence, he demands Alice hide a priceless Caravaggio, a national treasure that he has sold to the Germans, at San Martino. As the front creeps toward Tuscany, sending a wave of orphans, refugees, and wounded Allies to San Martino, Alice trusts that the painting she's hiding will keep the Germans at bay. What she doesn't know is the truth about a brilliant young artist she harbors named KristÍn, a prodigy who can restore any painting, and whose secrets may ruin them all.
Trapped between loyalists and resistors, cruel German forces and Allied troops, Alice and KristÍn must withstand the destruction of everything around them while painfully confronting the consequences of their past mistakes.
In this sweeping story of passion and betrayal, Olafsson works his profound magic once again, creating a novel that grapples with the moral abyss of war while rendering the psychological portraits of those living through it with masterful strokes.
Click to the right or left of the sample to turn the page.
(If no book jacket appears in a few seconds, then we don't have an excerpt of this book or your browser is unable to display it)
"Olafsson masterfully portrays the interior lives of these women, creating a richly complex portrait of love and passion at work even as his harrowing depictions of daily life in war-torn Italy add additional depth and power to the novel. Enthusiastically recommended for fans of literary and historical fiction." - Library Journal
"With a backdrop of the ravages of WWII, particularly as they affect the civilian population, Olafsson casts a keen eye on Germany's wartime acquisition of artistic masterpieces. A beautifully written literary novel of love, betrayal, reconciliation, and art." - Booklist
"Though there are some quasi-literary flourishes here, the interior lives of the characters rarely rise above melodramatic cliché." - Kirkus Reviews
"By the time the fighting heats up and the plot strands all coalesce, the stake that readers should have in the fates of these characters just isn't there." - Publishers Weekly
The information about Restoration shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.
Olaf Olafsson (full name Ólafur Jóhann Ólafsson) was
born in Reykjavik, Iceland in 1962. He studied physics as a Wien Scholar
at Brandeis University,
Massachusetts, in the
early 1980s. He is the author of several
novels and a collection of short stories; his work has been translated into at
least 14 languages.
He is also Executive Vice President of Time Warner, responsible for the company's corporate strategy, mergers, acquisitions and investments. Prior to that, he was Vice Chairman of Time Warner Digital Media where he was responsible for developing strategic business plans for Time Warners diverse digital media businesses and identifying emerging growth opportunities for the company in the digital realm.
His career in ...
Become a Member
and discover your next great read!
Win the book & DVD
Enter to win The World of Poldark and the full first series on DVD.
Solve this clue:
and be entered to win..
Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.
Your guide toexceptional books
BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.