FLORENCE, 1914. A mysterious stranger known as The Wolf leaves an infant with the sisters of Santo Spirito. A tiny silver key hidden in her wrappings is the one clue to the child’s identity. . . . FIFTEEN YEARS LATER, young Rosa must leave the nuns, her only family, and become governess to the daughter of an aristocrat and his strange, frightening wife. Their house is elegant but cursed, and Rosa—blessed with gifts beyond her considerable musical talents—is torn between her desire to know the truth and her fear of its repercussions. All the while, the hand of Fascism curls around beautiful Italy, and no citizen is safe. Rosa faces unimaginable hardship: her only weapons her intelligence, intuition, and determination . . . and her extraordinary capacity for love. (from Netgalley)
Rosa was a young teenager when she left the sheltered life of the convent to become a governess for a wealthy Italian family. Strange and mystical things happen while she is with them. In trying to help another staff member, Rosa is accused of being an enemy of the state. I don’t want to say any more, but it is at this point that Rosa’s life takes a dramatic turn that impacts her forever.
This story started off strong for me, but then went into a bit of a lull to the point where I wasn’t sure I would want to finish. I can only say, I’m sure glad I decided to continue reading. I think it was because I liked Rosa and I wanted to see how her story ended. Even though she is young, Rosa is determined to survive. The suspense really picked up in the second half of the story and it became a real page turner. This is my first book to read by Ms. Alexandra and I really would like to read more.
Many thanks to Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books, via Netgalley, for allowing me to read this in exchange for an unbiased review.
Publish date: November 19, 2013