I had no idea until I picked this book up that there was so much mystery around just who really designed the tower. I walk away from this story with so much more knowledge about Pisa, Italy, its history and architecture, than I had before.
But despite that awesome premise, I must confess I only made it to 65% before I had to just quit. Truth is, I wasn't enjoying the story. For me to enjoy a story I have to like and relate to its characters and while I could relate to the modern heroine, a wife and mother who has just discovered her husband has been straying yet can't leave him because he's in the hospital recovering from a stroke, I really hated the historical characters. Normally, it's the opposite for me.
While the story was dragging for me already--too much telling, not enough showing--I was actually interested in the modern heroine's research and the fact she was going back to journalism in a way and finding herself all over again, living for herself. But then it got into this historical love triangle between all the people I couldn't stand. Berta is a spoiled and self centered and mean. I can't stand the way she treats people. (The maid and the dress...geez.) I didn't think she deserved any happiness. Her maid Aurelia pines ridiculously for a jerk. And the jerk is the love interest of both of them, wooing, lying, deceiving, cheating.
And I hated them all, so the more the story got into this love triangle, the even more disinterested I became, until I finally no longer cared enough to even find out what became of the modern heroine. It simply wasn't worth it to me, trudging through that nonsense to get to what might be the good stuff.
There's also way too many coincidences. The handsome man just happens to have a father who just happens to have the original documents she needs and she just happens to run into...oh, you get the picture.
I feel the attention to detail was amazing though--about the tower, the houses, the period itself.
This just wasn't for me.
I received this via Netgalley.