Read una casa junto al mar by Santa Montefiore Online

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Con solo 10 años, Floriana se queda cautivada por la belleza de una magnífica villa toscana, a las afueras de su pequeño pueblo, y sueña con vivir allí algún día. Una tarde calurosa, Dante, el hijo del propietario, la invita a su interior y desde ese momento, Floriana, sabe que su destino está allí, con él.Décadas más tarde y a cientos de kilómetros de distancia, un hotelCon solo 10 años, Floriana se queda cautivada por la belleza de una magnífica villa toscana, a las afueras de su pequeño pueblo, y sueña con vivir allí algún día. Una tarde calurosa, Dante, el hijo del propietario, la invita a su interior y desde ese momento, Floriana, sabe que su destino está allí, con él.Décadas más tarde y a cientos de kilómetros de distancia, un hotel rural en la costa de Devon, Inglaterra, está en decadencia. Su dueña, Mariana, decide contratar a un artista para que viva en el hotel durante el verano y enseñe a los huéspedes a pintar. El hombre enigmático ayudará en las discordias familiares y a reconstruir el hotel, sin embargo se albergarán muchas dudas sobre su identidad ¿es realmente quién parece ser?De la campiña italiana a la costa inglesa, Una casa junto al mar narra una historia de amor conmovedora y misteriosa, sobre el poder del perdón y los secretos del pasado....

Title : una casa junto al mar
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 24931914
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 476 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

una casa junto al mar Reviews

  • Hayley
    2018-12-08 14:54

    I just adored this book, and this surprises me as I would usually find this kind of story quite bland and predictably fulfilling.But I fell in love with the characters in a way that I haven't fallen in love with fictional characters for a very long time. Each time one of the characters was involved in a plot twist, or each time something very REAL happened to them, my heart just ached. I cared about them so much.And even though the book ended with a typically happy ending, I didn't roll my eyes, or sigh, or close the book with a shrug; instead I almost cheered for joy, because all of the characters deserved their happy endings. These are people who probably exist in the real world. Montefiore has probably met them - or variations of them - and has given us great pleasure by transferring these wonderful souls onto paper for us to read about. I'm gushing, I know, but it was just brilliant.This one will stay with me forever.

  • Nisareen
    2018-11-16 12:45

    For those of you who enjoy gentle, escapist romance, this is a great choice. This books makes you believe in the power of love and reminds you what is important in life. The novel is an extremely relaxing read with an abundance of memorable characters, beautiful destinations, mystery, intrigue and romance. I loved the descriptive detail and more than once found myself carried off to the destinations of Italy and the English coastline.The book consists of two different stories. The first story is set in Italy in the 1960's and tells of the blossoming love between Floriana, a poor village girl abandoned by her mother and left in the care of her drunkern father, and Dante, the son of one of the richest men in Italy. They first meet when Floriana, captivated by the beauty of La Magdalena, the beautiful home where Dante and his family spend their summers, is caught spying from the garden wall. He invites her over and the two become captivated by each other. Their relationship, however, faces many obstacles from the outset including the issues of a rich and prestigious man dating a poor orphan girl. The second story is set in the present day on England's Devon coast. Marina and her husband Grey own a hotel and are struggling to keep it afloat. Marina hires a resident artist, Rafael Santoro, to teach painting in the hotel during the summer to bring in business. The handsome, charismatic Rafa, arrives like a breath of fresh air and makes quite an impression on Marina and her family as well as the rest of the hotel guests but appears to be hiding a dark secret.I was constantly trying to figure out how the two stories were related at first but finally began to see where the author was coming from as more of Floriana's life was revealed. I was deeply moved by Floriana's story and fell in love her character from the onset. Her strength and courage despite adversity was at times heart wrenching and I desperately wanted her to triumph against the odds. The whole Raffles/ Baffles plot was a genuine surprise as I had suspected Rafa as being the culprit.My first introduction to this author did not disappoint and I'm looking forward to reading her next book.

  • Justė
    2018-12-03 16:52

    Kokia gi vasara be kelių pasakų apie princeses su laiminga pabaiga a.k.a. lengvo turinio blevyzgų. Būtent tokia buvo pirma pažintis su Santa Montefiore. Vienas geresnių šio žanro romanų, bet ir vėl ne tobula. Fabula labai primena Sparkso kūrybą, kur pasakojamos dvi jautrios, jausmingos istorijos – viena iš praeities, kita iš dabarties, kurios aišku susijusios. Šį kartą sąsajų nuo pradžių nebuvo matyti, bet pajudėjus siužetui viskas darėsi perdėm aišku ir kadangi aiškiai matyti, kad autorė ne visai to siekė, tai kiek sugadino visą reikalą. Kas dėl pačių istorijų tai praeities istorija apie Toskanoje užgimusią našlaitės ir princo meilę buvo nuostabi ir tikrai palietė, visą laiką kabant blogos pabaigos nuojautai. Dabarties istorijoje apie nelabai darnią šeimą, bandančią išsaugoti viešbutuką, štai perdėm nervino veikėjai, o ir siužeto vingiai kiek prasilenkdavo su logika. Tačiau žiūrint į istorijas kaip į vieną, pasakojimas žavus, toks grynų gryniausia pasaka su visais būtinais jos atributais, bet tikrai žavus. Nebloga pirmoji pažintis, bet didelių laurų bendrai autorei kol kas kabinti tikrai negaliu.

  • Aimee
    2018-11-29 11:40

    I received this book from Goodreads Giveaways. I really enjoyed this book a lot from start to finish. It is actually two different stories in one book. The first story is of the blossoming of young love between Floriana, a poor village girl abandoned by her mother, and Dante, the son of one of the richest men in Italy. They meet when Dante finds Floriana spying on his family home, Villa La Magdalena. Floriana loves the Villa and dreams of living there and spending her time in the Mermaid Garden with her beloved Dante.The second story is set decades later on England's Devon coast. Marina and her husband Grey own a hotel and are struggling to keep it afloat. Marina hires an artist, Rafa, to teach painting in the hotel during the summer to bring in business. Rafa, a good-looking Argentine, makes quite an impression on the town and on Marina and her familyThe Mermaid Garden is so beautifully written with details of both the Italian countryside and the English coast, it was a joy to read. Both stories were interesting and how they weave together at the end was really well done. The thing I liked the most about this book was how well so many of the characters were described. I felt I knew them so well and really cared what happened to them. There was a lot of talk about love in this book. People in love, people looking for love, and others heartbroken from it. There is an especially sweet side story of two people finding love very late in life. This books makes you believe in the power of love and reminds you what is important in life. For anyone who likes to read a good romance story, this is the book for you.

  • MomToKippy
    2018-12-11 18:48

    Interesting that I picked this up to read after reading The Secret Keeper. Both stories shift back and forth between two time periods. At least in Morton's book the reader clearly understand why and can make some connections between the two story lines. However, in The House by the Sea, it appears that one is reading two different stories simultaneously. Both are good stories but until I reached the last section I could only guess at the connection. Anyway, I saw this book in a discount book store and had to read it because of the author's romantic and musical name and the promise of romance and adventure in a European seashore setting. It was a fun read and I think I will read more of her novels. This is also called The Mermaid Garden.

  • Chester Dean
    2018-12-10 14:32

    He de admitir que al principio del libro estaba un poco escéptica, ya que no es del todo mi tipo de literatura, pero, no sé si porque es verano y mucha parte de la historia se desarrolla en una playa, pero terminé amando el libro.Son dos historias. El primer capítulo comienza en los años 60's con Floriana, una pequeña niña italiana que es huérfana de madre y vive sola con su padre alcohólico que no se preocupa por ella. Es una niña solitaria, con una sola amiga. Hasta que conoce a Dante Bonfanti y se enamora de él desde el momento en el que lo ve.Luego, damos un brinco en el tiempo y el espacio, y llegamos al Inglaterra en el año 2009. Nos presentan a una peculiar familia. Grey Turner, su segunda esposa Marina y sus hijos Jake y Clementine. Clementine odia a su madrastra como se debe odiar siempre a las madrastras, sin saber porqué, sólo porque sí. Marina, es la dueña de un pequeño hotel en la playa que ama como si fuera un hijo ya que ella no pudo tener hijos propios.Así que la historia brinca entre historias, entre tiempos y lugares. Vemos como Floriana crece, y cómo el tiempo no mueve ni un ápice su amor no correspondido por Dante (el cual era 8 años mayor que ella) y cuando se fue por cinco años a estudiar a USA, Floriana lo esperó, porque sabía que era ÉL el hombre con el que algún día se iba a casar. Cuando Dante regresa, cinco años después y con una Floriana mayorcita, deja de verla como la niña huérfana y sus emociones por ella se incrementan.También vemos la lucha constante de Marina por no perder su hotel que corre peligro por la baja economía, sus intentos de ganarse a su hijastra, y demás. Y es así cómo contrata a Rafa Santoro. Un pintor que impartirá clases de pintura a los huéspedes del hotel a cambio de hospedaje y alimento. Rafa logra un impacto en todos. En Marina, en los huéspedes, pero sobre todo en Clementine.El libro me gustó muchísimo, tardé bastante en leerlo porque la letra es muy pequeña y eso me cansa la vista, así que no podía avanzar mucho en un día. Pero tal vez, el hecho de que haya tardado tanto leyendo logró que me adentrara al cien en la historia. Sentí que llegué a conocer a todos los personajes descritos entre las páginas. Adoré a Floriana y su forma de verle siempre en lado positivo a la vida, aunque ésta nunca la haya tratado bien. Detesté a Costanza, la única amiga de Floriana por tenerle envidia y celos a una niña que no tenía ni la mitad que ella en su vida. Más aún detesté a la mamá de Costanza. Clementine también se me hizo un personaje insufrible al principio, pero ella es el personaje que más desarrollo tiene en la historia, porque comienza siendo una chiquilla malcriada (a pesar de ser una joven adulta) y logramos ver un cambio drástico en ella a lo largo de la historia.La forma de escribir de la autora es muy bonita. Es muy descriptiva, pero no molesta. Además, que a pesar de haber muchos personajes secundarios y no realmente importantes, la autora se tomó la molestia de darle un cierre a todas las historias. No hubo ni un solo cabo suelto al finalizar de leer. Simplemente me encantó.Es una historia dulce llena de enseñanzas, de amor, de esfuerzo, y de cómo hay que verle el lado positivo a la vida aunque ésta no se vea tan bonita desde donde estamos parados. Cómo todo pasa por algo, y cómo todo puede estar relacionado sin uno saberlo. Lo recomiendo muchísimo, especialmente ahora en verano, porque como ya dije, una parte de la historia se desarrolla en la playa, y se antoja leerlo en éstas épocas del año.

  • Diane Wilkes
    2018-12-02 18:48

    This is one of those books that would probably fall under the category "Women's Books." It's got a romance (or four), it has a semi-mystery (that is fairly easy to figure out), the atmosphere is charming and so is the writing. I am not ashamed to admit that I ate it up with a spoon. Like the Calgon commerical, it took me away from my own life and placed me in Italy in a beautiful garden, as well as the lovely Devon, England. I am a sucker for happily-ever-after if it's done well...and Santa Montefiore does it beautifully. As opposed to Calgon--yuck! I use nicer bath products...and if books were bath products, this would be a richly aromatic bubble bath that left your skin soft but not oily.

  • Leslie
    2018-12-03 12:51

    I had to abandon this book; it just wasn't holding my interest. I liked Floriana & Marina, but found myself wishing someone would push Clementine off a cliff. I couldn't respect or like Grey because he let his children disrespect his wife and believe that she stole him from their mother. This book seemed to have promise, but failed to deliver it fast enough or enough to have me care about any of the characters. Clementine was horrid!

  • The Book Whisperer (aka Boof)
    2018-11-28 12:55

    Love, love, loved this! Review to follow.

  • Miranda Kellaway
    2018-12-08 19:34

    2,5.La trama de esta novela prometía, y la narración de Santa Montefiore es muy dulce, pero la historia no me ha convencido del todo. Y no porque no tenga buenos ingredientes, pero creo que la autora se va demasiado por las ramas, mete muchos rellenos entre las escenas que no tienen ninguna relevancia, y más del 40% del libro trata del día a día de los personajes, con anécdotas que no me han hecho desear en ningún momento saber qué hay detrás de todo el secretismo con Rafa. Me ha costado terminarlo.

  • Georgina
    2018-11-21 13:36

    http://chicklitaholic.blogspot.com/20...The House By The Sea, which in the US is titled The Mermaid Garden, follows two stories. The first set in Italy, follows fragile Floriana, who was abandoned by her mother, and her journey of falling in love with Dante, the son of a prestigious family. They first meet when Floriana is captivated by the beauty of La Magdalena, the beautiful home where Dante and his family spend their summers. Their relationship faces many obstacles from the outset including the issues of a rich and prestigious man dating a poor orphan girl. The second story set in Devon England centres on Marina and her husband Grey who are trying desperately to save their hotel from financial issues. Marina comes up with the idea of hiring an artist in residence, Rafa, to try to attract more customers. The family and guests fall in love with Rafa who is hiding a deep and dark secret. The House By The Sea has everything that you could possibly want from a novel; romance, mystery, intrigue, beautiful destinations and memorable characters. It is such a beautifully written story with such descriptive detail that I found myself carried off to the destinations of Italy and the English coastline. I found the pace to be slow, which surprisingly I quite enjoyed, as it made the novel an extremely relaxing read that I wanted to delve into for hours and savour along the way. The way the novel is split into two different stories, which are intertwined although we do not find out how until the end, was really intrigued. I was constantly trying to figure out how the two stories were related and could not guess until very near the end. I enjoy when a novel leaves me guessing with the elements of mystery and suspense and The House By The Sea managed to do this beautifully while keeping me intrigued throughout. All the characters within The House By The Sea are each facing their own inner turmoil’s, which I thoroughly enjoyed reading about. I felt as though this added extra depth to each character making me intrigued and sympathetic to each of them. I fell in love with Floriana who still manages to hold her head high and strive for happiness even after being abandoned by her mother. I felt her emotions throughout the novel and was willing her to get a happy ending. I also enjoyed reading about the character of Marina, who is suffering emotionally from being unable to conceive children. Once I saw underneath the rough façade that she has and into her true character I was deeply moved by her. My only issue with this book was the length at almost 500 pages it is a long read. Generally I do not mind when books are of this length, however with The House By The Sea I felt that the length mixed with the slow pace of the novel worked against the storyline. This is defiantly not a book that you can read quickly instead it needs to be savoured and taken time over. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading about exotic locations full of description. It is a beautifully written novel and I am very happy that I stumbled across it. This is my first Santa Montefiore novel and I cannot wait to read the next. GeorginaChick Litaholic

  • Hawley
    2018-11-22 16:53

    I am stingy in my highest praises of books, but I'm pretty sure I can say that this would be a favorite of mine. I absolutely adored everything about this book. Some of it is probably the beautiful imagery and the fact that I adore gardens, italian anything, and writing that grips you and keeps you guessing without ever really knowing. Only one of the many plot twists did I sort of predict correctly, and I wasn't entirely sure about it, either. I didn't really believe the back cover when it described the book as "having it all", but it totally does. Of course, part of a good book recommendation is knowing what kind of book a person likes to read - but if you have liked any of my other reviews, surely you'll like this book. I will definitely be reading every other book Santa Montefiore has ever written, even if they can't live up to this one. And I hope I'll read it again someday. It was just so lovely, delightful, fun, and intriguing.

  • Aiisa
    2018-12-02 19:27

    this book ended up being quiet spiritual.wisdom:-"we are all rootless...until we find our soul mate. ... when you do, the world will shift into place and you will no longer feel dislocated."-don't forget the past, accept it and let it go so it doesn't ruin your present - you can't change what happened, but you can choose to change the way you view it-design: create a beautiful place from the heart-when you are with someone, you should like who you are and be a better version of yourself-what mattes is the heart as it is the only thing you can take with you-all human beings are equal in God's eyes - you ARE as precious as everyone else-be present-don't stunt your ability with your negative attitude-just be yourself, it will radiate and attract more than fancy clothes-reasons for love: for their patience, compassion, way of looking at the world, that they love you-scents: sandalwood, fig, anais anais,

  • Book-shelf Shelf
    2018-11-12 19:44

    What a brilliant book! I thought it was going to be gushing with sloppy bits, but it is simply a really good story that keeps the reader guessing and spanning over a whole life time of Floriana. Taking the reader on a journey that visits Tuscany and Devon the view given is one the reader soon finds themselves transported to. The story will make you laugh, sigh and take a sharp intake of breath. There is another story at the beginning of the book on how it was written and the struggle to get it from the mind of the author to the page. I loved that the reader had that insight to the author as a little extra.

  • Tracy Barrall
    2018-12-01 14:35

    This was a delight and easy read. Set between Devon and Italy Santa brings to life the places she sets her novels in. Marina and Grey have money troubles with their hotel "The Polanza" in Devon. What can and will they do to save it. Marina is at loggerheads with her stepdaughter Clementine and trying to save the hotel that has become they baby she could never have until her artist in residence appears "Rafa", but who is this mysterious Argentine Rafa and has he fallen for Clementine. When it looks like Marina will lose the hotel she tells them all she can save it but she needs to go to Italy, Rafa joins her as he speaks Italian but what is the connection bewteen them all?

  • Carrie
    2018-11-23 16:53

    This book was cute. The writing style was nice, but the plot devices were very frustrating. The book contains two stories: One takes place in Italy in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and one takes place in England in the present day. There is no obvious connection between the two stories, and the jump in time and place was so annoying that I was ready to stop reading at any time. Fortunately, another Goodreads reviewer (thank you!) mentioned that the book has a "satisfying conclusion", so I kept reading. It's true that the connections between time and place are indeed explained at the end, but I don't know if annoying back-and-forth was worth it to find out.

  • Londres
    2018-11-20 17:44

    Me ha fascinado el modo en que la escritora describe los objetos, los sentimientos y el carácter del personaje, así como el clima y apariencia de las cosas o el físico de cada sujeto que compone esta historia.Comenzando por...Marina. Me parece que su actitud no es nada atractiva, tomando en cuenta que siempre está preocupada porque están en bancarrota. No disfruta de la vida ni le ve el lado bueno a las cosas, como siempre trata de hacer su esposo Grey, quien le alegra la vida y le da la mano siempre que ella lo necesita. Hacen un buen equilibrio en su matrimonio, lo cual me hace pensar...¿qué haría Marina sin él?Floriana es una niña bastante fuerte, al igual que apasionada por vivir y disfrutar de las maravillas de la naturaleza, a pesar de que su vida no es lo que siempre quiso. Siempre trata de ocultar su resentimiento o tristeza hacia su padre, y hacia todo lo que le digan o se le cruce por la mente, alzando la barbilla y sacando pecho, desde sus diez años (quizá desde más joven).En cuanto a su amiga Constanza, quien tiene raíces aristocráticas, cuando era niña y se juntaba con Floriana, era una envidiosa de lo peor; como el perrito faldero de Floriana. ''Si no hace esto, pues yo tampoco''. Sin embargo, con el paso del tiempo me sorprendió el cambio en su forma de ser, mientras que su madre siempre iba a esforzarse por que se casara con un hombre rico y alejarla de su amiga de la infancia, Floriana (que es pobre y cree que estar con gente que no es de su clase, arruinará su vida), no cambia nunca. Sólo ve el lado económico de la gente en beneficio para ella y los negocios.Toda la fortuna que tiene Constanza, Floriana la iguala con su personalidad, así como pasa con todos los demás. Es un encanto de muchacha, y no necesita del dinero de nadie para ser tan especial. Me identifico con esta chiquilla, pues siempre tuvo esperanzas de casarse con el hijo rico de la familia Bonfanti: Dante, desde que lo conoció cuando tenía sólo 10 años. Me recuerda a mi añoranza por casarme con Skandar, mi amor platónico, cuando tenía 13 años, y cada vez que pasaba por una iglesia le pedía a Dios que me cumpliera eso. Lo sé... muy infantil, ¿no?Clementine es la hijastra de Marina, y su amargura y desagrado hacia su madrastra, podría decirse que es bastante irritante, pero rebasa ese adjetivo. Es una muchacha malcriada y a juzgar por lo que he leído, parece que necesitaba del amor de alguien, o su atención siquiera para distraerla lo suficiente como para bajarle los humos.Está bastante resentida con la nueva mujer de su padre, y le echa la culpa de que sus padres no hayan vuelto, y sus días felices se hayan evaporado a sus escasos 3 años de edad, mientras su padre la pasaba en grande con otra mujer que no fuese su madre. Lo siento, Clemmie, tendrás que acostumbrarte a eso. Sí, debió acostumbrarse, pero no lo hizo, y se deleita despreciando a Marina.En mi opinión, Clemmie, además de estar chiflada es una inmadura. Quizá sea difícil superar el divorcio de sus padres, el cual marcó su vida para mal, pero me parece increíble que no lo supere y siga adelante. Además, es como si quisiera que todos pensara igual a ella, de modo rencoroso, entre otras cosas; de lo contrario, siente que están en su contra, o se siente...¿traicionada?...¿sola?''No dejes que lo que ocurrió en el pasado controle lo que eres ahora''.Estoy segura de que no se hubiese fijado en ese argentino sino hubiese sido guapo. Lo cual significa que solo se fija en el físico...idiota.Es una persona sumamente rencorosa, y trata de huir de los problemas. Bueno, más bien de sí misma y de los conflictos con su persona y su forma de reaccionar ante los acontecimientos que la vida le pone delante.En este libro nos encontramos de nuevo con la típica chica pobre, invisible y marginada, y el galán, guapo, rico y popular.Desgraciadamente a Floriana le tocó vivir en un ambiente en donde a los pobres se les discrimina por no tener dinero suficiente para comprar joyas preciosas o una mansión enorme con jacuzzi, criados y comida cara y en abundancia, al igual que cosas que no son vitales. Su madre la abandonó a ella y a su padre, cuando era muy chica, llevándose con ella a su hermanito para huir con un señor que vendía tomates, dejando a cargo a una inocente criatura, al cuidado de su esposo borracho. Algu inhumano, que nunca voy a comprender, y en este caso Floriana SÍ tiene buenas razones para sentirse rencorosa y resentida con su madre, a comparación de Clementine. Contiene una escritura muy elaborada, inspiradora y apasionada. Muchos pensarían que es un libro demasiado lento por tener muchas páginas. Pero créanme, que es el único en el que su trama me hace pensar, que así deberían ser todos. ¿Por qué? Pues porque se ve el esmero de la autora plasmado en las páginas; y aunque me hagan enojar las actitudes y formas de ser de algunos personajes y yo sea una criticona que no tiene límites, ME GUSTÓ.Si creen que les estoy dando spoiler, lo cierto es que yo considero spoiler, cuando relatan la trama en general, y yo estoy hablando de los personajes, describiendo algunas situaciones del libro mientras voy opinando sobre sus actitudes ante los acontecimientos, narrando todo esto siempre desde mi punto de vista. Puede que ustedes al leerlo piensen muy distinto a mí, por eso siempre recomiendo que, lean los libros que reseño, para darse una mejor opinión ustedes mismos.Conforme Floriana crece, junto con los demás personajes, su optimismo hacia el mundo alarma a sus seres queridos, ya que es excesivamente soñadora. Lo que me sorprende es que, después de vivir toda su vida en la pobreza y en dificultades económicas, y carente de algún familiar con sus cinco sentidos activos, ella no haya aprendido nada de lo dura que es la vida, porque a pesar de las cosas que le sucedían, lo tomaba a la ligera. Supongo que se la pasaba todo el tiempo anhelando un futuro lleno de felicidad, en donde siempre estaría con su amado Dante. A veces me daban ganas de darle una bofetada por ser tan ingenua e inocente, pero luego recordaba que ella no tuvo una madre que la aconsejara sobre la vida, y se me pasa. LITERAL. La finalidad de esta historia, desde mi punto de vista, es dejar ir el pasado y caminar hacia el futuro. Enganchar todos esos rencores y resentimientos, para aceptar las cosas como son, siempre considerando ambas caras de la moneda. A veces es muy importante explorar cada ángulo de las situaciones que nos angustian, que son una piedra en el camino, que debemos remover para avanzar como ser humano y sentirte...alguien nuevo y renovado.Nos revela la belleza de la naturaleza, la tranquilidad que estos le brindan al ser humano.Se trata de seguir adelante.El amor de verano, estamos acostumbrados a interpretarlo como algo pasajero, pero marcaron la vida de una niña enamorada y soñadora, que miraba el mundo con inocencia y desde perspectivas que nos gustaría contemplar a muchos.Y todas estas son mis conclusiones, junto con el hecho de que la calidez hogareña del amor derrite el hielo del corazón.''La mayor parte del tiempo vamos por la vida a toda prisa, con los ojos cerrados, absortos en un sinfín de pensamientos. Nos perdemos la magia sencilla de un botón de oro escondido entre la hierba. Ahora puedes detenerte de verdad y mirar a tu alrededor con los ojos abiertos de par en par y gozar de la belleza de la naturaleza. Puedes existir plenamente en el presente''.El final me dejó pasmada, y sí, podría decirse que PLENAMENTE PASMADA ante el giro inesperado de los hechos. Me siento tan feliz y agradecida con la editorial, porque me está brincando la oportunidad de conocer estas maravillosas historias.Sobre Dante y Rafa no tengo mucho que decir, excepto que Rafa es la perfecta encarnación de la madurez y comprensión, mientras que Dante me recuerda a mi amor platónico, y... ¡AAAA!Verán que a lo largo de los meses, algunas reseñas son menos extensas, así como también un poco menos apasionadas, pues no todos los libros van a gustarme tanto como otros. Algunos opinan que es difícil colaborar con editoriales. Y en efecto, es difícil cuando no tienes tiempo y pides muchos libros y colaboras con muchas. No me cuesta nada tomar un poquito de tiempo escribiendo mi opinión sobre el desenlace de un libro, porque me gusta y me siento a gusto haciéndolo y es un placer para mí estar aquí. Este libro nos da mucho en que pensar y hace reflexionar sobre las dificultades de la vida. - Ver reseña en: http://betweencitylights.blogspot.mx/...

  • Oda
    2018-11-26 12:40

    Wow, this sucked harder than I thought possible! Very unlikely story. Years that don't quite match. Coincidences. Extremely unlikely character development. Losing an accent and speaking English like you're born in England when arriving at 18. Just... Nope. Won't be reading anything more by this author.Normally I'd file this under "historical fiction" due to the dual time narrative, but there is just no history to it. It's paperback romance/chick lit, pure and simple.

  • Marguerite Gray
    2018-11-23 16:44

    A heartwarming story of the present connecting to the past through winding paths of lives spent separated. The reader traverses with the characters from Italy to England to Argentina.

  • Mandy Eve-Barnett
    2018-11-28 13:43

    Santa writes with eloquent descriptions giving the reader a perfect tapestry of place and character.Her characters are well structured, engaging and keep the reader intrigued until the end. Woven between England and Italy this novel gives a taste of life in these two places and the struggle of their inhabitants.I highly recommend this book, it was a joy to read.

  • Julie Smith (Knitting and Sundries)
    2018-12-06 12:46

    This review first appeared on my blog: http://www.knittingandsundries.com/20...The Mermaid Garden flows from past to present and back almost effortlessly.The past: A young girl named Floriana in Tuscany, whose mother is believed to have run off with a man and left her with her drunken father. She has unlimited freedom to explore, and as she is looking over the wall of a villa that she likes to visit, she meets a boy named Dante, whose family owns the villa. He invites her in to explore the garden, and they become friends. She even falls in love with him a little bit, despite the fact that she is only 10 and he is a teenager going off to school at the end of the summer. We follow her and her friend Costanza, whose mother only allows her to play with Floriana because there are no "children of quality" for her to play with, through the following summers as they both become frequent visitors to the villa.The present: Marina and Grey Turner run the Polzanze Hotel. One of Marina's sorrows is that she has no children of her own, and her stepchildren, especially Grey's 23-year-old daughter Clementine, don't treat her as a mother, even though she has been in their lives since they were very small children. In fact, Clementine is bitter, resentful, and selfish, lamenting the fact that she is no longer free to travel and "find herself", because she now has to work and make her own living.When Marina decides to bring in an "artist-in-residence" to help the failing fortunes of the hotel, both past and present will come together.I loved the writing style of this novel. The prose was very descriptive and the emotions and character-development were spot on. As usual for me, I liked the story set in the past a bit better :). There were, however, a few things that didn't ring true for me, and they are the reason this is not a five-star rating. Clementine - well, there's no way that you can go from being a spoiled, selfish, grown-up brat overnight to an understanding and loving person the next day. It just doesn't happen like that. Her romance also wasn't fully-formed and fleshed-out; it came up lacking in my view. BUT, those were the only sticking points for me, as the book kept me interested from start to finish. I was able to figure out early on what the mystery/secret would be, but that didn't keep me from wanting to know how it would all come out in the end. A gorgeous read.QUOTE (from a galley; may be different in final copy): Marina's good mood evaporated as Clementine sucked the air out of the room, replacing it with her dark presence. She glanced at her husband and felt nothing but contempt for her stepdaughter, who constantly rebuffed him.

  • Shaz Goodwin
    2018-11-16 13:44

    This is a love story that is beautifully written. I was able to imagine myself in Tuscany and in Devon, living alongside the characters as I watched the story unfold.The prologue sets the scene. In Tuscany, Floriana and Dante meet. Floriana is a 10 year old whose mother has run away with her younger brother and left her with her alcoholic father. Dante is a few years older, the son of a high profile industrialist who may have connections with the Mafia.We’re then taken to Devon in 2009 where hotel owner Marina and husband Grey are trying desperately to bring in money to save the hotel from being taken over. Grey’s twenty-three year old daughter from his previous marriage, Clementine, has never accepted Marina. His son Jake is the Manager of the hotel. From the moment Rafa (artist-in-residence) arrives, changes start to happen. Rafa is a very intense and intuitive man. I think he is the hero we would all like to have in our lives!In Tuscany we find out how class distinctions rule the characters lives and in Devon we find out more about Marina and her emotional outbursts. Eventually the two worlds come together and all the lose ends are tied up beautifully.Until near the end, we never know for sure the link between Tuscany and Devon. At times I was sure I had the correct connection but then a hint would be dropped that would take me away from that. Very clever.In Devon, there are references in the story of a burglar, nicknamed Baffles, who leaves a thank you note in place of the possessions that are taken. At one point there is a mistaken identity and the police interrupt a scene that was hilarious – I’m still laughing as I type. I have to admit to being surprised when we eventually do find out the burglars identity, although in retrospect it fits perfectly!At one point in the story we leave Tuscany with stray dog Dead-Night as the last ‘picture’ we see and we are brought back to Devon with the stray dog Biscuit jumping on Rafa to wake him up. I loved that.The writing is beautiful. My poetic heart loved lines like ‘The stars were clearer than ever before, twinkling like shiny new memories ……………’.There was only in one part where I was disappointed. Florania’s response to knowing a family member had died was to say ‘I keep all the press cuttings about your family ………..’ but she asks if he married. If she looked out for and kept all the press cuttings then she would have known the answer……………. This is a fabulous story of family relationships, friendships and love on many levels that kept me gripped until the end. I’ve laughed and I’ve cried.I would like to thank Simon & Schuster UK for sending me an uncorrected proof copy to review.

  • Fluffychick
    2018-12-02 13:34

    Ten year old Floriana, an Italian urchin, abandoned by her mother and left to care for her alcoholic father, falls in love with the gardens of the Villa La Magdalena and the owner's son, Dante. Convinced it's her destiny to marry Dante and to live happily ever after in the beautiful villa, she ignores the difficulties of money, class and Dante's dangerous father.Forty years later, Marina and her husband Grey run a luxury hotel on the coast of Devon, but face financial and familial difficulties. Marina is relying on finding a resident artist to boost their income, but this seems unlikely until the charismatic, Argentine Rafa Santoro appears. He sweeps in and makes everything appear better, but is he all he appears?I have a bit of strange relationship with Santa Montefiore's books...some are fabulous, I sobbed at the end of "Forget-me-not Sonata" but others have been disappointing. I keep buying hoping each new one will live up to my expectations...and this one, nearly did!The dual stories of Floriana in Tuscany, forty years ago and the present day tribulations of Marina in Devon eventually weave together. Maybe I read too many books along similar lines or am just familiar with the recurring themes in Montefiore's books, but I knew straight away where it was going and how Rafa fitted in. I thought far too many clues were dropped when he first arrives at the hotel and so I dropped a star for being predictable! However, it is beautifully written, particularly the Italian setting and I did want to go along with the ride.The Italian story was interesting and I got a bit frustrated when it was stopped by the modern day, whinging Clemetine. Floriana's combination of toughness and idealism was understandable and engaging; I thought Dante a bit two-dimensional, but his weaknesses drives the plot.Rafa is almost a "fairy-godfather" character! He's too good to be true, but not in a bad way, I still loved him...gorgeous, wise, genuine...he comes in and spreads his fairy dust on everything and everyone, even the self-centred and spoilt Clementine. Now this was a bit of a problem for me!! I truly disliked Clementine, all the way through, even when she tried to redeem herself. It may be simplistic but I like characters to "earn" their happy ending and Clementine (for me!) came nowhere near!! The whole Raffles/ Baffles plot was a red herring and I thought other parts of the book could have been further developed if it had been dropped.However, it's a really pleasant wallow that takes you to another place and I did enjoy it, so although not one (only in my opinion) of her greatest, certainly worth looking at.

  • Branwen Sedai *of the White Ajah*
    2018-12-09 17:56

    "I have to be near the sea. It has always been the most consistent thing in my life.""Love is like a bright light that burns away all negativity; like sunshine on mist. Happy people are full of love, and unhappy people have very little, perhaps none at all. That's all there is to the world-those who love and those who don't. It's really very simple."In Italy in the late 1960's, young Floriana is captivated by the beautiful villa that overlooks the Ocean. When she meets Dante, the son of the owner, he invites her inside to see the gorgeous Mermaid Garden, and nothing for her is ever the same again. Years later, in England, the owner of a failing coastal hotel, Marina, is desperately searching for a way to save the place that means so much to her. When a young artist named Raff comes to stay at the hotel, she finds that their paths are meant to intertwine in more ways than oneThis was a lovely little book. I really enjoyed it, quite honestly more than I expected to. I picked it up at the beginning of the month because I sometimes think its a good idea to stray away from my usual path of fantasy/scifi/young adult reads and try something different. This is a contemporary romance, which is a type of book I usually stay away from. But despite that, I really loved this story. So if it was enough to make me break all my genre barriers you KNOW that it was a good story. :) What I liked best of this book was the absolutely breathtaking descriptions of the various places, namely Tuscany and the Devon Coast. The words almost melt off the pages with vibrancy and beauty. I could almost taste the food they ate, smelled the air they breathed, lived the lives they lived. The writing is spectacular. I found the characters very intriguing as well. They were not flat or two-dimensional at all. They were all so interesting and had such great failings and triumphs that you couldn't help but root for them and hope that they could all find happiness. And the transformations they all went through were spectacular to behold.I would recommend this book to anyone, even if they don't care much for this particular genre. I would say that it is a perfect summer read.This review can also be found on my blog:http://ayanami023.wordpress.com

  • Emma Craven
    2018-11-16 17:27

    This was the first romance novel I have read in a very long time and I am so glad I picked it up. I bought it on a whim. Honestly the two reasons I bought it were because it had "mermaid" in the title and it took place in Italy. I followed my gut and it paid off.After reading some other reviews I have to disagree with the majority of the people who are saying that the whiny girl (Clementine) should not have gotten her way at the end and its so typical for the spoiled brat to end up happy. I don't believe that it how it happened at all. Have you never heard of character development? Clementine went from being a unhappy, spoiled, unappreciative girl to a grateful, young woman in the end. Her relationship with Marina was rocky to say the least but by the end they had put a start to mending things. We as humans are very selfish and there isn't one of us who doesn't think they deserve the world. Clementine went out there and took it herself, learning the ways from Grey, Rafa, Sophia, and even Marina. It was a beautiful story and that wasn't even the main plot....Dante and Floriana. Wow. Could young love be any more perfect? This is what young girls all wish for when they meet their first crush. The outcome of their relationship was not surprising but still turned up some pretty raw emotions inside me when I read it. I had a few inklings about how the story would end and some were right, but most were wrong. That is what was so great about this book. Montefiore gave you what you wanted but not in the way you expected. I was very surprised by how emotional I got when I was reading this novel. I didn't think a romance could do that to me. I can't wait to read another one of Santa's books!

  • Susan
    2018-11-10 19:27

    Here's the trick for me in rating this book at the moment: this novel is totally and completely "chick lit," and that's just not what I'm into at the moment. So for that reason, it didn't entirely appeal to me. But my sister practically glowed when she talked about it, and I've long said that I'll read pretty much anything that someone tells me is outstanding. I've got to say, within its genre, this rocks.Which made me thing about the genre. What makes "chick lit" BE "chick lit"? Here's what I came up with: the WHOLE thing is about relationships. If you took out the relationships, there is essentially no story left. That's not a bad thing, it's just a defining thing. And those relationships don't have to be romances, although there is often at least one budding romantic element in these books. But there are also friendships, parent/child relationships, longstanding hatreds, established marriages, and more.This novel hits them all, and I have to say, it does it beautifully. It also tells the story using the fairly common device of telling what appear to be two different stories from two different times in history, and only far into the book do you figure out how the two pieces come together. Again, it was done beautifully.So if chick lit is your thing, or you are looking for a lighter read as the holidays approach, or you know someone who does like this genre, this was a great one. My sister was right. (Even if it's not mostly what I'm into these days.)

  • Paula Sealey
    2018-12-10 11:53

    The House by the Sea traverses two eras, Devon, England in the present and Tuscany, Italy in 1966. Floriana, a ten year old girl, lives with her alcoholic father and spends her summer wandering up to a huge beautiful house, peering longingly through to the gardens she aches to be in. On one of her visits, she is spotted by resident, 16 year old Dante, who invites her inside and begins a friendship that will last for years.In present day Devon, Mariana and her husband Grey are gearing up for the summer at their hotel, attempting to find an artist in residence to help entice new guests to stay and rescue the hotels finances. Enter Rafa, a gorgeous 37 year old Argentinian who wows everyone he meets.Both stories intertwine as they progress, making for a fantastic read full of wonderful characters. I absolutely loved the Tuscany parts of the story, Floriana's character in particular, and felt like I'd been transported there. I'm really looking forward to more of Santa Montefiore's books.

  • Kimberly
    2018-12-04 14:33

    Absolutely beautiful!I had never read a novel by Santa Montefiore before and am very glad that my Mum (who is an avid reader of her books) handed this one to me when I was between books and wondering what to read next.Santa Montefiore writes with so much warmth and love, it truly feels like your among the characters and experience first-hand what they're going through.The second characters in this books are the locations; all are so wonderfully described you can truly smell the sea-salt, hear the oceans, feel the sun play warmly on your skin. The hotel and Dante's home are so delicately described you feel lost in it's rich environment, and for as long as the book lasted and now still, I can totally envision these places and wish I could be there in person (:I totally recommend this book to people that like a great written love-story and like to dream away in beautiful locations - four stars from me <3

  • Brooke
    2018-12-02 11:51

    Beautifully written - I enjoyed the worlds and characters Montefiore created in Italy and England featuring a ten-year-old fiesty Tuscan urachan who dreams of living in the local villa with its beautiful gardens.Her tenacity defies the odds as she acutally meets and becomes the darling of the family who owns the villa. Fast forward forty years to a lovely English estate-turned-hotel overlooking the sea. The owners are struggling to keep the hotel afloat after the 2008 crash. As part of their attempts to attract guests they hire a young, handsome, mysterious artist from Argentina of Italian descent. Slowly these two stories unwind to weave together at the climatic end.My only criticism is that I could see the ending coming, not too bad, but it seemed to wrap up too nicely, too quickly. Lovely,lovely writing though.

  • Once Upon a Twilight
    2018-11-29 11:39

    A compelling romance novel where the author weaves the past and present to keep you at the edge of your seat as you follow the developments. This resilient young girl that was abandoned by her mother and left with an alcoholic father is smitten by an upper class young man. Their love can’t keep things from getting complicated and with the help of family and friends the unexpected happens.It is hard to get into a more detail account of the plot without spoiling the novel, but there is romance, true love, pain and secrets. The author gives you a heart wrenching sense of their great love and their loss and keeps your expecting and guessing to the very satisfying end. Feelings transgress the pages to make you experience the sorrow and happiness, a most read for the romance enthusiasts.review link: http://www.onceuponatwilight.com/2011...