6 February 2022

Review: THE INVITATION, Lucy Foley

Synopsis (publisher)

It’s 1951. In Europe’s post-war wreckage, the glittering Italian Riviera draws an eclectic cast of characters; lured by the glamour but seeking an escape.

Amongst them, two outcasts: Hal, an English journalist who’s living on his charm; and Stella, an enigmatic society beauty, bound to a profiteering husband. When Hal receives a mysterious invitation from a wealthy Contessa, he finds himself aboard a yacht headed for Cannes film festival.

Scratch the beautiful surface, and the post-war scars of his new companions are quick to show. Then there’s Stella, whose secrets run deeper than anyone’s — stretching back into the violence of Franco’s Spain. And as Hal gets drawn closer, a love affair begins that will endanger everyone…

The Invitation is an epic love story that will transport you from the glamour of the Italian Riviera, to the darkness of war-torn Spain. Perfect for fans of Kate Morton and Victoria Hislop.

My take

For my blog followers, I should first of all tell you, that this is not crime fiction, my usual fare. 

This book tells its story through a number of time frames, which makes it a challenging read.  In addition there are two main plot lines: the current story, and that of an old hand written journal. The author uses different type face too, presumably to help the reader decide which story you are reading.

Hal's initial invitation to a party being held by the Contessa comes from a friend who cannot go. The Contessa is throwing a party for her rich friends, trying to attract investment for a film based on part of her family history. Hal is a journalist who has been living in Rome since the end of the war. He manages by writing small pieces for a magazine but is in desperate need of work. At the party the Contessa takes a liking to him and promises to be in touch later. At the party he also meets Stella, who comes back to his flat with him - a one-night stand. 

Fifteen months later the Contessa contacts him. The Film is made, she has funding, it is being released at Cannes, and she needs a captive journalist. And so the Hal-Stella story begins.

The blurb says this is an "epic love story". It is also about infatuation, possession, and the impact of events in Europe, in particular Spain since the mid 1930s, on the lives of families and individuals.

My rating: 4.5

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1 comment:

Laura@Reading Books Again said...

I have given up reading this author. I am not into atmospheric mysteries.


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