Midnight at the Tuscany Hotel by James Markert
For years, guests of the Tuscany Hotel could leave their pasts behind and live among fellow artists. Now guests of a different sort fill the rooms, searching for their memories—no matter the cost.
Run by renowned sculptor Robert Gandy and his wife and muse, Magdalena, the Tuscany Hotel hosted guests of a certain kind—artists, actors, scientists, and engineers who left their worries behind so that they could create their latest masterpieces. Surrounded by lore, the hotel was rumored to free the mind and inspire artists’ gifts. But tragic circumstances force Robert and his family to move.
After thirteen months at war, Vittorio Gandy is haunted by memories, and his former life is unrecognizable. Once a gifted painter, now he can’t bear the vivid, bleeding colors on a canvas. His young son doesn’t remember him, and his wife, Valerie, is scared of him. But the most disconcerting change is in Vitto’s father, Robert Gandy, who has fallen from being a larger-than-life sculptor to a man whose mind has been taken by Alzheimer’s.
When Robert steals away in the night, Valerie, Vitto, and his new acquaintance and fellow veteran John go to the only place Robert might remember—the now-abandoned Tuscany Hotel. When they find him there, Robert’s mind is sound and his memories are intact.
Before long, word gets out that drinking from the fountain at the hotel can restore the memories of those suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia. The rooms once again fill up with guests—not artists this time, but people seeking control over their memories and lives. Vitto desperately wants to clear his own mind, but as he learns more about his mother’s life and her tragic death, he begins to wonder whether drinking the water comes at a price.
A story of father and son, memories lost and found, artists and their muses, Midnight at the Tuscany Hotel explores the mysteries of the mind, the truth behind lore, and the miracle of inspiration.
Connect with James
I was initially intrigued by the unique cover on this book. It’s written by a new-to-me author, but the story line also grabbed my attention.
I’m still trying to articulate a complete review, so for now, I’ll just share what jumped out at me…
It is the story of Vitto. He returns home from WWII and discovers that he cannot go back to life as it was. His memories are everywhere, haunting him.
While he was away, his father, Robert developed Alzheimers.
Vitto’s poor wife, Valerie, now has to care for Vitto, along with Robert and their young son.
When Vitto wakes up in the middle of a nightmare one night and finds himself attempting to strangle his wife, he knows something has to change.
So many hard things in this story. PTSD. Trauma. Alzheimers. And more.
This book is very different from most of the books I read. It is published by a Christian publisher, but there is very little about Christianity within its pages. Much of the story reminds me of an allegory, and there are many references to myths and gods.
I was very intrigued by the story, and found much food for thought, but I didn’t necessarily agree with everything as it was presented. It left me with more questions than answers. And I think that may very well have been the author’s intent all along.
Disclaimer: I receive complimentary books from various sources, including, publishers, publicists, authors, and/or NetGalley. I am not required to write a positive review, and have not received any compensation. The opinions shared here are my own entirely. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255
About the author
James Markert lives with his wife and two children in Louisville, Kentucky. He has a history degree from the University of Louisville and won an IPPY Award for The Requiem Rose, which was later published as A White Wind Blew, a story of redemption in a 1929 tuberculosis sanatorium, where a faith-tested doctor uses music therapy to heal the patients. James is also a USPTA tennis pro and has coached dozens of kids who’ve gone on to play college tennis in top conferences like the Big 10, the Big East, and the ACC. Learn more at JamesMarkert.com; Facebook: James Markert; Twitter: @JamesMarkert.
TLC Review tour:
Monday, March 18th: A Chick Who Reads
Tuesday, March 19th: 100 Pages a Day
Wednesday, March 20th: Write Read Life
Thursday, March 21st: Lori’s Reading Corner – spotlight
Monday, March 25th: Cheryl’s Book Nook
Tuesday, March 26th: All of a Kind Mom
Thursday, March 28th: Peppermint Ph.D.
Monday, April 1st: Book by Book
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Monday, April 8th: Bibliophile.reviews
Wednesday, April 10th: Jathan & Heather
Thursday, April 11th: Amy’s Book-et List
Monday, April 15th: @hollyslittlebookreviews
Thursday, April 18th: Thoughts on This ‘n That
Monday, April 22nd: The Lit Bitch
Monday, April 22nd: Reader’s Cozy Corner
Thursday, April 25th: Broken Teepee
Friday, April 26th: Books & Bindings