a review by Jade Hounsell
The House of the Wind follows the lives of two women from the same family in two different locations and different eras of time; Madeline is in 2007 San Francisco and Mia in 1347 Tuscany.
Madeline, 24, has just lost her fiancé Christopher in a car accident and she has lost all the joy in her life. Normally a very vibrant, happy and enthusiastic person, Madeline, or Maddie as she is known, is sullen, withdrawn and naturally, depressed. Seeing her granddaughter struggling and unable to move forward, Isabella sends Maddie to Tuscany to heal and maybe learn more of their family’s past there. She hopes that in looking back Maddie will learn to look forward again.
There is also another story intertwined throughout this one involving Maddie’s work as a lawyer for a big firm and their struggle to win a particularly huge and complicated case.
Mia is 14 and lives with her aunt in a villa that tends to the needs of travellers and pilgrims (the villa is located near a holy spot in the mouth of a valley). Mia hasn’t spoken a word since coming to the villa upon the death of her mother when she was around 6 years old, she has no idea who her father is and cannot remember anything from her past. One dark night a young couple appear seeking refuge in the villa, they are reluctant to give even their names to their hosts but due to their caring and giving nature no one questions them too much, respecting their privacy. It seems that the appearance of the couple marks a time of change for Mia as well when the young woman offers to help heal Mia’s voice and to help her to remember her past.
There is also another story running through this one about the young couple and how and why they came to be seeking refuge that night.
The way the sub stories intertwine is quite beautiful and takes nothing away from main characters’ stories but instead adds an extra element to it.
This one is not my usual gene of book and not one in the fantasy or sci-fi gene either, still saying that, I actually really enjoyed reading this book. It is extremely well written and has an attention to detail that kind of draws you to the different time and place. It makes you feel some of what the characters are feeling and makes you want to continue reading, not just to find out how it all ends but just to take the journey. While what I have told you of the plot doesn’t sound like much it really is a great read and one that I would highly recommend to most readers.
Originally published in Dark Matter issue 6, November 2011. This blog has been pre-dated to reflect the date of original publication.