I don’t know about you, but I absolutely love Italy. I have been there once, and although I don’t really remember the trip, I remember I really loved Italy. The people, the language, the food, the wine, how can you go wrong? I also really love reading about Italy, so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to read and review Bianca’s Vineyard by Teresa Neumann.
Bianca Corrotti’s vineyard is more than a piece of mouth-watering real estate in Tuscany. It’s an inheritance; a storehouse harboring the secrets of her Uncle Egisto, a world-class sculptor, and his troubled wife — a woman whose destiny converges with Mussolini’s when WWII overtakes them all. Based on a true story, Bianca’s Vineyard follows a devoted family of strong-willed men and lion-hearted women waging an epic battle against a gathering storm intent on destroying their lives.
About the Author
Can you tell me how you came up with the title “Bianca’s Vineyard?”
Occasionally, I’m asked why I named my book Bianca’s Vineyard, since Bianca, though important to the story, is not the main character. Likewise, I’ve also been asked why I used the word “vineyard” in the title, when Bianca’s vineyard isn’t the central setting.
The short answer is, Bianca’s Vineyard is a thematic title. It’s a story of reconciliation, restitution, forgiveness, overcoming and, most importantly, family and the enduring legacy of love. So, the Bertozzi vineyard – Bianca’s literal vineyard — doubles as a metaphor.
What was Bianca like? Did you ever meet her?
Bianca Corrotti was one of the most incredible women I’ve ever known. That’s saying a lot, considering the first time we met she was in her 80’s and neither of us spoke each other’s language! Not to mention, we were together only a couple of other times before she died, a few years later.
The first time my husband and I entered her Tuscan villa, opposite her vineyard, she just blew us away. Greeting us in Italian like a chieftainess holding court, she asked us one question: “Why did you come here?”
We were confused. Hadn’t she invited us to travel halfway around the world to meet her? Hadn’t she initiated and planned this whole incredible family reunion with the Bertozzis? We asked our translator, an English speaking cousin, to clarify. Yes, he said, that was exactly what Bianca wanted to know. Why had we come?
“We came to meet you,” my husband replied. “And to meet all of my family here whom I’ve never met before.”
Bianca’s sparkling eyes narrowed. “Are you sure there’s no other reason?” she asked. “You do not want to see Florence or Pisa, for example?”
“Well, that would be fine,” stuttered my husband. “If there is time. But, really, I only came here to discover my family.”
“Aha! Just as I thought!” A glow of victory swept over her face. Glancing at a few of the cousins flanked around her, she might as well have added, “I told you so!”
We later found out, as explained in my book, that years of cross-Atlantic family drama, unfounded suspicions and intrigue had dogged members of the family who still owned the Bertozzi Marble and Statuary business in Querceta. Crazy!
So Bianca was …?
The hub of the Bertozzi wheel: organizing, cooking, serving, hosting, directing, conducting, and always, always laughing. I knew, then, that the name of my book had to be Bianca’s Vineyard.
Did you drink any wine from her vineyard?
Yes! It was some of the best wine I’ve ever had. Truly.
Any more sequels?
No, but the Italian connection lives. This summer I’ll be releasing A Year in the Company of Freaks, the story of an Italian-American in 1970’s northern California. You can view the book cover at www.teresaneumann.com
Bianca’s Vineyard was a very well written book about a woman and man in Tuscany, but it’s more so about family. I always love books that are based on a true story, it seems to give the story authenticity, which is always nice. It’s also weird to think that the things you are reading about in the book may have actually happened to someone. It also enables the author to completely develop the story in the actual culture and tradition of the particular region. I thought Teresa did an amazing job developing the culture and traditions of Italy throughout the book.
The characters of Bianca’s Vineyard were wonderfully developed and each had a unique personality. You felt like you were part of the story right along with the characters. Teresa made sure to maintain authenticity by ensuring her characters weren’t too perfect- they had flaws, struggled with the right decision, and they made mistakes. This made you love the characters even more and made you want to see where their character was going to end up.
The writing in the book was also great, it made you not want to put the book down. The descriptions were fantastic!
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it if you enjoy historical fictions. The characters, the storyline, the location, everything worked well to create a great book. I give this book:
Win one of 6 copies of Bianca’s Vineyard. One winner will also get a $25 Amazon gift card (Open to USA & Canada) Ends May 30
Thank you to
for allowing me to participate in this tour.