A Modern Day Fairy Tale

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Midnight at the Tuscany Hotel {A Review}

**Book received for consideration. Post contains affiliate links. All thoughts are 100% my own.

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.

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.

To be honest, I am not quite certain what I expected when I first read the book description of 'Midnight at the Tuscany Hotel' but it certainly was not what was given. It is not often in a novel from a Christian publisher is interlaced so deeply with Greek mythology after all. Still, that is just what this story did in such a beautiful way. When I was younger, I was fascinated by the stories of Greek mythology. Though I found no truth in the words, I could appreciate them for what they were--- beautiful stories. It has been a long time since I'd read those stories, but in seeing those familiar names again throughout these pages, I was reminded once again just why I loved them so much. Filled with passion and drama... they could put even our modern day soap operas with their elaborate and over the top story lines to shame. But there was beauty in that nonetheless. And it was a beauty that likewise was found throughout these pages.

As the story begins, we are introduced to Vitto just returning home from WWII, and afflicted by what we of course now know as PTSD. As a military spouse, this is a reality that I am quite familiar with, and know the difficulties that can come from that. He tries to suppress the memories that haunt him, while on the other hand, his father has been struggling to hold onto his own in the presence of Alzheimer's. That is until the return to the hotel which seems to have some sort of magical ability to restore the memories of all those who drink from the fountain.

At each turn of the page, I found myself envisioning what this hotel might have looked like. The cover perhaps gives some insight, but I loved the vivid details that allowed me to help put the rest of the pieces together in my mind. Those have always been among my favorite books--- the one that paint a picture so clearly in my mind. I also couldn't help but think that this would make a beautiful movie, not just because I thought it would be amazing to see those images brought to life (it would be), but because the story was just absolutely intriguing too.

Certainly, it's not what you'd normally expect from this Christian publisher- though certainly there are some Christian ideas weaved throughout- but it was a very inspiring read that truly makes you think and is unlike anything I've read in recent years. I absolutely loved it and look forward to checking out more from the author.

'Midnight at the Tuscany Hotel' will be available to purchase at your favorite book retailers on April 9th. Preorders are open now.


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