The Whispering Wind
Review by Hannah Fielding
From the blurb:
The Whispering Wind is a moving story of two lovers, set on the beautiful island of Sardinia, where Elise goes on holiday to escape a loveless and violent marriage.
Whilst there, she meets and falls in love with Beppe, a local Sard. Despite religious and cultural complications, they embark on a romantic and passionate affair.
Beppe shows Elise his island and introduces her to the welcoming culture of the Sardinians and Elise soon falls under the spell of both the island and its people.
But after weeks of blissful happiness, Elise has to return unexpectedly to England to face all the problems she had been so desperate to leave behind…
When Lexa approached me to enquire whether I may be interested in reviewing her novel, my answer was an easy ‘yes’. Romance set on Sardinia? Right up my street, especially given the fact that my own latest novel, The Echoes of Love, is a romance set in Venice, Tuscany and… Sardinia! I love the setting – Sardinia is quite one of my favourite places for its unspoilt beauty – and so I was very keen to read this novel.
I knew from the first paragraph that the book would not disappoint:
A gentle breeze fluttered through the peach grove, but gave no respite from the midday sun. The rows of peach and olive trees offered no shade, and the branches of the tall cypress trees surrounding the orchard seemed to trap and intensify the relentless rays, creating an overwhelming heat that pervaded everything. Only the strident call of the cicadas broke the unnerving quiet that descended over the dry land.
I adore the author’s writing style; her ability to evocatively convey the setting. There is so much colour and passion and feeling in her writing: she’s a romance writer par excellence.
The story drew me in from the beginning, so much so that I read the book in just two sittings – I couldn’t put it down. I love the characterisation, especially of the local Sardinian people. I love the depth to the character of Elise and her journey to find herself, and to heal her heart, after her abusive marriage. I love the hero of the book, Beppe, and find him so real as a person that he seems alive beyond the words on the page. I love the development of Beppe and Elise’s relationship, and the attention the author pays to exploring their feelings.
No doubt you’re spotting a theme: I love this book!
I’ve no wish to provide a spoiler of the ending here. Suffice it to say that it surprised me, and moved me, and is, I think, a very mature and intelligent close to the book. I’d have loved more depth at the end; more exploration of Elise’s life when she returns to England, and Beppe’s respectively. But I see why the author has written the book as she has.
In all, this is a book that stayed with me after I read the final words, and is one I think I will re-read in the future. It’s certainly made me pine for beautiful Sardinia!
I very much hope Lexa has more books in the pipeline: I will be first in line to read her next release.
Some of the comments I have received so far.
“This book would make a wonderful holiday read. The main characters are well drawn and we are introduced to them quickly; the narrative also follows at a good pace and although it is essentially a love story, the descriptions of Sardinia and its customs and people as well as all the sounds and smells, make it extremely compelling reading; I couldn’t put it down! Sardinia is definitely on my ‘bucket list’ as a result!”
Format: Kindle Edition
“This story took me on a journey through warm and sunny Sardinia (always a plus for us in the UK). The vivid descriptions of the island, people, food and culture transported me to a more gentle and meaningful way of life. I felt as though I knew the characters well and could see them as they moved through their lives. Sardinia has such a rich history of which little is known outside the region. I enjoyed learning about the culture and life of Sardinia as much as I enjoyed the story itself. I recommend that you curl up with this book and a glass of your favourite wine and enjoy!”
“An easy holiday read for the pool this summer: beautifully detailed study of Sardinia, its people, customs, history and above all, Food! I feel inspired to start cooking eels and roasting a suckling pig over a fire! The island is definitely on my list of places to visit as a result.”
Format: Kindle Edition
“A gripping, beautifully descriptive, romantic and tragic tale. A fabulous insight into the stunning landscape, historical culture and traditional community life of the Sardinians. The book invites you into another world and takes one on a journey of many emotions. I shall be recommending it to my local book group.”
“An ideal romantic holiday read that weaves many interesting facts about the history and culture of Sardinia into the story. Sure to make you want to visit the island.”