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Puglia 1921 Leandro Cardetta born into poverty emigrated to America to make his fortune and has returned home to southern Italy a rich man accompanied by his glamorous wife Marcie an ex showgirl fighting middle age Now Leandro has money enough to hire renowned English architect Boyd Kinsgley to renovate a crumbling palazzo into an Art Deco statement of wealth and host Boyd's teenage son and his diffident young second wife Clare for one extraordinary summerUnder the burning sky beyond the luxury of Leandro's home tensions are high Veterans of the Great War are desperate for work and food Among these is Ettore Leandro's nephew Gripped by grief at the loss of his fiancee Ettore has sworn to identify Livia's killer and take his revenge He is too proud to go to his uncle for charity but when he injures himself one day he has no choice but to knock on Leandro's door Meeting Clare there will change everything and in the most violent wayDuring the fierce summer of 1921 all these lives converge Exactly how did Leandro grow rich in America and what is the strange hold he has over Boyd? What happened to the first Mrs Kingsley and what secret haunts the outwardly exuberant Marcie Cardetta? Hearts will be broken blood will be spilt and the hardest of life's lessons will be learnt as shadows fall


10 thoughts on “The Night Falling

  1. says:

    This book bored me to death It was an excruciatingly slow read with unlikeable characters and very slow developments As much as Puglia's weatherbeaten landscape was brutal so were the times the lives of people living there Even though I didn't know much about what happened in this area of the world during these times because of the dry writing style I couldn't even develop a slight interest I did struggle through it out of obligation than anything as I did like previous books by Katherine Webb but this one I just couldn't finish fast enough I just wanted to get it over and done with I could not warm to any of the characters I didn't like any of them Okay I liked Pino he was kind and warm and just a good person and I was crushed about what happened to him But he was only a supporting character The main characters of the story were all deplorable sad and unlikeable The plot did thicken as we approached the end of the book but it only got interesting towards the last 50 70 pages All the rest was an excruciatingly slow build up Even the love story didn't come across as all consuming and nice and warm It lacked magic and warmth Maybe that was the whole point? To capture and show the lack of hope the forlornness of the times and area? The harshness the brutality the poverty came through alright but even the ending just flowed into place There was no A HA moment no crescendo no peak Well there was a peak where everything came to a halt but there was no big bang Just bleh Slow simmering without ever truly boiling over There was nothing I liked about this book I'm sorry to say A waste of time it was Pfff


  2. says:

    I just love Katherine Webb books and eagerly awaited this I found this an extremely laborious book and was loathe to pick it up at times The only reason I continued was that I thought it would improve; sadly I was wrongI breathed a sigh of relief as I limped to the finishing line and turned the final page Yes it's beautifully and descriptively written as always but I just felt that nothing really happened and that it didn't really get off the starting blocks for meIt's told from the perspective of Ettore a peasant in 1921 Gioia Italy and Clare who is visiting the affluent area with her husband Boyd and 15 year old stepson Pip Some of the content is based on actual events which took place in that year with lots of bitter fighting and loss of life which at times I was terribly bored with That's about the gist of the story and as I say I am pleased I have finished it Not my favourite book by a long way and it took me a long time to finish it It did aid my insomnia on occasions as I fell asleep most nights whilst ploughing heroically onward with itThis book is actually worthy of 25 stars but as I am so pleased I have actually finished it I decided to go up and mark it as a 3


  3. says:

    Novel set in Puglia Italy a relatively recent troubled past Leandro Cardetta born into abject poverty in Puglia has made a fortune in America and subseuently returned to his childhood home with a glamorous and rather spoilt wife Marcie There he sets about restoring a crumbling palazzo helped by well known English architect Boyd Kingsley who brings with him his teenage son Pip and his second wife the rather shy and retiring ClareOutside the comfort and comparative luxury of the palazzo the men labour to cultivate the unyielding land under the blazing sun of southern Italy Veterans of the Great War they returned to their homeland with promises of some land and a living wage but instead are faced with minimal wages and harsh overseers The landowners feel under threat because of the rather futile socialist attempts to organise the workforce and turn to the fascists for support with predictably violent conseuences Leandro’s nephew Ettore is one of these starving poor with the additional grief of mourning his fiancée who was brutally raped and died as a result of her injuries Ettore is too proud to ask his rich uncle for help until an injury leaves him no choice; it is either turn to Leandro for help or see his sister and baby nephew starve When Webb brings all these characters together under one roof as she does at the beginning of the novel you know it can’t end wellIn fact the whole novel positively seethes with tension throughout Webb’s depiction of the social and political atmosphere of the time is masterful At times it makes for an uncomfortable read as she describes in graphic detail the hardships endured by the local workers and their families and the brutality of the punishments inflicted on the rebellious workers by the fascisti Without any doubt this is a gripping read There are so many uestions that need to be answered and so many characters who have things to hide How did Cardetta make his money in America? What is the hold that he has over Boyd? Why is he so insistent that Clare and Pip stay in Italy despite the growing threat of violence? It would be a good enough read if it was just a thrilling story but it is also a very well written one full of powerful description and imageryPuglia is a part of Italy I have always wanted to visit without knowing much about it other than that it is home to those charming looking whitewashed trullo houses which feature prominently in any tourist brochure Katherine Webb’s novel drawing heavily on real events teaches you much about the area’s history and it feels as if it would be a very wise thing to have read up about the history before you visit It is difficult to believe that such a relatively recent troubled past should not have left its scars in the landscape and in the mindset of its people and I for one will tread respectfully when I do visit for having read this novel


  4. says:

    I received a free copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review Puglia 1921 Leandro Cardetta born into poverty emigrated to America to make his fortune and has returned home to southern Italy a rich man accompanied by his glamorous wife Marcie an ex showgirl fighting middle age Now Leandro has money enough to hire renowned English architect Boyd Kinsgley to renovate a crumbling palazzo into an Art Deco statement of wealth and host Boyd's teenage son and his diffident young second wife Clare for one extraordinary summerUnder the burning sky beyond the luxury of Leandro's home tensions are high Veterans of the Great War are desperate for work and food Among these is Ettore Leandro's nephew Gripped by grief at the loss of his fiancee Ettore has sworn to identify Livia's killer and take his revenge He is too proud to go to his uncle for charity but when he injures himself one day he has no choice but to knock on Leandro's door Meeting Clare there will change everything and in the most violent wayDuring the fierce summer of 1921 all these lives converge Exactly how did Leandro grow rich in America and what is the strange hold he has over Boyd? What happened to the first Mrs Kingsley and what secret haunts the outwardly exuberant Marcie Cardetta? Hearts will be broken blood will be spilt and the hardest of life's lessons will be learnt as shadows fall35 starsThis was a real mix of a story Slow to get going but never really picked up any pace It was a struggle at times to plough through and the story never really seemed to go anywhereHowever the characters are splendid and the sense of place was very strong I enjoyed this part of the book immenselyBut it is so hard to rate this any higher due to the plot never really going anywherePaulARH


  5. says:

    The Night Falling is the fifth novel from Katherine Webb and once again she has delivered another stunning spell bounding absorbing novel that had me lost in the lives of Ettore and Clare from the very first page I love how each of Katherine’s novels are all so different from each other and with this new release she takes us back in time to 1921 to Gioia del Colle in Southern Italy Right from the opening line we feel the sense of unease tension and suspicion that permeates this novel The author is adept at getting deep into the hearts and minds of her characters and portrays their anguish upset and raw emotions extremely well The description of hunger in the first few pages was jaw dropping and made me stop and think how people in the world face this every day I felt I was right there back in Italy at such a threatening uneasy time as people are starving and struggling to exist despite the rich continuing on with their lives as if horrific suffering is literally not on their doorstepThis novel is full of strong courageous characters that will do anything to survive and beat the odds whilst wanting the best for their futures Clare is spending the summer in Italy with her husband Boyd and stepson Pip at the invitation of Leandro Cardetta Boyd is redesigning Leandro’s house and needs to be on site in order to complete the work Clare believes she will spend a relaxing few weeks absorbing the sun and making new friends But from the start she feels all is not well Leandro appears to have some sort of hold over Boyd and when she is sent to the country residence of the Cardetta’s she feels like she is being removed from the picture As the novel progresses her unease just builds and builds The whole set up just seems sinister and strange to her she feels no connection to Leandro’s American wife Marcie yet Pip seems to have fallen under her spell and they spent endless hours together attempting to put together a show to performEttore is the total opposite to the Cardetta’s a peasant returned from the trenches of The Great War like many others he is struggling to exist and keep his family going Men returning from the war were promised land to farm for themselves but those were empty promises and now Ettore goes to the town suare looking for work every morning Yes work is sometimes available but the conditions and pay are appalling and when an accident occurs and he is unable to work Ettore is faced with the tough decision to turn to his uncle Leandro for help This is not easy for Ettore as his pride and past humiliations stand in his way but he knows without help his sister Paola a strong fearless woman who does her best to acuire food for her family through any means possible father Valerio and nephew Iacopo will go hungry and face the streets Ettore is a tormented man haunted by the death six months previously of his fiancée Livia who was brutally attacked as she walked home he is determined to find her killer and avenge her unjust deathThere was a dip in the middle where I felt not much happened as Clare just seemed to spend endless hours walking in the sunshine to get away from everything or what she suspected may have been going on I felt the sun was contributing to how the characters were feeling and the conditions only added to the distrust and tension constantly simmering until it was built up and built up and finally exploded But then the story really picked up again and I was eagerly turning the pages to reach the gut wrenching fantastic finale Of course there is romance in the story and it was entirely believable as sometimes in novels I feel the romance element is just thrown in to bring the story along a bit In this case it worked perfectly alongside the ongoing revolution attempted by the peasants to acuire what they were due and deserved There are plenty of twists and turns in the story of the Cardetta’s and Clare but the author’s writing is so skillful I never would have seen the ending coming although I felt it was fitting after becoming so embroiled in the characters’ livesWe have all learned about the fascists in history lessons in school but I felt I only ever had brief understanding of what was really happening but this book has certainly made me aware of what was going on at the time I liked how Katherine focused in on a small area in Italy and showed what suffering existed and how the people tried to overcome although their methods may not always have been peaceful and had devastating conseuencesThere is so much to talk about in this novel but I feel people should just rush out and buy this book as you will acuire a whole new appreciation for the wonderful writing of Katherine Webb This is a powerful excellent enthralling novel that I won’t forget in a hurry Little did I think I would find a contender for my book of the year at this late stage but Katherine Webb has told such a heart breaking emotional story in such a skilled and consummate way that The Night Falling needs to be read by everyone Katherine Webb please step forward and take your well deserved applause this book was just an amazing read


  6. says:

    Posted originally The Night Falling is a little different to the kind of books I normally read but I had no reservations – I’d heard wonderful things about Katherine Webb’s writing and I couldn’t wait to start reading it for myself This book was truly incredible In what should have taken me probably a good few chapters to get to grips with considering I’ve not really read much about poverty or war before Katherine Webb had me entranced within the first couple of pages The level of detail and description to kick off this novel was beautiful and powerful and every page to follow was emotional and heart wrenching It was so stunning and I really did not expect to fall for this novel as much as I did but it was such an impacting read I put down this book times than I do most novels but only because I needed to take it in and appreciate what I was reading and in the hope that the times I put it down the longer I could delay it coming to an end The Night Falling had me spellbound Set in 1921 Italy the novel focuses on the perspective of two main characters Clare and Ettore Ettore is a peasant returning from the war Faced with an injury he has to begrudgingly turn to his uncle Leandro for his support and this is where he meets Clare and her stepson Pip Clare is battling her own issues as her marriage to Boyd is under scrutiny to say the least But we also learn about Ettore’s plans to avenge the death of his fiancée Livia and with this see that each character has their own spectacular story Although this book is separated into Clare and Ettore’s chapters the author creates and develops many characters than that and Katherine’s writing of characters is insanely good There were no real outright likeable characters – each had their good and bad traits – and I loved the way the author built up every single character to the extent that nothing was black or white It wasn’t so simple as having characters that would do no wrong and characters that would do everything wrong and this made it much entertaining attempting to figure out their motives whether they were being honest or not and the role they were playing in the at times extraordinary turn in events The characters just like the setting the descriptions and in fact the entire novel were vivid and felt very realistic The way the author manages to bring out the emotions in every single character was amazing to read because you can connect with them even though what they are doing might disgust you or confuse you you feel for them and need to know how things will work out The Night Falling was completely captivating and the author’s style of writing told me that all the great things I’ve heard about her are true Her portrayal of the poverty and the contrast between the wealthy and the poor was stunning and I was fascinated by how she conveyed every feeling and judgement and all the tension that came with the divide We’re shown how living in those times could change even the most innocent of characters and I was completely absorbed seeing the impact on each character and the changes in them that occurred over the space of the novel There is so much to this book that meant there was plenty to be uncovered and I was hooked with all the secrets and deceit Though the writing could be brilliantly dramatic and I loved it for that a lot of the twists were hinted at and then took me by surprise and the unpredictability kept me in suspense right up until the final page This book had everything – it could be horrifically violent at times passionate at others and ultimately breath taking throughout The ending as much as I didn’t want it to come was a great way to finish what was a fantastic book and oh how I must get my hands on Katherine Webb’s other books now because The Night Falling was just perfect Book received for honest review


  7. says:

    I will write this review as I am reading this book rather than write a summary at the end My thanks to Goodreads giveaways for my copyThe book opens with a series of chapters written from the perspective of Clare and Ettore who clearly are two of the central characters in this novel which is set mainly in the South East corner of rural Italy in 1921 The opening descriptive scenes provide an insight into the lives of people from different social backgrounds in this poverty stricken part of Italy during the period following the Great WarInevitably this style of review creates a lot of uestionsIs everything going well for Clare? She is the second wife of Boyd who lost his first wife in tragic circumstancesCan Clare really be a replacement for Pip's real mum Emma Boyd's first wife?Ettore lost Livia his fiancée and love of his life in tragic circumstances What actually happened and why is Ettore determined to get revenge?There are some flashbacks to earlier times I like the way these are still written in the present tense In a way this helps to add to the tension Ettore Pino his best friend obviously suffer some sort of distasteful experience at the hands of Ludo Manzo an overseer? Clare seems to have reasons to doubt her decision to persuade Boyd to return to New York Is this the key to his current work in Puglia as an architect for Leandro Cardetta?How much does Marcie know of her husband's past in America and how does this fit in with the link between Boyd Leandro?Is everything about Federico Manzo son of Ludo as innocent as it may appear? Another interesting twist is the proliferation of activity towards political opponents by the embryonic fascist movement For me as a fan of historical fiction this proves to be a real strength of this book It provides an insight into an aspect of European history between the two wars which I had not been aware of beforeAs the story develops deterioration in relationships becomes the key issue Relationships between whom?How far back does the tension between the peasant community and the landowners in the Puglia region go and how will it be resolved when the new tension of the growing fascist movement is added to the mix?Does everything go smoothly when he takes Boyd takes up the challenge of redesigning the town house for Cardetta?What will happen to things between Clare Pip Boyd Who can they trust when they don't always seem to trust each other?Suffice to say that without risking any spoilers all I can really say is that the pace of the story continues to build until right to the end I would certainly recommend people to add this to their list of books to read


  8. says:

    To be honest this book very nearly made the couldn't make myself finish it category The odd choice to use present tense in a historical novel first of all was very strange and there was something lacking in the way the story began Perhaps it was urgency perhaps magic I came to this book expecting to be swept in straight away and instead I found myself pushing through the first eighty pages and fighting the urge to put the book down Yet I persevered and I was rewarded by this skilled pulling together of some very separate narrative threads The characters were beautifully realised I particularly liked Leandro and the relationship between Pip and Clare I also started off hating but ended up loving the political aspect of the novel particularly when I learned a lot of it was based in fact Would I read Katherine Webb again? Absolutely Do I recommend that you read this novel? Well that's up to you Think of a slightly politicised Nicky Pellegrino novel Allow yourself to become immersed and perhaps you'll rush to the end as I did I only wish I'd had that impulse from the start


  9. says:

    I was a little disappointed with this Katherine Webb book Having really enjoyed her previous books this really wasn't up to the same standard Beautifully written great start and gripping finish but honestly the middle is just slow and uite boring


  10. says:

    It's 1921 a few years after the Great War Clare Kingsley isn't happy when she and Pip have to join her husband Boyd in Italy Clare is Boyd's second wife and Pip isn't officially her son but their bond is very strong Boyd is an architect and he is in Gioia in Puglia to design a building for Leandro Cardetta Leandro is a rich and dangerous businessman who has made his fortune in America Together with his wife Marcie he's returned to his homelandEven though Leandro's home is luxurious Clare isn't happy at all that she and Pip are in Gioia There's so much tension between the rich and the poor There are so many men who are looking for low paid jobs where they have to slave away in poor conditions just to put some food on the table They're always hungry and when there's no work they don't have anything to eat Leandro's nephew Ettore is one of these workmen After an accident he has to stay with Leandro but he doesn't want to have anything to do with his uncle and doesn't want his money At home there are people who need to eat so he reluctantly agrees to work for Leandro for a while He's grieving because his beautiful fiancé was murdered and he wants to avenge her death Meeting Clare changes him but unfortunately she has no power to get him out of the situation he's inThere's something going on between Leandro and Boyd Clare wants to know how Leandro became such a rich man and why he's chosen Boyd to design his building There are too many secrets and she sure about one thing she and Pip aren't safe They can't return to England so they're forced to live with Leandro and Marcie for the entire summer It's going to be a summer that will change everyone foreverThe Night Falling is a beautiful story about impossible love war secrets and the differences between rich and poor It's a long story that reuires some time and peace and uiet to read I never wanted it to end and I fell in love with this book immediately The setting is perfect I could picture the isolated Italian countryside where there's nothing to do very well Clare often goes for a walk because she wants to escape the oppressive atmosphere at home It was amazing to see her grow and to watch her bravery Ettore is such a wonderful man but he's stuck in a life that's hard and difficult So many of the people he loved have died and it never stops Clare is from another world and even though she doesn't know this hard life she understands him very well I can't express enough how much I enjoyed reading this book The writing's beautiful and every sentence is right So much is happening and the author has managed to make me feel the tension the atmosphere is oppressive and it's inevitable that something really bad is going to happen The finale's really good and unexpected I liked it a lot I highly recommend this book it's one of the best stories I've ever read