Away at boarding school, the Clavering children know nothing of their parents’ divorce until it’s settled. By then, their mother has gone to Italy with her lover.
Hugh and Carrie, devastated by their mother’s desertion, set out to bring her home from the Lake Garda villa where she and Rob are honeymooning while waiting to marry.
Glad as she is to see the children, Fanny is not about to go back to London.
Rob, who isn’t glad to see the children, summons his own daughter to join them at the villa.
The only thing the three children have in common is dislike of the “other parent.”
As the children fight to restore their normal families, Rob and Fanny fight over how much parents owe to their children. Should the children always come first?
The point of view shifts frequently in the early chapters, reflecting the distress of the characters. As they become more sure of themselves, Godden steadies her perspective and picks up the pace. The story is streaking along when it slams to a close.
The Battle of the Villa Fiorita is a fight you won’t soon forget.The Battle of the Villa Fiorita By Rumer Godden Viking Press, 1963 312 pages 1963 bestseller #10