Title: Midnight at the Tuscany Hotel
Author: James Markert
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
“Rumor is, at the Tuscany Hotel, you forget all your worries, so your creativity can thrive,” Valerie is told in James Markert’s novel, Midnight at the Tuscany Hotel.
~ What ~
This three-hundred-and-sixty-eight-page paperback is targeted toward those who enjoy a mystical read about memory, forgetting the past, and accepting outcomes of life. Using the slang word darn, topics of physical abuse and death may not be appropriate for immature readers. The ending includes a note from the author, acknowledgments, twelve discussion questions, another book excerpt from the writer, and the author’s biography.
Set in California after World War II, this story involves shell-shocked Vitto Gandy who returns home from war as a different man. When his aging father with Alzheimer’s disease is missing, the son knows exactly where to find him – at his defunct Tuscany Hotel. Abandoned for years, the hotel that used to be a haven of creativity turns into a magical nirvana where, by drinking its fountain’s water, one’s memory is miraculously restored with a catch.
As Vitto learns about his parents’ pasts and recalls the Greek and Roman mythology he was told as a child and is displayed throughout the statues, carvings, frescos, and paintings in the hotel, he must learn to paint “the real” to find redemption and inner peace.
~ Why ~
Written with well-defined characters, the book shows how often memories fade as age overtakes, wishing there could be a make-believe antidote for the body and mind by the simple act of drinking a magical potion. I appreciated the compassion of some of the characters and how several relationships evolved and changed when memories improved.
~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like stories about mystical waters curing lost memories, humans who believe they are reincarnated gods, and mythological history should avoid this book. Some may not like that the true God, Jesus Christ, and the eternal plan of salvation are never discussed, even though there are touches of Catholicism, confessions, and requests of hail Marys.
~ Wish ~
My number one issue with this book was that its publisher, Thomas Nelson, is normally known to promote Christian concepts and themes, yet this book contains a plethora of mysticism involving gods, goddesses, and the underworld. Being a Christian, I am so disappointed in Thomas Nelson’s recent switch to these types of books that are supposedly “spiritual” without even mentioning a relationship with Jesus Christ. With the last two fictions I have read from this publisher being so far from the Truth, I am leery of reading any more of their published works so have drastically rated this one down. I did think the author did a good job telling his eclectic story; I strongly wish he took a different approach when it came to death and dying.
~ Want ~
If you enjoy a read that promotes belief in something (not Someone) while weaving a tale of memory loss and aging, this might be for you, but I found the gods and goddesses mentioned in it are not the Real Answer when searching for peace and happiness.
Thanks to Book Look Bloggers for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.
This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/2UEvOie