Ellen Fenwick travelled to Florence for the first time in April 1933…

Following her mother’s death, the prospect of spending six months as a governess in a villa in Italy seems ideal to Ellen: a fresh new start and a chance for freedom.

Juliet, an only child, is delighted to have Ellen, or Fenny, as she becomes, as her governess.

And when Fenny is introduced to Madeleine’s close friend, Lucrezia Warner and their new tutor Daniel, her life seems to take on another level of happiness.

Though she is not entirely sure that his feelings for her are as strong as her feelings for him…

When Juliet and her father return to London, Fenny decides to take up employment with the Warners and even though Daniel’s time with the Warners ends along with all chance of romance, Fenny’s love of Italy and her love for the children fulfils her future.

Unmarried and following a series of unfortunate relationships, she finds herself content with watching the children grow up and lead their lives.

But things don’t seem as idyllic as the farms, hillsides and valleys that surround them as fascism threatens the heart of Italy.

As appealing as the views are, life at the villa is far from perfect…

Praise for Lettice Cooper

‘Certainly Lettice Cooper’s finest novel’ – Storm Jameson

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