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Born and educated in Sydney, Australia, Titania Hardie is the highly successful author of a range of distinctive non-fiction books. She has first class honours degrees in psychology and English, and was awarded the Chatterton bursary for post-graduate study at Bristol University, where she is completing her MA on the Romantic Poets. Titania lives in Somerset with her husband and two daughters.
In her second novel (after The Rose Labyrinth) Hardie, who's written extensively on magic and folklore, pulls together Etruscan legend, corporate lawsuits, and medieval daily life into a cohesive and addicting story. Maddie is a bright young lawyer in San Francisco, whose energy and special zest for her clients-the employees of Stormtree Components Inc., who allege they were sickened by workplace toxins-is suddenly drained by the untimely death of her fiance. Lost in grief, Maddie travels, at her grandmother's suggestion, to the family's native Italy and there, in a villa in Tuscany, she finds a group of people whose willingness to help her out of her despair seems almost otherworldly. Meanwhile, Hardie offers glimpses of the same villa in the 14th-century, when it was a stopover for pilgrims and run by a sharp unmarried woman, Jacquetta, and her adopted child, Mia. When a particularly exceptional pair of pilgrims, Angesca and Porphyrius, arrive, Mia is introduced to a mystical way of life. Agnesca's powers as a healer are of great significance as Italy is ravaged by the plague, but her ultimate tool is hope. Back in the present day, Maddie is summoned away from her idyllic vacation by her law firm and the ongoing trial. Hardie has merged Under the Tuscan Sun with Erin Brockovich into a story both heavily atmospheric and thematically hypnotic. Agent: Andrew Nurnberg and Sarah Nundy, Andrew Nurnberg Associates. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.