Nestled into the green hillside by beautiful Lake Maggiore in
northern Italy, there is a dilapidated villa. Even in its current
state of disrepair, those who find it know that there is something
magnetic about the place. They imagine the villa in its prime
surrounded by sculpted topiaries, white peacocks frolicking among
sprawling cypress trees, and stone figures standing guard-a more
prosperous and mysterious past.
Diana Marshall, an American designer traveling in Italy in the
hopes of finding inspiration after the death of her husband, is
captivated by the structure. In the lines and shadows and secret
places of the abandoned relic, she sees a chance to capture her
passion again-for life, for art, for beauty. She throws all caution
and sense to the wind and commits to breathing life into the grand
old home. With the help of a cunning financier with an agenda of
his own, she makes plans to give the abandoned structure a complete
renovation. As the project progresses, tantalizing hints of the
villa's past begin to emerge. Layer by layer, the residue of
another lifetime dares Diana to dig deeper for the truth.
Visitors to the villa bring morsels of information that, when
pieced together, begin to tell a story of its involvement in the
darkest part of twentieth-century history. As she learns more about
the building's nefarious past and the reality of those former
inhabitants, Diana begins to fear the worst.
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