It s never too early for Venice Fabbio or Beo, short for beato or blessed in Italian , is engaged in a flight without purpose Fabbio, was the courier of Sunshine Toursin Italy His group was about to begin their second day of morning shopping followed by lunch refreshed from a night sleep when it s discovered that there has been a murder off the via Sicilian within 100 yards of the Hotel Splendido where they were staying A woman was found stabbed on the church steps at 5 AM in the morning Two English teachers from London on the bus tour, were upset because they feel they could ve saved her, because they saw her sleeping there at 9 PM the night before The night before, just before everyone was retiring to their rooms for sleep, a Mr Bloom slipped Fabbio a note saying come to my room , with ten thousand lire Fabbio wasn t ever interested in going to a clients room so he walked outside and slipped that note and ten thousand lire into the pocket of the old women on the church stairs His bus tour is suppose to be headed to Naples however he s begging his supervisor to get transferred He tells him he s in trouble, doesn t tell him why or what says he want to be transferred on a different tour with a different set of clients as well He wants to to be put on a northern route Annie two were going towards the Adriatic His supervisor, Giovanni, tells him it s too early Fabbio is still begging well, then, not necessarily a coach, a tour, a private client who might consider Ravenna, Venice Giovanni finally fixes this situationFabbio gets his transfer Two Tedeschi in a Volkswagen going north and they want an interpreter who speaks German, which Fabbio does Fabbio is running for his life What he will soon discover is that what really matters is not running from the past, but the future Sound GOOD this is just the TIP of the iceburg This story is just beginning BOOK DISCUSSION INVITE For anyone who would like to read this book with a group of members here on Good Reads we will be discussing it the entire month of April Sara will be happy cough cough calling for Sara to come in here and post the link of where to find the discussion group The discussions are low key with great people I bought this book on for 9.99 Kindle download It s possible to read this book pretty easy in 1 or 2 days but even if you ve only read the beginning it s enough to join the group Not everyone will have finished it by the start date, April 1 QUOTES I went on walking up the via dei Sogni, and so out into the via dell 8 Settembre, in front of the University It was like walking into another age The young were everywhere, pouring out of lecture rooms, laughing, talking, getting onto vespas The old building which had always been known as the House of Studies boasted New wings, windows glowing not only with fresh paint that with vitality The via Della Mira surrounding the whole city of Ruffano stretched before me, curving gently, while immediately to my left where the steps leading up to the palace and to the city above The room was illuminated by flares and torches, which throwing monstrous shadows upon the fluted ceiling and saffron walls, gave to the whole eerie, somber, flavor, medieval and at the same time, exciting The piazza was crowded with morning shoppers, and with the inevitable group of worthless individuals who, idle not from choice but from the necessity, came to the city center to stand and stare Students were everywhere, arguing, loquacious, most of them streaming out of the piazza up and northern hill to the piazza del Duca Carlo Rumor, floating from one hill to the other, and then converging from all corners to thepiazza Della Vita, emerged in the small space like smoke from a steaming cauldron There was a Communists plot to blow up the University There was a Fascist plot to take over the municipality Guests at the dinner party at the Hotel Panorama had been poisoned The private residences of the Head of Departments had been burgled A manic from Rome, having murdered one of Ruffano s inhabitants, poor Marta Zampini, in the capital, was now loose in Ruffano itself, and had made an attempt on the life of Professor Elia Du Maurier is good, even at her least suspenseful And the plot here was not one that held any surprise for me But her town descriptions and the campus were spot on It s certainly not my favorite, and I had read it before About 1 3rd of the way through I remembered most of it Some writing becomes extremely mindset dated on a reread after decades This one didn t But then again, those 1960 s were certainly not my 1960 s so it was fairly difficult to mindset this time frame and nuance of it for me, in the first place. 4.5 starsI have had moments in my life, as has everyone, when something in memory clicks, when we are aware of a sensation of what the French call d j vu Somewhere, some time, and God alone knew when, I had seen that bowed posture, the ample drapery spread, the arms folded, the head buried under the weight of shawls But not in Rome My vision lay elsewhere The memory was childhood s, blotted out by the years between Armino Fabbio, while in Rome carrying out the mundane duties as courier for Sunshine Tours, has a sudden jolt, a flashback of his past that will propel him to his hometown of Ruffano, Italy, in order to unravel a mystery that will haunt him if he does not act Armino has not set foot in Ruffano since the end of WWII, when he fled with his mother and a Commandant of the German army, leaving behind the memory of a father and a brother who had both perished during the war What he finds on his return are a deluge of sensations and nostalgic remembrances that were shaped by the impressionable mind and malleable consciousness of youth The city of Ruffano is steeped in history with one legend looming large that of the fifteenth century first Duke of Ruffano, Duke Claudio, otherwise known as the Falcon His story is mirrored in a painting which hangs in the ducal palace, titled The Temptation of Christ Duke Claudio s likeness is depicted in both the faces of Christ and Satan, reflecting the dual nature of good and evil Armino reads through a historical text about the lives of the Dukes of Ruffano and gleans further testimony as to the character of the infamous Duke ClaudioHis brief life is shrouded in mystery, for contemporary authorities do not enable us to pronounce with certainty on the enormous vices wherewith tradition and innuendo have blackened his memory A youth of outstanding promise, he became intoxicated by good fortune, and casting off his early discipline he surrounded himself by a small band of dissolute disciples, and dismayed the good citizens of Ruffano by licentious outrages and revolting cruelties With the annual Festival in Ruffano fast approaching, an ambitious scheme to seemingly reenact the history of the city is masterminded by the much admired Director of the Arts Council The various factions of students within the university in Ruffano are already at odds with one another and it appears that the festival will somehow increase the tension and bring everything to a grand climax one which Armino fears to be very dangerous and directed within an atmosphere of fanaticism His understanding of the history of the city as well as the impressions from his own childhood will greatly influence his own role in the impending dramaThe proud would be stripped, the haughty violated, the slanderer silenced, the viper die in his own venom The scales of heavenly justice would thus be balanced Anyone that has read my reviews in recent months will probably have noticed that I have been reading several du Maurier works and that I have been pouring forth praises and enthusiasm for each novel I just can t seem to help getting caught up in the brilliance of her storytelling the psychological complexities, the intoxicating atmosphere of the surroundings, and the remarkable presence of her characters in my imagination This book is lesser known in comparison to such acclaimed works like Rebecca and My Cousin Rachel, but its impact is just as powerful and perhaps even meaningful The battle between good and evil, the effect of memory on the perception of current events, and the opposing natures, or perhaps even duality, of creation and destruction are all examined by du Maurier in this compelling feat of writing I don t rank this as one of my very favorite pieces by this author they can t all be number one, after all , but it is a must read for any fan and one that I recommend highly For the most part, it s a slower, reflective sort of book that will make you ponder many of the themes presented. 3.5 stars The proud shall be stripped the haughty violated the slanderer silenced, the serpent die in its own venom This book was fascinating not so much for the story telling but for the themes Of loss, of insanity, of obsession, of our own histories and how they influence our present The book was gothic and sinister,the characters difficult to empathise with I feel this story is bigger and deeper than my understanding and that the themes are important There is that sense of claustrophobia and repression and the duality of good versus evil, sexuality versus sexual repression, of living in another s shadow The narrator reminds me of the narrator in Rebecca, some one slightly unformed or lacking in confidence and identity An intriguing read for fans of Du Maurier. I adore the writing of Daphne du Maurier She blends suspense, moving description and psychological intrigue in a way that few other writers have mastered The Flight of the Falcon is not one of her acclaimed works, it is largely overlooked, but I have always thought it one of the best There is a deeper meaning hidden within its pages, that would appear to me to be about temptation, self illusion, the struggle of good and evil within a man, and the importance of being willing to dare and to try and to perish in the effort.Armino Fabbio is a nondescript tour guide, making his way through the familiar territory of Rome, when he is plunged into his past by a chance encounter with a woman, a drunken destitute woman, who reminds him of his childhood nurse, Marta Because of this encounter, he returns to his roots, a town named Ruffano, where his father was the curator of a museum before his death during WWII In Ruffano, he discovers that the past that he believed to be dead and gone is alive and all consuming.Woven throughout this story are religious images, but not a moral treatise Christ and Satan seem at war here, but which is which is sometimes difficult to determine At one point a fellow character quotes him Nietzsche, He who no longer finds what is great in God will find it nowhere he must either deny it or create it Much of this book is about that need to believe or create Nothing about Armino s past seems cut in stone, everything malleable, and as the pieces unfold he must determine how these truths alter his present and future What is clear is that he will never be able to be an anonymous, uninvolved, unattached tour guide again.I hope to re read many of du Maurier s novels this year It has been long enough on each of them that they come to me fresh and alive, and sometimes even surprising She writes the way Hitchcock directs, with pace and development that build to a crescendo I love that feeling of being swept along by the wind and then plopped back to earth again I m pleased she took me along on the Falcon s flight. No one could walk by night for fear of the of Falcon s sudden descent into the city when, aided by his followers, he would seize and ravage Oooh, I just love Du Maurier, she always delivers the goods Armino Fabbio is working for Sunshine tours and while in Rome with his beef and barbarians Americans and Brits he comes across a down and out woman at the steps of a church, a woman who reminds him of someone from his childhood Taking pity he slips her some money, but she later ends up murdered and Armino blames himself if it hadn t been for the money no one would have robbed and then murdered her or so he reasons Distraught over the woman s identity he takes a holiday from his job and heads north to the city where he was born and where he recalls the murdered woman Ruffano Once there he finds himself and everyone around him being manipulated by a master puppeteer, who like Lazarus has returned from the dead Outside of that I m not going to tell much as I d ruin it for the rest of you read it for yourself Du Maurier slowly builds her story into one heck of a climax as Armino finds himself in the midst of rival student factions and campus politics, all of which culminates in the final plot to recreate the flight of The Falcon, the first Duke of Ruffano, for the city festival but will this flight end as disastrously as the first one Despite a bit of a slow start, the finish was a nail biter and she keeps you guessing until the very end 4 5 stars. Master Storyteller Daphne Du Maurier, Bestselling Author Of Rebecca, Conjures A Chilling Tale In Which The Line Between Good And Evil Is Blurred And Suspicions Run Rampant An Ever Charming Italian Courier, Armino Fabbio Finds His Life Wildly Shaken Up When A Mysterious Murder Compels Him To Return To His Birthplace Ruffano To Investigate The Victim S IdentityHaunted By Its Violent Past And A Sinister Former Duke Known As The Falcon, His Home Is Embroiled In Scandal And Unrest As Justice Is Sought In Deadly Ways At The Center Of The Controversy Is Someone Armino Never Could Have Fathomed, Pulling Him Into The Heart Of The Conflict And Revealing Dark Family Secrets And The True Selves Of Those Closest To Him I read this with a buddy group on GR and am so thankful I did They added so many layers to it that I would have missed if I hadn t been reading it with them Nobody but nobody writes atmosphere like Daphne DuMaurier and, in this one, I actually heard music being played in the background. There is no writer like Daphne du Maurier another winning story for me. Armino Fabbio ne Donati was the youngest son of Aldo Donati and Francesca Rossi His father was the superintendent of the ducal palace in Ruffano and he grew up with all the tales of the mad Duke Claudio, the Falcon , who had run the city in the 16th century Evidently the Duke had some form of God complex he had a painting commissioned where he took the place of Christ and he believed that it was up to him alone to mete out justice to the citzenry for any perceived slight, misdemeanour or crime For example, a page boy once forgot to provide lights for his evening meal and he had his head set alight and left him to die in agony.Armino apparently left Ruffano aged 11 just after the war, his father having died in a camp and believing his brother, also called Aldo, to have been shot down from his plane in the fighting Following a degree in modern languages in Turin, he lands himself a job as a courier for a holiday company, Sunshine Tours While escorting a party round Rome he sees a woman he recognizes from his childhood, Marta the family nurse, begging in the streets Pitying her and feeling guilty, he gives her a ten thousand lire note which had been given to him by a client who had been hoping for a little extra room service The next morning, however, she is found murdered and it at this point that the story really gets going He finds himself returning to Ruffano after a twenty year absence intent on unraveling the mystery of her murder He finds Ruffano a hotbed of intrigue and mystery itself a secret university society and various rags being perpetrated, so it would seem, by rival factions of students against each other.The pace of this novel is extraordinary once Armino is back in Ruffano All the events of the novel take place within a week or so and they are many Practically every chapter ends on a cliffhanger I found all the characters believable and fully realised Du Maurier s descriptive prose was as sublime as ever A couple of the plot points I was able to guess in advance, but not sufficiently early to mar my enjoyment Du Maurier created a brilliant atmosphere of intrigue and forboding.I thought this was wonderful and highly recommend it.
If Daphne du Maurier had written only Rebecca, she would still be one of the great shapers of popular culture and the modern imagination Few writers have created magical and mysterious places than Jamaica Inn and Manderley, buildings invested with a rich character that gives them a memorable life of their own.In many ways the life of Daphne du Maurier resembles a fairy tale Born into a fami
- 357 pages
- The Flight of the Falcon
- Daphne du Maurier
- 09 June 2019 Daphne du Maurier