The Peacock Room

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 11 Jun 2019

Member Reviews

I was drawn to this book by the Italian setting. I found it an earnestly written book with an interesting plot that couldn’t overcome the bland and one-dimensional characters, predictable touch of the fantastic, and unbelievable climax.

Kudos to whoever designed the cover.

I read an advance reader copy from Netgalley.
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I really enjoyed this novel. I loved the way places were described especially the rooms in Sammezzano Castle. I was inspired to find out more about the Castle. It was set in 2011 in Fulham and Italy. Allegra loves art and beautiful buildings, at University she studied European interior architecture.
When her children become too demanding Allegra escapes to her special place – a bathroom she designed using 14 Century Italian and Florentine mosaics. 
Allegra and her friend Julia go to Florence for a holiday. While she is in Italy, Allegra plans to find out more about her Italian family history and the reason her grandfather left Italy and something about the mysterious Peacock Room her grandfather is always talking about.
This was about families, relationships, friendships and secrets. I loved the descriptions about Italian architecture and design.
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I was attracted to this book because of the gorgeous cover and the reference to peacocks.  Peacocks symbolize many things to many cultures.  In the Bible, it  represents eternal life and the Resurrection because it sheds its old feathers each year and grows new ones. It is also used as a symbol of vanity because of its beauty and the way it displays his feathers.  In Greco-Roman mythology its tail has the "eyes" of the stars. In Hinduism, it represents patience, kindness and luck. In Persia, it is seen as a guardian to royalty.  They have always fascinated me, so from that standpoint The Peacock Room's story of said room in the Castle Sammezzano is interesting, and the story the author wove around its history is interesting.   The present day characters  are one-dimensional, so it is difficult to develop an interest in their story.  The interactions of the parents and children and Allegra's new relationship seemed rushed and superficial.  If you find yourself skimming through the present day parts of the story, don't let that stop you from slowing down on the story of The Peacock Room and the history of the people from that time period.  I had never heard of Castle Sammezzano and its Peacock Room, so I enjoyed reading its history mystery.

Thank you to NetGalley and RedDoor Publishing for an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.  Apologize for taking too long to complete this review.
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After being betrayed by her husband Allegro decides to get away and travels to Florence to visit the Castillo de Sommezzana to find out if The Peacock room her grandfather often spoke about is real .
She gets involved in a mystery which starts when she finds out her grandfather left Florence in disgrace. Allegra gets herself into scary situations which I did get a bit annoyed about that she could be so stupid.

I found out that the peacock room really exists and it is magnificent and just as the author describes in the book. Unfortunately the castle has been left to fall into ruin and no one is allowed it. Such a pity, what a great tourist attraction it could be.
Great story really enjoyed it.
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This was  an advanced copy from netgalley - thank you

Any book set in Italy gets my vote and this one is set in Tuscany which is my favourite place in the world.  

Lovely cover - beautiful and so is the book  -  hooked in from page 1 - couldn't put this down - such a wonderful read

I would highly recommend this as a holiday read but I wouldn't want to restrict its audience.  

I was so engrossed by this book and  will be recommending to all my friends to read too
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It was the cover that first drew me to this book. 
This story is a wonderful family mystery, enriched with wonderful history and rich with culture, art and architecture.
This book was a breath of fresh air for me, in some parts of the book I felt transported into beautiful Florence, surrounded with the aromas, romance and excitement. Other parts of the book I was dropped into London with an obnoxious ex and commitments piled high, his took its toll on my moods I must say !

The  images this conjured were magnificent , and the story line had me gripped, pulling me deeper and deeper , until the last few chapters completely consumed me. 

On finishing the book I learnt that Merryn Corcoran gained her inspiration for this book after seeing a picture of The peacock room at Sammezzano Castle in Italy. I instantly looked this up and was bombarded with magnificent images that only dreams are made of.
 For me it was a fantastic twist that the peacock room was a real place. Certainly another item will be added onto my bucket list now. 

I voluntarily read and reviewed this book, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
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The cover is gorgeous! Excellent story with interesting, well developed characters. Part romance/part thriller, the main character travels between England and Italy. The descriptions of Italy and the castle was beautifully described. I want to go!

I would like to thank the author/publisher/netgalley for the opportunity to read this book and exchange for a fair and honest review.
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I choose this book because of the beautiful cover. I enjoyed the story, but thought the dialogues and characters lacked  depth. The mystery didn't really catch my interest. I did enjoy the setting, especially the castle. It sounds beautiful.
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I was reading this for inclusion in our subscription box, but this book does not fit our needs. The writing felt a bit stilted and the dialogue was awkward. This book just didn't work for me.
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This is the first time I've ever read a book over the course of one day! Of course it helps when you're reading to a deadline and have run out of days, but I did find myself quite captivated by Allegra O'Brien's story.
When we meet 42 year old Allegra she is a happy housewife and mother of two teenage children, a girl and boy, so very relatable to me. I can only imagine her heart-break though, when she discovers her husband is being unfaithful to her. I would be absolutely devastated and her reaction to the situation is very believable. It seems to be somewhat of a blessing it disguise though as she eventually finds herself free to properly be herself again and explore the interests she had put to one side to be a wife and mother. Her husband isn't the most likeable of characters and he does do her a favour really by leaving her for his much younger girlfriend. 
As Allegra comes to terms with such a drastic change to her life, she does start re-visiting her interest in her family history, on her mother's Italian side and I found myself swept up in fascination by it all myself. Her visits to Tuscany sound idyllic, apart from one lapse of judgement during her first visit, and are made all the more charming when she meets police officer, Massimo.
This book was just a delight to read. Written with such beautifully descriptive language and with a genuine care for the characters and the stories they have to tell. All of whom add their own depth to the story, including the children. I don't know, but would hazard a guess that the writer might have teenage children herself as she writes them perfectly.
I was as keen as Allegra to find out the truth behind her family mystery and was hoping for a happy ending for her and Massimo the whole time. A lovely, inspiring story about following your dreams and not letting anyone hold you back.
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Allegra is left reeling when she discovers her husband has been having an affair and wants to leave her. Her narcissistic mother and spoiled teenager are no help soothing her broken heart, so she relies on the stories her elderly Italian grandfather tells her, of an old castle and a peacock room to transport her out of her misery. And when a friend invites her along on a trip to Tuscany, it seems like the perfect opportunity to escape her current circumstances. Following the clues from her grandfather’s stories, Allegra finds herself in the very place her grandfather has long described and right in the middle of a volatile situation with a dangerous, but handsome Italian man. Beautifully written, this is the kind of book that can truly transport you to another world
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Fantastic book. I got sucked straight into the story and found it hard to put down. Fast paced and immersive writing throughout. Several storyline strands merge and weave throughout the main story. Amazing scenery and I was definitely googling the setting to see if my imagination matched up to reality. Definitely a must read book. 

Thank you Netgalley
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Allegra's cheating husband has opened the door for discovery. First she will be able to focus her attention on the Italian architecture, pictures, and history that she loves. Second, she can gain her independence and self esteem that she has lost because of a controlling husband. Third she can research her family history and maybe discover what happened to her great-grandfather, who unexpectedly disappeared. And finally she may discover why her grandfather's stories to her as a child always contained the peacock room. And she may even discover love.
Great story, strong characters and amazing attention to detail.
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3.5 stars 
The book was a quick and delightful read about a woman who's struggling to get over her husband infidelity and divorce, trying to find out the truth about her grand grandfather and his past in a very beautiful castle in Italy, where she also falls in love with an Italian policeman. 
A fast-paced story, with a very reliable female character that takes some bad decisions at times but also is trying to keep her children safe from all the drama that appears in her life at the time.

A very well written description of the settings which made me think and feel like I was really there in the castle and surrounded by luxurious colors. Maybe one day I'll get the chance to visit the castle as now it's on my To visit list.
I didn't like the dialogue or better said the words said at times by the kids but at the end it's understandable because of the society we live in nothing is perfect and maybe, even if I cheered Allegra for getting her life back and moving forward to find a partner in her life in the Italian cop, I felt that she falls a bit too quick and too soon after being married for 20 years.

#ThePeacockRoom #Netgalley
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I wanted to enjoy this book more than I did. I love a good Romance and a castle in Tuscany? Sounds like a slam dunk! It started off slow. we meet Allegra just when she realizes that her husband of 20 years has been having an affair. Then we skip ahead 4 months and she's separated and going on a weekend trip to Florence with a friend. And then her inexplicable life choices begin. Going off with some random man and getting high and almost raped? What? Then getting rescued by a cop and falling in to bed almost immediately? It just seemed more than a little out of character.  I loved everything regarding the castle and great-grandma Cosima and her diary, but all the stuff with the jerk of her in the progress of becoming ex husband was boring and more than a little irritating. It also did nothing to help the actual story or move anything along. And her kids. Man. I started off hating the daughter and being bored by the son, but that changed quickly and the daughter seemed all right and the son was a selfish little jerk and I wanted to smack him. And making the mom sick just seemed so pointless. Again, just random storylines that served no purpose. Everything was pretty predictable and the ending was weirdly abrupt with what seemed like a series of bulletpoints of "where are they now" that I'd more expect from the end of a movie. Overall it was enjoyable, but I can't say that I loved it.
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Thanks to NetGalley and RedDoor Publishing for a digital galley in exchange for an honest review 

Drawn in by the absolute beauty of this cover and an adventure to Italy, I gave into temptation and selected this book. Although I don't regret taking the time to read it, I felt the book suffered from one dimensional characters and over the top ridiculous dialogue. I laughed a lot in this book at the things that would come out of the mouths of characters. Case in point, the main protagonist begins to date an Italian man who happens to be a police officer and she's anti-gun. Huh??? Also, I don't care how hurt a woman is by her husband's infidelity, it's still strange to approve of your teenage kids referring to their father's girlfriend as a "whore." 

The mixture of romance/domestic drama/ mystery was alright, but maybe needed a bit more tightening to really engage me. Sadly, I couldn't get beyond other distractions and give this story any higher than a 2 star rating. 

Goodreads review published 28/05/19 
Publication date 16/05/19
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This is a light, frothy read laced with a touch of Italian history, art and architecture. It would be the perfect book to take to the beach as it doesn’t require too much thought or commitment. If you like romances where both parties are older (as in not twenty-somethings) and happy endings then you should be satisfied with this story. The Tuscan setting is of course beautiful and will make you want to go there yourself. The historical mystery was interesting and not entirely predictable.

Allegra inherits her great grandmother’s Cosima’s diary which gives us very brief glimpses into the past. I am a huge historical fiction fan and I would have liked for this historical aspect to be more developed. In other novels with a similar format I have enjoyed the historical story line just as much as, if not more than, the modern day story. In this case there wasn’t enough for me to become too involved. I wished for more of Cosima and her life and less of insipid Allegra!

I admit that I didn’t love the main characters. Allegra is such a vain, vapid character that I found it difficult to root for her as the heroine. She is silly and naïve even though she is a grown woman with nearly adult children. She lets her husband and son control her and yet she caters to their every whim. I was hoping that her character would grow through the course of the story and I suppose she did develop a bit of a backbone by the end, but unfortunately this seems to mostly be because of her love affair. Her Italian lover gives her the will to leave her terrible, misogynistic husband and to follow her dream to research her family history. It’s great that she finally grows into a semi-independent adult but it’s a shame that she needs the catalyst of a new man to do it. Her lover Massimo is ridiculously perfect. He’s gorgeous, a great lover who loves older, curvy women, a hero cop, and is understanding of all Allegra’s childishness. I’m not usually a romance reader so maybe this level of perfection is standard but I found it unrealistic and honestly not very interesting. This is 100% a fantasy which is totally satisfactory if that the type of story that you are looking for.

This book had a lot of potential it is perfectly fine as a quick read and a light distraction. I was expecting a bit more from it but it was still enjoyable. I am intrigued by this amazing abandoned castle and it’s quite shocking that it actually exists. Time for a vacation to Tuscany I think!

Thank you to RedDoor Publishing for providing an Electronic Advance Reader Copy via NetGalley for review.
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A wonderful book for those in search of a Tuscan Under the Sun vibe with more magic and passion for Italy and all that art has to offer. The destruction that Allegra's heart endures when learning her husband of 20+ years is leaving her for another woman is hard to watch unfold, but seeing her come into her own a bountiful, beautiful, and better version of herself on this amazing journey is something everyone can appreciate and adore.

Merryn Corcoran guides you through magical Italy and tugs at your heartstrings in this wondeful novel.
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As I was reading this story, I found it to be written in a way that I just couldn't engage with the story.  I just couldn’t connect with the main character, Allegra.  I was however enthralled with  the descriptions of  the Tuscan castle that Allegra goes to as well as the way that the rooms are described.  The imagery  of Italy makes you want to travel there immediately.

Thank you to NetGallery for the opportunity to to read and review this book.  This is my honest review.
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Loved the descriptions of Italy, but the book was not engaging.
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