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The Invitation

Narrated by: Emma Gregory
Length: 11 hrs and 28 mins
Categories: Fiction, Historical
3.3 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)

Non-member price: $19.47

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Publisher's Summary

An epic, escapist novel that will transport you away to an extraordinary time in history. Perfect for fans of Kate Morton and Victoria Hislop.

Rome, 1950s. One fateful night, Hal Jacobs meets Stella, a beautiful society darling from New York. To Hal, flailing in the postwar darkness, she's a point of light. They're from different worlds but both trying and failing to carve out new lives.

Stella vanishes all too quickly, until a curious invitation from an Italian Contessa reels her back into Hal's world. They join the Contessa's collection of luminaries on a yacht headed for the Cannes Film Festival. The scene onboard is a fiction - scars from the war can be hidden yet not healed. Everyone is hiding a dark history, but Stella's secrets run the deepest.

Compelled by her fragile beauty, Hal is determined to bring back the girl she once was, the girl who's been confined to history.

The Invitation is an epic love story that will transport you from the glamour of the Italian Riviera to the darkness of war-torn Spain and to a golden - if rather haunted - time.

©2016 Lucy Foley (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic Reviews

"I loved The Invitation...I could dive into this book and be amongst the glittering characters in the Italian sun. A beautifully complex and vivid story, full of repressed longing and secrets. An absolutely enchanting tale." (Lucinda Riley)
"So powerfully evoked...with dark, sensuous undercurrents that lingered on in my mind, long after I'd reluctantly left Stella and Hal behind." (Kate Riordan)
"Full of mystery and long-reaching shadows of the past...richly drawn and compelling." (Rosanna Ley)
"An utterly seductive story depicting forbidden love and loss in 1950s Italy. The perfect beach read this summer." (Louise O'Neill)
"I loved every page - it's vividly written and utterly absorbing." (Iona Gray)
"Glamorous and romantic and bittersweet all at once...a fabulous story." (Beatriz Williams, New York Times best-selling author of A Hundred Summers)
"It's a beautiful, compulsive and glamorous read - perfect for long summer days." (Lucy Clarke, author of the Richard & Judy best seller The Sea Sisters)
"The combination of the glittering, glamorous setting and the magnetic characters mesmerized me. This book is luminous." (Elin Hilderbrand, New York Times best-selling author of Here's to Us)
"A compelling love story that takes us far beyond the alluring Italian coast to a darker place, where secrets hide just below the water's surface.... A great read." (Brunonia Barry, New York Times best-selling author of The Lace Reader)
"Fabulously engrossing." ( Woman & Home)

What listeners say about The Invitation

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Shallow and clumsy

This book left me frustrated and a bit bewildered. It felt like the whole thing moved so slowly as to be glacial. There were elements that could have brought more depth and interest, such as surviving a war, but these harder topics were not fully fleshed out. What was the point of the parallel journal story? It was handled clumsily and seemed so unnecessary. It all felt like a preamble to the real drama that would begin at its ending. Disappointing.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 14-08-2017

One of my favourites!

I really enjoyed this book. Excellent historical story made even better by the amazing narrator.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Rosemary
  • 20-08-2016

Stunning book

Lucy Foley writes exquisitely, the narration is perfect, and the stories totally intriguing. I loved every second of The Invitation, and would rate it as my favourite book for the last couple of years.

4 people found this helpful

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  • monty
  • 10-10-2017

At last.....

A really good intelligent well written story...highly recommended and a cut above the norm

2 people found this helpful

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  • Agnieszka Bania
  • 11-10-2016

An enchanting story beautifully read

This is one of those rare stories that really gets to you - it's got a wonderful atmosphere about it, debth of characters and is narrated in such a way that the narrator becomes the soul of the book. Ever wondered how you would be in the face of the war, loss, hunger? and how do regrets and what ifs shape your future?
Any Lucinda Riley fans will love this book and if you like "The Invitation"- then you will absolutely love every single one of Lucinda's unforgettable novels.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Kath
  • 09-10-2017

Worth sticking with.

long and a struggle to stick with at times but, well worth it. Very well narrated.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Abbey
  • 25-09-2017

Enjoyable story<br />

Bought the book by mistake, but pleased I did! Good story and well narrated. Plenty of storylines to keep you interested. Would recommend.

1 person found this helpful

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  • NellMcMH
  • 15-09-2020

Feeling cheated...

by a book so well read but with an ending that seemed crow-barred in ar the last minute. ...and then what had seemed like quite an interesting cast, in retrospect were mostly clichés ...

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  • Mrs Belinda Newey
  • 21-11-2019

Enthralling

I absolutely loved this book . I would recommend it without any qualms . Great story , beautifully narrated . I shall be looking for other books by Lucy Foley .

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  • Manar Moustafa
  • 04-01-2019

Enjoyable read

This is the second Lucy Foley book I read within past 2 months and I enjoyed it as much as the first one. Highly recommended.

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  • Neil Y
  • 28-12-2018

Atmospheric

Enjoyable, arty novel. A love story with underlying stories of love/relationships in a glamorous setting. The damaging effects of war were woven through the whole story.