1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
The Garden of Letters  By  cover art

The Garden of Letters

By: Alyson Richman
Narrated by: Elizabeth Sastre,Alyson Richman
Try for $0.00

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Buy for $24.50

Buy for $24.50

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

Set against the rich backdrop of World War II Italy, Garden of Letters captures the hope, suspense, and romance of an uncertain era, in an epic intertwining story of first love, great tragedy, and spectacular bravery.

Portofino, Italy, 1943. A young woman steps off a boat in a scenic coastal village. Although she knows how to disappear in a crowd, Elodie is too terrified to slip by the German officers while carrying her poorly forged identity papers. She is frozen until a man she's never met before claims to know her. In desperate need of shelter, Elodie follows him back to his home on the cliffs of Portofino.

Only months before, Elodie Bertolotti was a cello prodigy in Verona, unconcerned with world events. But when Mussolini's Fascist regime strikes her family, Elodie is drawn into the burgeoning resistance movement by Luca, a young and impassioned bookseller. As the occupation looms, she discovers that her unique musical talents, and her courage, have the power to save lives.

In Portofino, young doctor Angelo Rosselli gives the frightened and exhausted girl sanctuary. He is a man with painful secrets of his own, haunted by guilt and remorse. But Elodie's arrival has the power to awaken a sense of hope and joy that Angelo thought was lost to him forever.

©2014 Alyson Richman (P)2014 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"Richman seamlessly weaves together the languages of music and love, reaching into the heart of the reader with artful portraits of heroism, sacrifice and redemption. Fans of The Lost Wife will again savor Richman's ability to tell a remarkable story about people who are unforgettable and real." (Pam Jenoff, international best-selling author)

“Lyrical and rich...filled with beauty and tragedy, romance and heartbreak.” (Jillian Cantor, author of Margot

“Graceful, mellifluous...read this book.” (Jenna Blum, New York Times best-selling author of Those Who Save Us

What listeners say about The Garden of Letters

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    165
  • 4 Stars
    51
  • 3 Stars
    28
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    4
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    166
  • 4 Stars
    42
  • 3 Stars
    11
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    4
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    143
  • 4 Stars
    54
  • 3 Stars
    15
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    5

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

My thoughts

This story went above my expectations. The narrator was absolutely wonderful, and my most memorable moment was when she failed the mission.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Just OK

A few different angles for a WWII novel but reads much like a flowery, over done romance novel with predictable scenarios. I liked it enough to finish but I can only give it a B-.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A Beautiful Story

This book told a beautiful story with a different type of view point. I have read a lot of WWII books lately, and this was in my top 5. I don't always listen to the author's notes at the end, but wanted to hear what inspired this author and this story. The narrator was fantastic and fluent, and had an enjoyable voice for this story. I will look for more books by this author!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Beautiful Story

I hated to finish this book. Loved the characters. Bought 3 copies so friends could share in this story.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Haunting

This book was hauntingly beautiful, with many surprising twists and turns.The characters in the book were lovingly brought to life By the narrator and kept you entranced throughout

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

One of the best books I have read.

I really enjoyed this book. The characters really captivated me. Would highly recommend to everyone.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic Storyline. Ending Resolution Needs...

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

This left me hungry to learn more about the Italian perspective to WWII and their involvement. The love story was beautiful. Plot beautiful. Love scenes droned on and on and took way too much time on the love than tying up loose ends.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Garden of Letters?

The best memories are Husband's bond with his belated wife (extended family dissapeared after baby and mom dies...), african adopted child (what happened?) Viola and musical pieces were fantastic. Classic Book store. Chuck full of good stuff. stay in vienna was foggy and got lost for me.

Which scene was your favorite?

My favorite 'scene' is wrapping up the beginning scene and tying it into where it was in the book. (am I weird or what?).

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

I wanted more resolution. This left me with a sense of wanting to know: where's mom? How did she 'bounce back' so quickly to fall in love with the doctor (count days on the calendar to drop true love off the list and move over to a doctor).

Any additional comments?

I am glad the doctor never came off as a 'hero', but a servant of healing inside and out, that he was shrewd, but tender hearted. time to heal. Italian bookstore was fun!
Ditch the long steamy scenes; they took extra time from the plot.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

enjoyed

first time reader by this author and really enjoyed this book/ listen. very entertaining. narrators helped bring the characters alive. Will definitely listen to more books by this author. like that book is based on real life people and stories

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

AWESOME

After a slow start introducing the characters, I couldn't put it down. I laughed and cried. The story line gave few clues as to what would come next. I didn't really want to listen to this book, but I am so glad I did. Hope there is a sequel.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent in every way

I love how the author worked music into the story line . This is a very well written story which combines love , war and redemption in a beautifully intertwined manner.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Christineb
  • Christineb
  • 06-24-19

Three Stars

My expectations were high After reading reviews I expected an amazing read perhaps too much. It was well narrated but it just missed out on being a story that stands with the best of WW11 fiction Unfortunately for me I paid a premium price

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Petra 🤗📚📓🖋📮
  • Petra 🤗📚📓🖋📮
  • 01-22-16

a heart wrenching read

What made the experience of listening to The Garden of Letters the most enjoyable?

The story of the main characters was told in separate time lines, as you follow the main character you find out what brings Elodie on her journey from her home in Verona to Portofino where she meets the one man she has to trust with her life.

What other book might you compare The Garden of Letters to, and why?

There is no book I could compare it too, as it really has a story of its own. This for me was a new look at the Second World War, I loved how Elodie's love of music was the main strength of the main story.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

I loved the whole book, mainly because of the narrator as she brought Italy to me as a listener I missed nothing of the main story. I loved how the author through her vivid and wonderful writing I was able to hear Elodie playing her cello as the descriptions were simply perfect.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Breathtaking!

Any additional comments?

This is a story which truly brought the Second World War alive though this showed Italy through the war. The cruelty of the Nazis was evident but yet the bravery of the characters was so much more.