The Italian Garden 9 – The Ending (Chapters 16 – end)



The ending was quite surprising. Toby returns to Joanna, realising that he loves her. They spend time together and become lovers. While they are together, Martin appear. Joanna wrote him a letter, asking him to find out more about Toby and his mother. So he comes back, bringing news. He talked to the cook who worked for Izabelle, and apparently, the boy she had was out of wedlock, but the cook thinks that Izabelle had an affair with one of the servants, called Toby, and that is why she called her baby Toby. There is no way to know if Toby is the fruit of that affair, or the product of rape. But at least, there is room for hope.

Toby asks Joanna to go away with him, but she has to refuse for one single reason: Sanchia. She can’t take her away from Guillaume, and Guillaume won’t let her take their daughter. So Toby returns to Italy, and  he joins his friends Gilles and Penniless in the war. Then suddenly when the three of them are riding together, Gilles collapses as a sniper has shot him, and Gilles dies. We later learn that Hanon sent one of his men to kill Toby, but he got the wrong man.

Guillaume dies in Switzerland, and when Joanna gets word that he is dead, she starts packing because now she has no home. Yet, Hanon appears and struts victorious before her. He wants to marry her, so he tells her that her husband died five years ago, and he also says that Toby died during the war. Joanna knows that she can’t win, so she agrees to marry him. The following day Hannon weds her in Marigny’s chapel, and that night he prepares him a drink which she has poisoned. So Hanon dies, and Joanna flees with Sanchia and Guy.

Toby returns to Marigny to learn about Hanon and how suspicion falls on Joanna, but she is gone. In the last chapter we see Toby travelling from one place to another, checking the markets. And in the end it is understood that he finds her and the children. We don’t get to see the encounter, but it is a nice ending.

I enjoyed most chapters of the book, but I found some parts a bit too long and slow. Yet, it was enjoyable mostly.

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