Villa Melania

Villa Melania

Title: Villa Melania
Genre: Womenโ€™s fiction / Mystery
Publisher: Espasa
Date of publication: February 2023
Pages: 360

In the tradition of classic Gothic novels, Villa Melania is a gripping journey into the heart of a family marked by a mysterious death. An absorbing family saga that evokes another era in a truly beautiful way.

“It is possible that we are all a little cracked inside, that no one has kept intact the moon of the mirror in which we contemplated ourselves as children.

In Villa Melania there is a room full of broken mirrors and tragic memories. In the stately mansion of the Lanuza Vega family, with its meadow of marigolds and its old jacaranda plants, the ghosts of several lives stroll around on the night of the eve of Epiphany in 1966, whose echoes will resound deafeningly on the same day in 2019. The portrait of Melania, the beautiful and damaged Melania, still presides over the house so many years later. Her footsteps are heard on floorboards and stairs; they look for that person capable of hearing objects tell their stories. Those stories that neither Melania’s sisters nor her brother-in-law want to tell; those stories that Camila, her great-niece, will discover too late; those stories that only Cloe, Camila’s sister, will know how to listen to and understand.

Death, melancholy, illness, but also jealousy, envy, pain and fear lurk in those broken mirrors that reflect the past and the present of those who once lived in that house. There is only one way to mend the broken moons and broken lives: to talk, because “by keeping silent we bury our dead a little deeper”.

In Villa Melania, Desirรฉe Ruiz once again masterfully traverses the territories of madness and family ghosts visited by Charlotte Brontรซ, Henry James, Jean Rhys and Carmen Laforet, where suspense and poetry go hand in hand.

๐—ช๐—ฒ๐—น๐—น ๐˜„๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐˜๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ป, ๐—ด๐—ผ๐—ผ๐—ฑ ๐—ฐ๐—ต๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—ฐ๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐˜€, ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐˜„๐—ถ๐˜๐—ต ๐—ฎ ๐—ด๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด. It is common for tragic stories to attract us. Perhaps we are all somewhat cracked inside, because life is full of blows that splinter it. It may be that most of us hide a locked room inside, and we keep that key hidden so that no one can enter.


Family sagas like ๐‘‰๐‘–๐‘™๐‘™๐‘Ž ๐‘€๐‘’๐‘™๐‘Ž๐‘›๐‘–๐‘Ž are always a good omen for good and comforting novels; without a doubt the delicacy and perfect narration make this book one of the best discoveries of this year. A perfect book to delve into the mysteries of the mind and family ties but from a somewhat gothic and intense point of view.

Laura Rodrรญguez Durรกn, Revista

Desirรฉe Ruiz's writing is notable for its careful and beautiful prose, with a great capacity for psychological introspection and for the creation of atmospheres. She exhibits her own style, original, evocative and poetic, which is sinister when the passages require it.

El Mundo

In Desirรฉe Ruiz's third novel, a family house takes the undisputed leading role in a plot in which mysteries and death will trap the reader.

El Periรณdico Mediterrรกneo

๐‘‰๐‘–๐‘™๐‘™๐‘Ž ๐‘€๐‘’๐‘™๐‘Ž๐‘›๐‘–๐‘Ž is a fascinating mystery novel with family secrets. All of us who like suspense novels with generational changes, and more if it is a family saga in which chapter by chapter there is a plot twist that surprises us, are taking delight in page after page.

Desafรญo Viajero podcast.

In ๐‘‰๐‘–๐‘™๐‘™๐‘Ž ๐‘€๐‘’๐‘™๐‘Ž๐‘›๐‘–๐‘Ž Desirรฉe Ruiz's style becomes more refined, precise and personal, and the narrative becomes dark and dense, like the best of chocolates, touched by the musicality of the gothic, of the 19th century romantics, of ghostly mystery, madness and death, but also of beauty, of the magnetism of broken reflections.

Mรณnica Serendipia's blog