bookshelves: currently-reading, e-book, historical-fiction, italy, venice, winter-20132014, net-galley, published-2013, under-10-ratings, art-forms, love, conflagration
Read from January 12 to 17, 2014
Netgalley/Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) Members’ Titles
Dedication: Dedicated to those whose hearts propel their hand
From the description: “I was not supposed to be the eldest son, but here I am, the accidental heir to my father’s boatyard. I consider it nothing short of a miracle that I am here at all.”
Luca Vianello is the heir to the city’s most esteemed gondola boatyard. It’s his life’s calling, his duty to his father and the generations that came before him.
But when his mother dies in childbirth, a lifetime of resentment boils to the surface. In an argument with his father, Luca accidentally sets fire to the boatyard. In an instant, his life, his destiny, goes up in flames.
Alone for the first time, Luca secures a job as a private gondolier to a portrait painter. He discovers a dilapidated gondola in the shadows of the artist’s boathouse. He recognizes it as an antique made in his own family boatyard–by his own grandfather’s hands.
Luca finds himself drawn to restore the old gondola with the dream of taking a beautiful girl for a ride. He doesn’t know that the girl, the daughter of a rich banker who has come to the artist’s studio to sit for a portrait, has a plan of her own.
Opening: VENICE 1574: I chew my lower lip while I wait to see my father’s gondola catch fire.
Yep – she wrote ‘while’ not ‘whilst’; picky wench am I not. First person singular on the go too. This will have to work hard to garner my attention.
So after a long trawl north in a blizzard I reach the end of this book. Whilst both journeys, the physical and the read, were uneventful both were delightful. So in a northernish Swedish city called Sundsval I tell you that this read was lovely, unexpectably interesting and I now feel that I could take some wood and form a gondola, oil it up and fashion some oars, furnish it and giggle behind the curtains. Yet here I am looking at a viking longboat, just as lovingly created, yet with no nod to comfort.
Life is a circle, and this aspect is on full display in this lovely read. Try it out yourself.