The Gondola Maker Review
Giveway is now closed
I was so pleased in having been chosen by Laura Fabiani from Italy Book Tours to review the newest book by the bestselling author Laura Morelli – The Gondola Maker.
From the author of Made in Italy comes a tale of artisanal tradition and family bonds set in one of the world’s most magnificent settings: Renaissance Venice.
When Luca Vianello, the heir to a renowned gondola-making enterprise, experiences an unexpected tragedy in the boatyard, he believes that his destiny lies elsewhere. Soon he finds himself drawn to restore an antique gondola with the dream of taking a girl for a ride. Lovers of historical fiction will appreciate the authentic details of gondola craftsmanship, along with an intimate first-person narrative set against the richly textured backdrop of 16th-century Venice.
IPPY Award for Best Adult Fiction E-book
Finalist for the National Indie Excellence Award
Finalist for the Eric Hoffer Award
Shortlisted for the da Vinci Eye Prize
Laura Morelli earned a Ph.D. in art history from Yale University, where she was a Bass Writing Fellow and an Andrew W. Mellon Doctoral Fellow. She has taught college art history in the U.S. and at Trinity College in Rome.
She is the creator of the authentic guidebook series that includes Made in Italy, Made in France, and Made in the Southwest, published by Rizzoli. Laura is a frequent contributor to National Geographic Traveler and other national magazines and newspapers. A native of coastal Georgia, she is married and is busy raising four children. The Gondola Maker is her first work of fiction.
Where to buy the book:
“I chew my lower lip while I wait to see my father’s gondola catch fire….”
I was very excited when Laura Fabiani from Italy Book Tours asked me if I was available to read and review the new book by Laura Morelli.
I have been following Laura on Twitter for a while and I was very curious to find out how she managed to portray Venice, a city which I love dearly since I grew up only 5 km from there.
Venice is where I went to High school and it is where I now run daily walking tours. You know, as a local, I have to admit that I was a bit worried – you always want your city to be portrayed at its best!
So, the moment the book turned up, I immediately started to read it and, to my surprise, I could not put it down!
I was instantly transported back in time, to a Venice which I would have loved to have known, a Venice without tourists but still the centre of Europe, a melting pot of cultures and trades.
The attention to details, the thorough descriptions of Venetian life in the times when the novel takes place, the simple yet direct dialogues (just like real Venetian talk) made me enjoy this book right to the last chapter. I am a difficult reader: always trying to find the mistake in the books I read, always wanting to be surprised, to be kept hanging – I usually put a book down immediately if I find the story obvious or somewhat boring. And in this occasion the book was set in my own hometown, in very familiar grounds and settings!
But with “The Gondola maker” this was not the case. I was so happy to find a novel for which I could not imagine the ending and which remained true to authentic Venetian life right to the last word!
Even though Laura has written a work of fiction, it felt real all through the pages: the way she describes the life and work of Luca in the boat-yard, the way she represents the craftsmanship of the gondola makers is so precise and meticulous you would have thought she built a gondola herself. I know myself some of the gondola makers and Laura has obviously done a lot of research before writing this book. And as a plus, the plot and the characters which she has chosen are unusual, just like real life would be!
This is by far one of the best novels set in Venice which I have ever read!
It will make you want to pack your bags and come over to Venice the moment you finish reading it!
So, if you want to have the opportunity to be transported back in time and discover the real Venice, enter this giveaway now and grab a chance to win a copy of “The Gondola Maker” by Laura Morelli.
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