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The Venice Sketchbook: A Novel

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That being said, I did enjoy this story. There are parts that are predictable and parts that are not. There are parts that are possibly unreal and others that are more likely to have occurred. There were times I felt it was going into too much detail and other times when I was nervous for the characters. A: I’ve known Venice since my family used to spend time there when I was a child so it all feels familiar to me, but each time I go I discover something new. Obviously favorite parts of the city are some of the popular tourist spots. Standing on the Accademia Bridge and looking down toward Rialto is magical. Having coffee in St. Mark’s Square is perfect (but really expensive these days. My parents did it every morning!) I love attending high mass at St. Marks and listening to the sound of the choir soaring up to that dome. I love visiting La Fenice opera house and going to concerts in the churches. The book description is sufficient so I don’t have to repeat the entire story line here. What I will say is:

The Venice Sketchbook: A Novel by Rhys Bowen, Paperback

Rhys Bowen is the New York Timesbestselling author of more than forty novels, including Above the Bay of Angels, The Victory Garden, The Tuscan Child, and the World War II–based In Farleigh Field, the winner of the Macavity and Left Coast Crime Awards for Best Historical Mystery Novel and the Agatha Award for Best Historical Mystery. Bowen’s work has won twenty honors to date, including multiple Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity Awards. Her books have been translated into many languages, and she has fans around the world. A transplanted Brit, Bowen divides her time between California and Arizona. I definitely recommend this book and I know that I have found one more all-time favourite historical fiction novel. The story takes readers on a journey, a history lesson of sorts.The details of art, culture, religion, food, and traditions are blended with romance, secrets, a world war, and amazing courage.Juliet Browning has been before in 1928 but left hurriedly with her great aunt. She travels there again in 1938 to attend La Accademia di Belle Arti, the Academy of Fine Arts, a life dream. She’s reacquainted with a young man, Leonardo Da Rossi who Juliet had met on her previous visit. When war breaks out Juliet remains in Venice—until she can’t! Caroline’s story (2001), to me, was superfluous and just took up space and I did not care for the idea of cousins getting together. Their stories are linked, not just by the city, and not just by these two women’s relationship to each other, but also to a family that influences both of their lives.

The Venice Sketchbook by Rhys Bowen - Fantastic Fiction

In 1938 Juliet gets a teaching job in Venice and rekindles her romance with Leo. But the threat of war closes in on Venice and they’re forced to fight, survive, and protect a secret that will bind them forever. She is put in danger now as she agrees to become a spy for the English government. If you've ever been to Venice, or wished to go, this book will teleport you there immediately! It's obvious that Mrs. Bowen has extensive personal experience with the city, as she knows the ins and outs as only someone who has lived there could. Her characters come to life in a world on the brink of, and living through, WWII. Their connected story is at once sad and resilient, forcing us to think about what sacrifices a mother will make for her child. A must-read for WWII historical fiction fans!

Readers will enjoy the detailed descriptions provided by Bowen. She brings Venice to lifewith its amazing gondolas and canals, vaporetto, narrow streets, festivals, churches, art exhibitions, food, the colorful people, culture, and family ties. The descriptions of Venice in both the 1928-44 and 2001 timelines are beautiful. Englishwoman Juliet Browning visits Venice with her aunt in 1928 and then she visits again in 1938 and 1939. Each time, she meets and spends time with wealthy nobleman Leonardo Da Rossi. Leo's path in life has been set since he was young, so there can never be a permanent relationship between Juliet and Leo but they will always be connected because of their actions in 1939. Much later, in 2001, on her deathbed, Juliet utters the word Venice to her great niece, Caroline. In a box, left to her by her aunt, Caroline finds a sketchbook and three keys. Off Caroline goes to Venice, in search of what her great aunt was trying to tell her.

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