“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.”
I don’t know much about wine. I’m not an expert on classical art and, although I live in Italy, I’m the antithesis of a “foodie”. However, when it comes to giving my opinion about a glass of red, a painting in a gallery or the dinner on my plate, I’m quite certain of three things: 1) I know what I like, 2) I recognize beauty when I see it, and 3) I can tell when a meal tastes delicious.
It’s the same with a book. I’ve never actually written one, but I know a good novel when I read it.
Halfway into the first chapter of Laura Morelli’s The Gondola Maker, I found myself wondering if the author had a time machine. I suppose a historical novel should transport the reader to another time and place, but Ms. Morelli’s use of crystal-clear imagery and her microscopic attention to detail went above and beyond. I’d be putting it mildly if I said she’d done her homework.
The Gondola Maker’s story swirls around a young protagonist, Luca Vianello – a boy on the brink of adulthood. Born into a long line of gondola craftsmen, he works alongside his father and brothers in the family’s boatyard and never allows himself to imagine a future beyond the one that has been chosen for him. But following one single, blinding moment of rage, the direction of his life is altered forever and Luca must set out on an odyssey through the dark underworld of the Most Serene Republic of Venice. As he slowly picks up the pieces of his shattered life, he finds his true passion and destiny and, in the process of discovery, comes full circle.
As Laura Morelli spins her intriguing and authentic Renaissance tale, she brings to life the time-honored artisan trade of gondola making and reminds us that if not preserved, this centuries-old craft and others like it will be lost forever.
About the Author
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.
I want extend my sincerest gratitude to Laura Fabiani of Italy Book Tours for inviting me to participate in my first book review event. Second, a huge “Grazie” to the author, Laura Morelli, for allowing me the privilege of reading and then sharing my thoughts about her novel. It takes talent, fortitude and sheer guts to write a book.
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
WHERE TO BUY THE “The Gondola Maker”…
About Italy Book Tours
Italy Book Tours gets books in the hands of readers who love everything Italian. They offer professional virtual book tours to authors and publishers whose books are set in Italy, have an Italian theme, are written by an Italian author or translated from Italian. For more information you can contact Laura Fabiani at http://www.italybooktours.com.
Read more Italy blogger reviews of “The Gondola Maker”…
Nov 3 – Studentessa Matta – review / giveaway
Nov 3 – Il Mio Tesoro – review / giveaway
Nov 4 – Packabook – review
Nov 4 – Venice from Beyond the Bridge – review
Nov 5 – Monica Cesarato – review / giveaway
Nov 5 – Seductive Venice – review
Nov 6 – Food Lover’s Odyssey – review / giveaway
Nov 7 – The Venice Experience – review / interview
Nov 8 – Hello World – review
Nov 9 – Orvieto or Bust – review
Nov 9 – Capturing Venice – review
by Toni DeBella