Title: The Gondola Maker
Author: Laura Morelli
Setting: 16th Century Venice
Luca Vianello, son of Venice’s most prominent gondola maker, tells his story. He has a difficult relationship with his father, accidentally burns down his family’s gondola business, runs away, becomes a boatman for a prominent Venetian artist, falls in love, repairs an old gondola and lands in different troubles, ending in a prison time. The tale ends with Luca’s life on the mend with his troubles sorted out.
A confession first up. The book was available for free on the Google Play Store, so that’s how I managed to get hold of it, and used my travel time to read it. Given some past experiences with the “free books”, had my doubts in the beginning, but this turned out to be an interesting read.
The book also presents a richly detailed picture of 16th century Venice – its politics, social life, the boatmen, art commissioning, the business of gondola making and associated trades. It helps that the author is herself an art historian!
The book has its share of themes – it is a tale of choices, relationships between individuals, rash actions and their consequences, the rich-poor divide. All of this inter-woven in the plot. Where the book does suffer a bit is its abrupt ending. The conclusion is not satisafactory, as the reader is left wanting for more!
Previously on BookMarks: The Audacity of Hope