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Saturday, June 13, 2009

A Stopover in Venice (addendum)

Walker, Kathryn. A Stopover in Venice.

Cornelia, on tour with her musician husband, decides she has had enough, and impulsively, steps off the train en route to his next venue. Alone in Venice and caught between despair over her unhappy marriage and anger at her husband, Cornelia gets a room at the Hotel Gritti Palace.

After a long rest, she decides to take advantage of the time to explore the city. In her wanderings, she discovers some boys harassing a small dog. Cornelia rescues the tiny Chihuahua, names him Leo, and forms an immediate and strong bond. He lifts her spirit and her courage, and she imagines him hers, smuggling him into the hotel. Leo then accompanies Cornelia on her perambulations through Venice.

Until, that is, a stranger accosts her in the street asking about the dog. Leo, he explains, belongs to an elderly contessa who is heartbroken by his loss. Cornelia, while devastated at having to give up her companion, returns Leo to the delighted contessa. As events transpire, the contessa invites Cornelia to spend the night, and further adventures ensue.

Matteo, a restorationist, has been working on a fresco discovered under modern plaster that may have been painted by a famous master of the early 16th century. Here begins a parallel narrative concerning the painter and the fresco, involving Cornelia, Matteo, and the contessa as they research the painter, the house itself, and a convent.

Restoration becomes a mystery, an investigation, a motif--but is Cornelia restored to herself?

Interesting -- Just discovered (after Nancy & Nicole tried to pin me down on an opinion of the novel) that the novel may be a Roman a` clef. Check out this article about who the famous musician husband really is!

Other Reviews: The Preppy Yogini and Read Around the World

Fiction. Historical mystery. 2008. 306 pages.


  1. I didn't detect your personal feelings about this book. Did you like it? Would you recommend it?

  2. It sounds intriguing but I agree with Booklogged. Did you read it? Like it?

  3. booklogged - I enjoyed it, but like most of the fiction I've read lately, it was just entertaining, not great.

    Nicole - It may just be the mood I've been in lately, but it didn't really send me. And my opinions don't always fall in with those of other readers.

  4. I get the feeling this could be one of those "comfort" type reads. Nothing major but if you are in the mood it could be just a fun way to spend some time. I'll add it to my list anyway as I dream about going to Italy one day so armchair travel is the next best thing :)

  5. I can't decide if I would enjoy this book or not. Perhaps less knowing who the characters are based off of.

  6. Iliana - For some reason, it just didn't quite click for me, but that may have had something to do with my mood at the time.

    Rebecca - I found the characters based on real people interesting; overall, though I wouldn't seek our this author again.