Let’s take this weekend and head to Venice, Italy, a city of festivals, art, and romance. Rhys Bowen takes us there with her beautiful detail right before Italy enters World War II and then again in modern day in The Venice Sketchbook. If you’re feeling the loss of travel plans because of Covid, then this might be the book for you!
About the Book
Caroline Grant is struggling to accept the end of her marriage when she receives an unexpected bequest. Her beloved great-aunt Lettie leaves her a sketchbook, three keys, and a final whisper…Venice. Caroline’s quest: to scatter Juliet “Lettie” Browning’s ashes in the city she loved and to unlock the mysteries stored away for more than sixty years.
It’s 1938 when art teacher Juliet Browning arrives in romantic Venice. For her students, it’s a wealth of history, art, and beauty. For Juliet, it’s poignant memories and a chance to reconnect with Leonardo Da Rossi, the man she loves whose future is already determined by his noble family. However star-crossed, nothing can come between them. Until the threat of war closes in on Venice and they’re forced to fight, survive, and protect a secret that will bind them forever.
Key by key, Lettie’s life of impossible love, loss, and courage unfolds. It’s one that Caroline can now make right again as her own journey of self-discovery begins.
The Venice Sketchbook looks at the lives of two women. Juliette is in Venice pre-war where she meets the love of her life who is married. She’s studying art and as the magical world of Venice changes around her, finds herself stuck in Italy during WWII. Caroline is her niece who finds she has inherited a 99 year lease on a building sets out to understand a sketchbook her aunt left in her former apartment. As always, I love the pictures Rhys Bowen creates and this is a great mixture of romance and historical fiction. I found Juliette frustrating at times as she continually put off going back to England while the threat of Venice becoming involved grew each day. I also liked how Caroline grew as a character to stand up against her husband.
“Rhys Bowen crafts a propulsive, unexpected plot with characters who come vibrantly alive on the page.” —Mark Sullivan, author of Beneath a Scarlet Sky
Love and secrets collide in Venice during WWII in an enthralling novel of brief encounters and lasting romance by the New York Times bestselling author of The Tuscan Child and Above the Bay of Angels.