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A stopover in Venice : a novel
Walker, Kathryn
Adult Fiction WALKER

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Walker's debut of love, loss, renewal, art and history is set in a sensually realized Venice and follows the physical and emotional wanderings of an unfulfilled wife. While on tour with her famous musician husband, Nel Everett abruptly leaves him after a fight. She ends up solo in Venice, and after a roundabout introduction involving a runaway dog Nel rescues, Nel falls in with Signora Lucrezia da Isola, a countess living in a centuries-old palazzo. The palazzo was once a convent, and the recent discovery of a fresco hidden beneath a plaster wall has brought to the palazzo a coterie of competitive art experts bent on determining who painted the fresco. Nel, meanwhile, is intrigued by a small painting in her room. A trunk discovered in the attic provides evidence that leads Nel and an art conservationist to differing conclusions about who is responsible for the artworks. As the mystery unravels, Nel begins to reassess her marriage and regain some independence. Walker's prose can come across like she's straining to write capital-L literature, but that likely won't scare off the book groups. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Nel, an American, is traveling through Italy with her famous pianist husband when she suddenly despairs of her life and gets off the train. They had just left Venice, an enchanting place, but her husband's self-absorbed notoriety had not allowed her to enjoy it. On her own for the first time in eight years, Nel travels back to Venice and rents a room. A lost dog brings her to a chance meeting with its owner, an elderly contessa who has recently discovered a hidden fresco in her house. When Nel expresses interest in the painting, the contessa invites her to stay at her palazzo and help research the mystery that has arisen regarding the artist, thus giving her time to reflect about her situation. This intriguing debut novel quickly charms the reader into a magical world where a lost masterpiece and trunks filled with centuries-old clothes and books can be found in excellent condition, where a strange foreigner would be invited to live with an elderly woman, and where an unknown artist could be discovered by everyday heroes such as these turn out to be. Recommended for public libraries.--Kellie Gillespie, City of Mesa Lib., AZ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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